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  • Coronavirus has kept us close to home. It’s a helpful lesson for strengthening national defense.

    17 septembre 2020 | Information, Autre défense

    Coronavirus has kept us close to home. It’s a helpful lesson for strengthening national defense.

    Justin P. Oberman Despite being warned, with impressive precision, about the dangers of so-called black swan events, America tends to ignore or downplay them because they seem remote, or the perceived financial, societal and political costs are too great. In the aftermath of 9/11, of Hurricane Katrina and other major domestic tragedies, we too often learn that our relevant capabilities have atrophied. Now, following perhaps the most devastating such event — the COVID-19 pandemic — the defense industrial base is actively seeking billions of dollars to prop it up without necessarily committing to making step-function leaps forward in a highly complex threat environment. And while keeping the thousands of small companies that support the defense primes alive is important, the Pentagon — flush with cash and a mandate to act quickly to react to the pandemic — should use this opportunity to refine its technology acquisition approach, in part by doing more to engage nontraditional defense firms. The reasons for bringing in new ideas for defense are clear. Just last week, the Department of Defense released its annual report to Congress on China, which states that “China has already achieved parity with — or even exceeded — the United States in several military modernization areas.” Even more concerning, DoD analysts describe China's military-civil fusion development strategy as “a nationwide endeavor that seeks to ‘fuse' its economic and social development strategies with its security strategies to build an integrated national strategic system and capabilities in support of China's national rejuvenation goals.” The United States doesn't need and shouldn't pursue a “fusion” strategy; rather, we need a better approach to strengthening the defense industrial base and engaging with innovators. The United States is at risk of losing its ability to manufacture critical national security technology thanks to a combination of byzantine domestic procurement processes, offshoring and overseas competitors. To counter these and other negative trends, the DoD needs a sustainable, continuous innovation model. In Silicon Valley, everyone from the biggest players to the youngest startups view working against or around slow, tired establishment organizations as almost a prerequisite to success (Uber vs. taxis, Tesla vs. legacy automakers, Amazon vs. everybody). Despite the Pentagon's attractive budget and important missions, many innovators are repelled by restrictive requirements, lengthy sales cycles, high costs of bidding and a deck often stacked in favor of large prime contractors. The DoD must throw open its doors to innovators and free itself to make bets; if it does, it will get more world-class tools for its mission owners. The department should: Make requirements less prescriptive, easier to understand and run two ways. Develop an outreach program for innovators that uses channels they're already occupying, in language they understand, with requirements that are compelling. Encourage two-way communication that surfaces non-obvious solutions to critical defense missions. At the Transportation Security Administration, we worked with an In-Q-Tel-backed company that was founded in Las Vegas to catch casino cheats; the Pentagon should look for similar outside-the-box opportunities. Engage substantively with private sector innovation experts. The best investors and executives back successful entrepreneurs, mentor them as they refine their offerings and support world-changing scale. The DoD needs these skill sets and should set up (unpaid) innovation mentoring boards. Insert flexibility into contracting and financing. To remove barriers to entry without sacrificing quality, the DoD should: Create “off-campus” labs to mitigate procurement and security clearance delays. Build on the work of Dr. Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics. to ensure innovators don't run out of funding. In what would be a great advancement and threshold change, work with Congress to arrange for private sector investment in key technologies to bolster programs of record. Lift government price and margin controls. Cost, often controlled through the anti-innovation technique of lowest-price, technically acceptable contracts, is not the key metric, particularly in emerging, dynamic technologies. What matters are outcomes and value. Restricting profit to a bureaucrat-calculated rate of 15 percent will drive innovative and nimble companies away from the DoD. Cost does not effectively incorporate other important metrics, including risk, prior investment and return on investment. Order quantities and frequency are also critical in determining reasonable costs, as these factors underpin business cases. It's not a coincidence that the world's largest, most innovative economy belongs to the same country that has the world's largest, most lethal military and is the world's most attractive target for emerging threats. The threat environment (intensified by the pandemic) makes clear that we need to change our approach; the state of our economy means that we need to start now.

  • Ball hits milestone with weather satellite for military operations

    22 avril 2020 | Information, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Ball hits milestone with weather satellite for military operations

    Nathan Strout A new satellite that will provide weather data for U.S. military operations has passed its critical design review, Ball Aerospace announced April 20, and the company is now moving forward into full production. The Weather System Follow-on satellite is meant to fill three vital space-based environmental monitoring gaps identified by the Defense Department: ocean surface vector winds, tropical cyclone intensity and low-Earth orbit energetic-charged particles. The satellite will include a passive microwave-imaging radiometer instrument for the first two missions, which will provide timely weather collection in support of maneuvering forces. A government-furnished energetic-charged particles sensor will be used for the third mission, which will provide important space weather capabilities such as the ability to characterize operational orbits, space situational awareness and information on the ionosphere. “Measuring and understanding the physical environment is critical to military operations, from determining tropical cyclone intensity for asset protection and maneuver operations to how wind and sea state play into assured access and aircraft carrier operations,” Mark Healy, Ball Aerospace's vice president and general manager of national defense, said in a statement. In addition, the WSF satellite will collect information on sea ice characterization, soil moisture and snow depth. Ball Aerospace is the prime contractor for the entire WSF system, meaning it will deliver the space vehicle along with instrument, spacecraft and system software and algorithms for data products. The company was initially awarded $93,713,423 in November 2017 to design the system, and a year later was awarded an additional $255,418,494 to develop and fabricate the satellite. According to the Space Force, the WSF satellite is projected for a launch in fiscal 2024.

