Unmanned vehicles: a tactical advantage and a rich market

June 1, 2005
Unmanned vehicles were among the biggest tactical advantages for the U.S. military in Gulf War 2.

Unmanned vehicles were among the biggest tactical advantages for the U.S. military in Gulf War 2. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) provided not only crucial intelligence to field commanders but also performed lethal strikes on the enemy in areas where the individual soldier or manned aircraft could not go.

The obvious advantage on the battlefield translates into greater demand for all types of unmanned vehicles creating an industry that some estimate will have a value of about $22 billion worldwide in 10 years-and that is just for UAVs, the most mature unmanned platform.

In this supplement, Roger Joel of Octec Limited of Radstone Embedded Computing discusses the technological obstacles and solutions to improving autonomy of UAVs. In addition, Senior Editor Ben Ames discusses the latest technological trends in unmanned ground vehicles and then details how an unmanned underwater vehicle is used to map the underwater battlespace and search for mines.

Large UAVs fly at low altitudes and high altitudes delivering intelligence and bombs, and now mini UAVs are being fielded at a much lower cost and great quality. I take a look at the micro-UAV market and some of the companies behind these small autonomous flying machines and other market trends on this multibillion-dollar industry.

Be sure to check out our Unmanned Vehicle Product section as well, where the latest electronic products for unmanned vehicles from top vendors are showcased.

This supplement, Unmanned Vehicles, from PennWell, publishers of Military & Aerospace Electronics, is a guideline to important unmanned systems that are helping military and homeland-security forces handle dangerous situations while minimizing the risk to human life.

John McHale
Executive Editor

Military & Aerospace Electronics

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