  • Canada needs to start seeing Russia and China as 'adversaries,' says ex-CSIS chief

    18 novembre 2019 | Information, Autre défense

    Canada needs to start seeing Russia and China as 'adversaries,' says ex-CSIS chief

    Richard Fadden said Ottawa needs to acknowledge the United States is withdrawing from global leadership Murray Brewster Canada needs to be "clear-eyed" about the threat posed by Russia and China — and the power vacuum at the global level left by the United States' growing isolationism — a former national security adviser to prime ministers told an audience of military and defence officials Friday. "The risks posed by these two countries are certainly different, but they are generally based on advancing all their interests to the detriment of the West," Richard Fadden, former national security adviser to both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his predecessor, Stephen Harper, said in a speech to the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDAI) Friday. "Their activities span the political, military and economic spheres." Fadden, who also served as the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and as deputy defence minister, made the remarks at the CDAI's annual Vimy Dinner in Ottawa. He said his criticism was not political or aimed at any particular government, but was meant to prompt public debate about security and defence policies — a subject that was virtually ignored during the recently concluded federal election. Both China and Russia have demonstrated they are prepared to "use virtually any means to attain their goals," while the U.S. has effectively withdrawn from the world stage, Fadden said. That emerging vacuum means Canada will have to work harder with other allies to address global crises at times when the Americans are unable, or unwilling, to lead. 'Clear limits to what we will accept' But to do that, Fadden said, Canada will have to be "clear-eyed" about the way the world has changed over the last decade or more. Canada should "recognize our adversaries for what they are, recognize we have to deal with them, but draw clear limits to what we will accept," he said. Ottawa also has to recognize, he said, that the old post-Cold War world order "with comprehensive U.S. leadership is gone, and is not coming back in the form we knew." In some respects, Fadden's remarks are a more blunt and urgent assessment of the geopolitical landscape than the one Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered in a landmark speech in June 2017, when she warned Canada could no longer depend upon U.S. protection and leadership. The comments by the former top security official came just as French President Emmanuel Macron also was lamenting the loss of American leadership, saying NATO is facing "brain death" without Washington's full involvement. When he was director of CSIS a number of years ago, Fadden warned about increasing Chinese influence over Canadian municipal and provincial politics. He said during his speech Friday that "the West does not have its act together as much as it could and should" and its response to emerging threats has been dysfunctional. Meanwhile, Fadden said, the rise in violent radicalism in the West is no longer being confined to Islamist extremism. "Right-wing terrorism is growing and, like its cousin jihadist terrorism, it is a globalized threat," he said. "We will ignore it at our peril." His speech also touched on emerging threats in cyber warfare. Many western democracies have not felt threatened in the globalized world of the last three decades — but that era is ending now, said Fadden, and Canadians have to face new sources of risk. "This issue is especially visible in Canada," he said. "We are surrounded by three oceans and the U.S., so we don't really feel threatened when, in a totally globalized world, that is unrealistic."

  • The real obstacle for reforming military spending isn’t in the defence ministry. It’s the Treasury Board

    14 novembre 2019 | Information, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    The real obstacle for reforming military spending isn’t in the defence ministry. It’s the Treasury Board

    KEN HANSEN Ken Hansen is an independent defence and security analyst and owner of Hansen Maritime Horizons. Retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 2009 in the rank of commander, he is also a contributor to the security affairs committee for the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia. For people inside the Department of National Defence, a minority Parliament – coupled with election promises for increased social spending and tax cuts – represents an uneasy calculus. Defence spending is always on the chopping block because it represents the largest pool of discretionary spending in the federal budget, and every party spent the recent federal election campaign being vague about military policy – offering some kind of oversight-body reform or scrutiny over the billions of dollars that have been earmarked, even as they lent their support to ensuring the military has the equipment it needs. In particular, the single largest program in Canadian defence history – the Canadian Combat Ship plan for 15 warships – will be a tantalizing target for politicians looking to get rid of perceived fat. Such cuts to shipbuilding programs have even already become normalized: The order for Halifax-class frigates were trimmed to 12 from 18 in 1983 and the Iroquois-class destroyers to four from six in 1964, to name just two. The political leaders weren't wrong when they said the military procurement system is broken. But regardless of which party had won this past election, and no matter what tweaks at the edges that the Liberal minority government and its potential supporters pursue, the reality is that the core issue remains unaddressed: Treasury Board's bulk approach to purchasing the country's military kit. Treasury Board policy states that bulk buys are how military procurement should be done, to ensure the lowest per-unit cost. But this forces tough decisions about what to buy, since the larger the order, the longer it will take to produce them all – not to mention the problems involved with trying to predict the future of warfare. Information systems become outdated in five years; weapons and sensors in 10. With a planned operating life of 25 years, any ships ordered today will be out-of-date by the time the first are delivered, and fully obsolete by the time the last one arrives. Block purchasing leads to block obsolescence. Traditionally, when technological change threatens to render military systems obsolete, the best way to hedge was to order in batches of the smallest number acceptable. In the years before the world wars, for instance, countries working to build competent naval forces put less emphasis on fleet numbers and more on technology and industrial capacity until the last moments before conflict. Technological competence was as important as numbers for fleet commanders. Another outcome of bulk buys is that the volume means that they happen only every two to three decades (or longer, in the worst cases). With such lengthy dry spells between purchases, it is impossible to retain corporate knowledge in either the defence or civilian branches of government. More frequent purchasing keeps the process alive in both practice and concept, with lessons learned that can be implemented by the same people who made the mistakes in the first place. Such irregularly timed purchases have created desperation among defence planners whose vision of the future consists of short golden days of competence and pride, followed by long years of rust-out and irrelevance. Unwittingly, the dark decades were in large part of the military's own making because of its desperate desire to acquire the absolute best model available – a practice known as “gold-plating” – instead of working steadily to build capacity and skill that would address long-range fleet needs. This is a collision of interests. The Treasury Board looks only at capital-acquisition decisions from the perspective of the buyer. It's left to the military to worry about how long they may have to operate obsolescent or obsolete equipment and systems, and to do the necessary mid-life upgrading, which is partly why costs balloon spectacularly. Life-cycle cost data is actually far more important that the initial sticker shock of the newest and shiniest model advocated by the military's leadership. The mindset needs to change. Politicians who implement bureaucratic change will probably see some improvements in decision-making. But the biggest obstacle to defence procurement is that bulk purchasing is our lone approach, and that it happens only every few decades. Regular, planned capital acquisition is the best path forward, but all paths to the future must first run through the Treasury Board. No amount of political policy adjustment can change that.

  • 4 reasons why fuel threatens our lethality — and what we can do about it

    13 novembre 2019 | Information, Aérospatial

    4 reasons why fuel threatens our lethality — and what we can do about it

    By: Roberto Guerrero “As a service that provides global reach, global vigilance, and global power, are we thinking globally?” — Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, at the 2017 Air Force Association Symposium This is a question that keeps me up at night. Are we prepared to defend the homeland and defeat our enemies at any location around the world? If faced against a near-peer or peer competitor, will we have the necessary infrastructure and logistical supply chain to support the lethality we need on the battlefield? More than ever before, the United States depends on the Air Force to complete the mission. In 2018, the congressionally appointed National Defense Strategy Commission concluded that “regardless of where the next conflict occurs or which adversary it features, the Air Force will be at the forefront.” Every year, the Air Force conducts approximately 800,000 sorties and uses over 2 billion gallons of aviation fuel, making it the largest consumer across the Department of Defense. That's 2,200 sorties per day! The Air Force has made some relatively small investments to modernize how we plan, optimize and deliver fuel for the war fighter, but we must do more to maintain dominance in an ever-changing battlespace. Here are four reasons why. 1. Without fuel, there is no fight. We are strategically and tactically dependent on fuel for nearly all of our missions. From delivering cargo and humanitarian aid to transporting our troops and conducting airstrikes, we can't get much done without fuel. As Gen. George Patton famously proclaimed during World War II: “My men can eat their belts, but my tanks gotta have gas.” While I don't recommend eating your belt, our tanks, ships and aircraft still need a ready supply of energy — anytime, anywhere. 2. Fuel is an inherent security risk for our troops. Thirty percent of the causalities in Iraq and Afghanistan during the height of the war were caused by attacks on fuel and water convoys. Transporting fuel — whether by air, land or sea — is a necessary risk. But the more we use, the more of a risk it becomes. If we face external constraints like oil shortages, adversary attacks or interrupted access, our vulnerabilities become even greater. 3. The future fight requires modern fuel logistics. Our adversaries are developing state-of-the-art innovations and technologies to propel fuel logistics into the future, and we need to do more to stay ahead of the game. No longer can we rely on whiteboards and markers to plan complex aerial-refueling operations. We need to provide airmen with 21st century technology that is agile, adaptive and secure — at the “speed of relevance.” 4. Optimizing fuel usage builds readiness for years to come. When we use our assets more efficiently in peacetime, we build a more energy-aware culture that will better prepare our airmen for tomorrow's fight, if and when it happens. Smarter use of fuel means more funds available to invest in our airmen and weapon systems; and when we employ our assets optimally, we reduce stress on airframes and crews. So how do we address these challenges for a secure tomorrow? First, we must get better at understanding how, when and where we use aviation fuel to detect possible efficiency gaps and logistical challenges. To do this we need operational and maintenance data that is integrated, reliable and transparent. Data allows us to make informed decisions on critical issues like basing, fuel logistics, security, maintenance and technology acquisition. We also need to invest in tools and hardware that optimize our fuel demand, such as new drag-reduction technologies and next-generation efficient engines. My office has identified numerous commercially developed products that would result in increased combat capability if adopted across the Air Force. We can also invest in tools that support more streamlined mission planning. For example, agile software tools that help us efficiently plan the “last mile” of fuel delivery — aerial refueling — will provide combatant commanders with greater flexibility and maximize combat air power. Furthermore, we need to improve our understanding of energy and fuel logistics challenges as part of the modern battlespace. Through modeling and simulation, recent war games have identified a number of joint energy risks, and we now have a deeper understanding of how our energy sources, and the troops transporting them, may be jeopardized in future conflicts. However, further work must be done to increase energy supply chain resiliency and protect fuel storage and distribution networks. Right now we have small examples of fuel efficiency gains. It's time to think bigger. It's time to reach for the big efficiency gains and get big war-fighting rewards. We must move toward a more modern and innovative world to get the most of what we already have. We need to be able to compete against our near-peer adversaries — the advantage will not only be in technological advances in weaponry, but in the best, most efficient use of our technology. It is time that fuel becomes a strategic imperative. Roberto Guerrero is the deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for operational energy.

  • Uncle Sam Wants YOU To Compete For Army Network Upgrade: CS 21

    28 août 2019 | Information, Terrestre

    Uncle Sam Wants YOU To Compete For Army Network Upgrade: CS 21

    By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR. TECHNET AUGUSTA: No incumbent contractor should feel safe, and all comers should consider taking a shot, Army network modernization officials told me here. Even for its upgrade coming in the next few months– Capability Set 2021, aimed at infantry brigades — the service is still thrashing out which technologies to include, let alone who gets paid to build them. Subsequent biennial upgrades — Capability Set 23, CS 25, CS 27, and beyond — are even more in flux, by design, to leave room to add the latest tech. In fact, even an upgrade already being fielded to specialized communications units, the Expeditionary Signal Battalion – Enhanced (ESB-E) kit, is open to change. On the flipside, if the Army decides your product isn't ready for the upcoming upgrade cycle, or it just doesn't fit the available budget, you should still aim for the next upgrade, or the one after that. And you should take that shot ASAP, because the early work on those later upgrades has already begun. Gone are the days of a stately, deliberate, laborious acquisition process in which the Army would plan out the future in detail before going to industry. “We'd almost always guess wrong,” said Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Program Executive Officer for Command , Control, & Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T). “Eventually we'd deliver yesterday's technology tomorrow.” That said, Bassett doesn't want to overcorrect by delivering tomorrow's technology today, before it's ready for the harsh conditions and high demands of erecting a wide-area wireless network in a war zone. “I know y'all won't believe this, but some of the things that vendors show me as mature, it turns out they're not,” Bassett snarked at the TechNet Augusta conference last week. “What we're not doing is holding up a Capability Set for any given technology. If it's ready, bring it to us. ... If it's not ready yet, look to a future Capability Set.” For any given product, he said, “we need you to help us understand ... whether you see that as something that's part of the network of '23, part of the network of '25, or whether it's something we really ought to be trying to add in to the network of '21 at the last minute.” Bassett has held industry “outreach sessions” recently in Nashville and Baltimore, with another this November in Austin. These are forums for the Army to solicit white paper proposals to solve specific problems and then award small demonstration contracts using Other Transaction Authority (OTA). Larger-scale procurement for Capability Set 21 should start in April, Bassett said. “The contracts, the logistics, the testing,” he said, “we're in the midst of that right now, so we can buy the network in '20, we can integrate and test it next summer, and we can deliver to brigades in '21.” Competition, Accelerated To test new network concepts and designs as fast as possible, the Army is using a lot of “stand-in” technology — that is, whatever is available, from existing contracts or inventory, that works well enough to run the test. But those stand-ins aren't necessarily, or even probably, the final products the Army plans to use, and their manufacturers don't have any incumbent advantage over other contenders. “Believe us when we say that we're not vendor locked and that we're going to open this up for a competitive environment in FY 20, after we decide what the final network architecture needs to be,” said Col. Garth Winterle, who works for Bassett as project manager for tactical radios. So the Army has two main messages for industry about Capability Set 2021, Winterle told me. “Be prepared for competitive procurement in FY 20,” he said, “[and] be open to providing information, including some stuff they may not share typically, like potential price points.” It's not just stand-in systems that are subject to competition and change, Winterle continued. It's also formal Programs Of Record with incumbent vendors, established contracts, and painstakingly negotiated budget lines. Even today, “all of my radio contracts are multi-vendor,” Winterle told me. That means one vendor on the contract may win the first lot of radios, but a different vendor may win the second — or the Army may bring in a new vendor that wasn't even in the initial award, all without having to redo the POR. “All Programs of Record are being compared to potential commercial systems as part of the experimentation, so if elements of [the existing] WIN-T architecture come up against new commercial that are more affordable or more affective...they have to participate in a run off,” Winterle said. “Gen. Bassett's been clear: There're no sacred cows.” Yes, large chunks of the current Warfighter Information Network – Tactical will remain in Army service for years to come, despite former Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley calling WIN-T inadequate for highly mobile high-tech war and truncating the program back in 2017. For all the Army's urgency about advancing, the service is just huge, so on any plausible budget it will take a decade to overhaul everything. The Army's target date for total modernization is 2028. But key pieces of WIN-T will be replaced much sooner, and some select units will be rid of it entirely in the near term. First up is the 50th Expeditionary Signal Battalion at Fort Bragg, which deploys teams worldwide to keep frontline units connected. The 50th ESB started turning in all its WIN-T kit this past October. Not only are all three companies within the battalion now using a new kit called ESB-Enhanced: Each company got a different version of the new equipment, which it field-tested, modified, and tested again. A council of generals approved proposed changes “at least every month,” said Col. Mark Parker, until recently the Army's capability manager for networks & services. Now, after about a dozen revisions in less than 12 months, the Army has a radically new ESB-E. That means not just new kit, but new personnel, training, organization — even a reorganized motor pool. The streamlined formation needs 18 percent fewer soldiers and half as many vehicles. It can deploy on commercial aircraft instead of heavy-duty Air Force transport — the basic network kit actually fits in the overhead bin — but it can provide communications to 60 percent more command posts. (48, up from 30). The final ESB-E design is due before the new Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, in October — a year after the first new kit was fielded — so he can decide whether to reorganize the other Expeditionary Signal Battalions across the Army on the new model. “Not all ESB-Es are going to look alike,” however, Parker told the conference. A battalion supporting the 18th Airborne Corps (as the 50th ESB-E does at Fort Bragg) might need parachute-qualified communications techs, while one supporting fast-moving armored divisions might need different ground vehicles to keep up. The Army also keeps hoping to add new technology to each ESB-E as it becomes available, Bassett told the conference. To 2028 & Beyond The way Army upgraded the Expeditionary Signal Battalion – Enhanced is preview of what it hopes to do across the force, Bassett said. That means streamlining or bypassing the traditional requirements process, and using existing contracts and authorities to get new tech to the troops fast — and then get their feedback to make it better in the next round. “We're a little late” with Capability Set 21, Bassett said frankly, because Congress didn't approve an Army request to reprogram already-appropriated funds to speed field-testing. But the Army was able to put the entire brigade architecture together in the laboratory — using stand-ins for the final product — and test it “end to end,” Winterle told me. That means sending realistic loads of both voice and data, based on real-world mission requirements, from tactical radios to satellite communications to US-based server farms. The next big step is to take the hardware into the field, with a full brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division to be field tested next year. While Bassett and his procurement professionals focus on Capability Set 21, the Army-wide Cross Functional Team for network modernization is already working on CS 23. While '21 is optimized for infantry units, '23 will take on medium-weight brigades of 8×8 armored Strykers and heavy brigades of M1 tanks and M2 Bradleys. These vehicles can carry a lot more hardware than infantry on foot, so they can field more powerful transmitters and larger antennas. But they'll really need that added power, because they can cover much more ground in a day and need to transmit signals over longer distances, without revealing their location to eavesdropping enemy electronic warfare units. By Capability Set '25, if not before, “we should be able to have constant communications where you can come up or drop off as required, depending on threat,” said the CFT's unified network lead, Col. Curtis Nowak. This ability to connect, get essential data, and then go dark to avoid detection is central to the Army's emerging concept of high-tech warfare, what's called Multi-Domain Operations. The Army's goal is to modernize the entire force to wage multi-domain operations by 2028. That's why the Army has already scheduled successive network upgrades in '21, '23, '25, and '27. But that's not the end, officials have made clear. “The reality is there will be a Capability Set '29,” Nowak told me. “We're no longer going to have a finish line.”

  • Avoiding past mistakes: Are the Army’s modernization plans on the right course?

    27 août 2019 | Information, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Avoiding past mistakes: Are the Army’s modernization plans on the right course?

    By: Jen Judson WASHINGTON — To avoid past mistakes that have all but crippled the Army's ability to procure new equipment, the service should ensure its top modernization priorities are aligned with its emerging warfighting doctrine, which could mean rearranging some of its top efforts, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation is arguing in a new report. The assessment comes at a time when the Army is preparing to release a new modernization strategy in short order. “From 2002 to 2014, for a variety of reasons, nearly every major modernization program was terminated,” the report's author Thomas Spoehr writes. Spoehr is the director of the Center of National Defense at Heritage. His former Army career was partly spent helping to develop the service's future year financial plans. Spoehr acknowledges that with the advent of a new four-star command — Army Futures Command — the programs envisioned to modernize the Army “are well-conceived,” but urges the services to look through a lens of how its priorities measure up in Multi-Domain Operations — a concept under development that will grow into its key warfighting doctrine. Spoehr also warns the Army's leaders that there needs to be a balance “of the lure of technology with the necessity" to buy new equipment. The service is steadfastly marching down a path to modernize and develop its capability in Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the network, air-and-missile defense and soldier lethality, in order of importance. But Spoehr is proposing to drop NGCV and FVL to the bottom of the list because they would serve less effective roles when carrying out operations in an environment where territory is well defended against enemies like Russia and China. “The need for long-range precision fires and a precision-strike missile with a range of 310 km, for example, is grounded in the need to strip away Russian surface-to-air missile batteries and gain access,” Spoehr writes. “The linkages of other programs and initiatives are not as obvious and would benefit from an Army effort to make the connections either more explicit or reconsider requirements.” Spoehr points out that it's not clear, for example, how a Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and a Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft “might survive against near-peer sophisticated integrated air defense capabilities like the Russian's capable Pantsir-S1 SA-22 system. “Even if the aircraft's speed is doubled or tripled, it will not outrun the Pantsir's 9M335 missile,” he writes. “Nowhere in the MDO concept is a compelling case made for the use of Army aviation, combined with a relative youth of Army aviation fleets,” he adds. Instead, Spoehr said, the priorities “should be based on an evaluation of current versus required capabilities, assessed against the capability's overall criticality to success, and all tied to a future aim point-2030, by a force employing MDO doctrine.” This means, he argues, that the Army's network should be prioritized just below LRPF, followed by AMD and soldier lethality. Ranked at number five and six would be NGCV and FVL, respectively. According to Spoehr, “nothing has come forward to suggest that there is a technological advancement that will make a next generation of combat vehicles significantly better.” Additionally, the Army should not try to force the key requirement of making its Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle replacement — the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle — robotically operated or autonomous until the network matures to support the capability, the report notes. The Army needs a network “that is simple, reliable and less fragile than its current systems,” Spoehr says. “These capabilities may need to come at the expense of capacity,” which the Army appears to be doing, he notes. Spoehr also suggests that the Army invest less in hypersonic offensive capability and more in defensive capability. But ensuring effective modernization of the force and avoiding past failures is just as much a management challenge as it is overcoming technological and cost hurdles. One of the phenomena Spoehr observed during his time serving in the military, particularly at the Pentagon, is what he calls “groupthink,” where those who spend time together begin to think alike and make decisions without those around them questioning actions. Additionally, subordinates tend to avoid disagreeing with those in charge. Groupthink has been the culprit when it comes to major failure in development and acquisition programs in the past, so the Army should “zealously promote critical thinking and avoid groupthink,” Spoehr writes. The service should “promote a free and open dialogue in journals and forums” and “exercise caution when senior leaders endorse specific system attributes or requirements to avoid closing down discussion.” The report acknowledges that the Army “is making a concerted effort to change to meet the future,” such as standing up AFC and aligning its future doctrine with materiel solutions more closely. It's important the Army keep sight of what it's actually trying to do with its future capability, the report warns. “Rather than seeking to match and exceed each of our adversary's investments, the Army must focus on enabling its own operational concepts and seeking answers to tough operational and tactical problems,” it states. Elsewhere in the overarching analysis, Spoehr recommends growing the force, as well ensuring its effective modernization to include roughly 50 Brigade Combat Teams and an end-strength of at least 540,000 active soldiers. He suggests reducing investment in infantry brigade combat teams in favor of armored BCTs, but also to keep capability to fight in a counter-insurgency environment as well, such as keeping the Security Force Assistance Brigades. The third such formation is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. The Army also needs to grow faster and must find ways to resolve recent problems with recruiting, Spoehr said, recommending that the service grow at a rate faster than 2,000 regular Army soldiers per year. And force allocation should also be reconsidered, Spoehr argues, recommending that the Army should create a new field headquarters in Europe and, when appropriate, do so in the Indo-Pacific. Overall, “the task for the Army is no less than to develop a force capable of deterring and defeating aggression by China and Russia, while also remaining prepared to deal with other regional adversaries (Iraq and North Korea), violent extremist organizations, and other unforeseen challenges,” Spoehr said. What's hard for the Army is that it lacks “the certainty of a single principal competitor” — the Soviet Union in 1980s, during the last buildup, for example, he noted. Because of the complicated global environment, Spoehr advocates for the Army to shift from thinking about a 20-year lead time for new, transformative capabilities and instead take a constant iterative and evolutionary approach to building the force. Under AFC, the Army is attempting to do just that. The Army can't wait “until the future is clear before acting,” he adds. “When dealing with a 1-million-person organization, equipping, training, and leader development typically takes at least a decade to make any substantive change,” Spoehr said. “The Army must therefore make bets now to remain a preeminent land power.”

  • Technologies That Will Shape The Future

    8 août 2019 | Information, Aérospatial

    Technologies That Will Shape The Future

    Graham Warwick Ubiquitous Drones Precision agriculture, infrastructure inspection, construction, real estate, aerial photography—using small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is already an everyday reality in many markets and in a regulatory environment that strictly limits how they can be used. As the FAA releases its first regulations for small UAS, or drones—rules years in the making—it is already under pressure to move quickly in allowing their use to expand beyond the initial limits of daylight, visual-line-of-sight operations to flight beyond line of sight and at night. Once permitted to fly beyond the operator's line of sight, small UAS of less than 55 lb. gross weight are expected to meet the bulk of the near-term demand for commercial unmanned aircraft. The market looks set to be dominated by a “drones as a service” business model, with customers wanting data. Next in line could be deliveries by UAS—consumer packages in cities or medical supplies in disaster zones—but this requires a means of enabling safe and efficient access to low-altitude airspace by multiple aircraft, unmanned and manned. NASA is pursuing this under its UAS Traffic Management research project. Ultra-High Bypass Commercial aircraft turbofans are getting bigger. Larger fans and higher bypass ratios mean greater propulsive efficiency and lower fuel consumption. Turbofans entering service in the early 2020s will have bypass ratios of 15-20, compared with 10-12.5 for the latest engines. But their increased size will force changes in wing and landing-gear design and, potentially, aircraft layout and engine location. Research is biased toward future turbofans being geared, for larger fans; but ultimately nacelle drag and weight will set a limit on their diameter. Open-rotor engines remain an option if demand for reductions in fuel consumption and emissions require even higher bypass ratios. Concerns with the airport noise and aircraft safety implications of open rotors remain to be fully allayed, but work continues. Laminar Flow Over the evolution of aircraft design, aerodynamics have improved continuously but seldom dramatically. The search for future increases in fuel efficiency, however, could lead to significant changes in aerodynamic design including more slender, flexible wings; natural laminar flow and active flow control; and unconventional configurations. Laminar flow reduces drag, but requires wings with tight tolerances that are difficult to achieve in manufacturing and smooth surfaces that are hard to keep free of contamination in service. But the potential for significant drag reduction has researchers in Europe and the U.S. developing ways to manufacture and maintain laminar-flow wings on airliners that could enter service by 2030. More slender and flexible wings will reduce drag and weight but require new structural and control technologies to avoid flutter. Techniques under development include passive aeroelastic tailoring of the structure using directionally biased composites or metallic additive manufacturing, and active control of the wing's movable surfaces to alleviate maneuver and gust loads and suppress flutter. High-speed cruise is a focus for aerodynamic improvement; another is high lift at low speed and potential use of compliant or morphing surfaces to adapt wing shape while reducing the noise and drag generated by conventional slats and flaps. Active flow control could also increase takeoff and landing performance, reduce noise and, NASA/Boeing tests show, increase rudder effectiveness for a smaller tail. Space Exploration Where humans are headed next in space may still be up for debate, but the technology steps required are becoming clearer. For the U.S., they begin with NASA's development of the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew vehicle to send astronauts and equipment into deep space. SLS and Orion are scheduled to fly together in 2018 on an unmanned test flight around the Moon and back. A manned flight around the same loop is planned between 2021 and 2023. Both spacecraft are cornerstones of NASA plans to reach Mars with humans in the mid-2030s. As its launch vehicle and crew capsule mature, NASA plans to shift its human space focus from low Earth orbit to cislunar activities. These could include tests of an in-space habitat in orbit around the Moon, or at the Earth-Moon Lagrangian point, where astronauts can practice for the 200-day transit to Mars. With NASA's help, Elon Musk's SpaceX plans a private “Red Dragon” mission in 2018 to land a modified Dragon commercial capsule on Mars. Musk wants to fly to Mars on all subsequent launch windows, which come every 26 months, and land humans on the planet as early as 2025. The U.S. will not have space to itself as it pushes beyond low Earth orbit. China plans to launch its second orbiting laboratory in 2016, in preparation for a permanent space station to be completed in 2022, and wants to put astronauts on the Moon by 2036. India also has ambitions to fly humans there, but its first manned spaceflight is not expected before 2021. Teams and Swarms Many current military unmanned aircraft are costly and complex to operate, requiring significant manpower and mission preplanning. But advances in autonomy could unlock the power of lower-cost vehicles operating collaboratively in swarms or in teams with other aircraft, both unmanned and manned. The Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office is planning near-term fielding of 3-D-printed micro-UAS that are launched from flare dispensers on fighters to form swarms and conduct surveillance in contested airspace or overwhelm an adversary's defenses. Using more than 30 tube-launched Raytheon Coyotes, the Office of Naval Research is testing swarms of cooperating autonomous small UAS to measure their effectiveness in gathering intelligence, drawing enemy fire or jamming their defenses. As it looks for ways to penetrate and survive in heavily defended airspace, the Air Force Research Laboratory is pursuing demonstrations of both affordable, limited-life unmanned strike aircraft and autonomous air vehicles that act as “loyal wingmen” to manned fighters, carrying additional sensors and weapons. DARPA is developing methods of airborne launch and recovery of swarming UAS, and software to enable unmanned aircraft to collaborate with minimal human supervision. As a result of research programs such as these, the next generation of combat aircraft, planned to enter service in the U.S. and Europe in 2030-40, is expected to be a system of systems—a manned fighter controlling a fleet of cooperating UAS with different mission capabilities. Remaking Manufacturing The potential of additive manufacturing, better known as 3-D printing, has almost every industry in its grip, from food to chemicals. Aerospace is embracing additive cautiously because of the safety and reliability implications, but even so, applications are expanding at a rate unheard of for aviation. As a manufacturing technology, 3-D printing established its foothold with polymers, which the aircraft industry has been able to use for rapid prototyping and some flyable low-strength parts. But the real growth in adoption is coming with the maturing of metal additive-manufacturing processes. Aerospace manufacturing involves removing a lot of metal from formed pieces, and additive promises dramatic reductions in the “buy-to-fly” ratios—the weight of the raw material versus that of the finished part—for expensive materials such as lightweight, high-strength titanium and nickel alloys. First, industry must convince itself and airworthiness authorities that 3-D-printed parts are as good as those manufactured by conventional means, preferably better. This is happening, with GE Aviation additively manufacturing fuel nozzles, and Avio Aero making titanium-aluminide turbine blades for turbofans. These initial production parts are made using lasers or electron beams to melt metal powder. Aircraft structures involve larger parts and that means breaking “out of the box” created by the working volumes of powder-bed machines. Laser wire deposition enables larger components and is entering production. Additive manufacturing already allows part designs to be optimized to use less material, for lower cost and weight. With time, it will permit the microstructure of the material to be controlled throughout a part to maximize its performance. Eventually it will allow entirely new materials to be tailored. Spacecraft with additively manufactured parts are already operational, and Silicon Valley startup Made in Space is pursuing the potential for 3-D printing in space itself—to manufacture spacecraft structures such as reflectors, trusses or optical fibers for terrestrial communications. Controls and Displays From “steam” gauges developed by watchmakers to cathode ray tubes used in televisions to liquid crystal displays used in laptops, flight decks have taken advantage of technologies developed for wider commercial markets, adapting and ruggedizing them for use in aircraft. That is happening again as the consumer world embraces wearable technology. The first step is the development of head-mounted, near-to-eye displays that could ultimately replace head-up displays (HUD)—as the helmet-mounted display already has done onLockheed Martin's F-35 fighter. Elbit Systems and Thales are developing head-mounted displays for commercial aircraft as a lower-cost alternative to HUDs, particularly in smaller cockpits. Elbit's SkyLens wearable display is targeted for certification in 2017 on ATR regional turboprops. NASA and European researchers are experimenting with augmented reality using head-worn displays and sensors to detect and avoid hazards. Introduced in business aircraft, touch screens are moving to airliners with the Rockwell Collins displays for the Boeing 777-X, and avionics manufacturers are looking at speech recognition as a next step to reduce cockpit workload. Honeywell is experimenting with brain-activity monitoring to sense when a pilot is overloaded or his/her attention is wandering—with the potential to control flight-deck functions. Fly-by-wire is making its way into smaller aircraft, bringing flight-envelope protection, and this will accelerate with future electric light aircraft. The FAA believes advanced flight controls will emerge with automated takeoff and landing, “refuse-to-crash” hazard avoidance, 4-D flightpath management and “iPad-intuitive” displays that require fewer pilot-specific skills. Commercial Space With cargo deliveries moving forward and crew flights to begin by 2018, NASA is well on its way to establishing a commercial transportation infrastructure to low Earth orbit. For now, the only destination on this railroad to space is the International Space Station (ISS), but more will come. Assembled in orbit over 16 years and operated by a partnership of the U.S., Canada, Japan, Russia and 11 member states of the European Space Agency, the ISS is planned to remain operational to 2024. But entrepreneurs are looking at using the space outpost as a starting point for commercial stations. Fledgling private-sector activity is already underway on the ISS, notably NanoRacks using it as a launch platform for commercial cubesats delivered to orbit in bulk via cargo vehicle. In a next step, a prototype of Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable habitat has been berthed to the station for two years of testing. Bigelow is in negotiations with NASA to add a full-scale expandable habitat to the ISS, offering 330 m³ (12,000 ft.³) of internal space for commercial operations, and plans to have the first of two modules ready for launch in 2020. The company sees in-orbit satellite manufacturing as a promising application. Startup Axiom Space plans a small commercial station that, like Bigelow's B330, would start out as a module attached to the ISS. It would stay berthed to the station until a second module with solar arrays and propulsion arrives to take it to a lower-inclination orbit better suited to commercial launches. Axiom's aluminum habitat would be based on the ISS's existing modules, but the company has a long-term vision of building, within a generation, a free-flying “space city” reminiscent of the wheeled space station in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” slowly rotating to generate artificial gravity at the rim. Autonomy Unleashed Progress with driverless-car technology has rekindled long-held hopes that flying can be made simpler, opening access to personal air travel as a viable alternative to road transport, particularly in gridlocked urban areas. Unmanned aviation is expected to lead the way in developing the required automated flight control and airspace management technologies, along with the sensors and algorithms needed to autonomously avoid hazards and collisions with other aircraft. Several startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere have begun developing vehicles targeting the “on-demand mobility” market that NASA and others see emerging from the convergence of electric propulsion, autonomy, communication and perception technologies. Air taxis with simplified controls that nonpilots can use, or fully autonomous passenger-carrying aircraft, have significant acceptance and certification hurdles to overcome, along with issues such as energy efficiency or community noise, and remain years away. Assembly Unchained Carbon-fiber composites have reduced the weight and increased the performance of aircraft but have made them harder to produce, as the material is made simultaneously with the part. As manufacturers look ahead to future aircraft that can be built at higher rates with lower cost, a focus is on taking labor and time out of composites production. Automation is a major drive, and automated fiber placement is already displacing manual layup and automated tape laying where economically feasible. A next step, taken on the carbon-fiber wing of Bombardier's C Series, is to lay up easier-to-handle dry fiber, then inject it with resin during curing. Unlike resin-impregnated, or prepreg, carbon fiber, dry fiber does not require temperature-controlled storage and can be used to make complex preforms that are then resin transfer-molded. Skins can be integrated and cocured with ribs, stringers and other features to simplify assembly. Manufacturers want to get rid of expensive “monument” tooling that can act as bottlenecks in production, and that includes the autoclaves now used for curing. Out-of-autoclave composites that can be cured on the production line in vacuum bags and mobile ovens are gaining ground. But design and process advances are required to minimize the dimensional variability inherent in composite laminates, which is essential if the labor-intensive assembly of complex structures is to be automated and intermediate steps such as machining and shimming of joints eliminated. New design tools, manufacturing simulation software, process controls, tooling concepts and robotic manufacturing technologies are coming together—in research programs such as Europe's Locomachs—that promise significant reductions in cost and time for producing composite structures. Adaptive Engines Aviation propulsion has been through two transformations: from propellers to jets and from turbojets to turbofans. A third is underway, in the form of adaptive or variable-cycle engines. Where a turbofan has two streams of air—one flowing through and one bypassing the core—an adaptive-cycle engine has three. The fan can adapt to pump more air through the core for higher thrust or through the bypass ducts for higher efficiency and lower fuel burn, while providing more air to cool aircraft systems. General Electric and Pratt & Whitney have each been awarded $1 billion contracts to develop 45,000-lb.-thrust-class adaptive engines to power the next generation of U.S. fighters. Ground tests are to begin in 2019, and both engines could fly competitively in Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the early 2020s. Three-stream turbofans could also power future supersonic commercial transports, providing the combination of thrust, fuel economy and low airport noise required to meet environmental targets. New Shapes The conventional tube-and-wing aircraft has served aviation well, but researchers looking 20-40 years into the future see limits to the configuration's ability to continue delivering efficiency improvements. One is where to put the engines as bypass ratios and nacelle diameters increase. Another is how to keep driving down noise so that it can be entirely contained within the boundaries of the airport. Researchers are studying alternative locations allowing larger engine diameters—above the wing and on the tail—and where the airframe can provide some shielding of fan and/or jet noise. Aft-mounted engines would also permit a clean wing for drag-reducing laminar flow. Another variation on today's layout is the truss-braced wing, allowing a much longer span and higher aspect ratio for lower drag. Moving farther from the conventional are designs with turbofans, or electric propulsors, embedded in the tail where they ingest the fuselage boundary layer and reenergize the aircraft wake to reduce drag. Examples are the Aurora Flight Sciences/Massachusetts Institute of Technology “double-bubble” D8 being studied for NASA and the Propulsive Fuselage concept developed by Germany's Bauhaus Luftfahrt. More unconventional yet are the blended or hybrid wing body (BWB/HWB), a flying wing with increased aerodynamic and structural efficiency. Some remain skeptical of the design's suitability for passengers, but the HWB is a promising freighter/airlifter configuration. Turbofans, open rotors or distributed propulsors can be mounted above the fuselage, where the broad airframe provides significant shielding. High Speed After decades of on-again, off-again development, air-breathing hypersonic propulsion is tantalizingly close to being fielded in the form of high-speed cruise missiles. But much research remains before aircraft can accelerate from runways to beyond Mach 5 on air-breathing engines, for surveillance or strike missions or to lift payloads or passengers into low Earth orbit on reusable first stages. Recent Chinese and Russian hypersonic weapon tests have added urgency to DARPA and U.S. Air Force plans to fly the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept demonstrator by 2020. This is a follow-on to the Boeing X-51 WaveRider scramjet engine demonstrator flown in 2010-13 and the precursor to an operational Mach 5-plus long-range cruise missile. As a next step, DARPA has resurrected plans to ground-test a turbine-based combined-cycle engine coupling a turbojet to a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet, all sharing the same inlet and nozzle, enabling air-breathing operation from standstill to hypersonic cruise. Such a propulsion system is required for the unmanned “SR-72” Lockheed Martin proposes flying in the 2020s. Space access vehicles could use a powerplant such as Reaction Engines' SABRE, which operates in both air-breathing and rocket modes. Inside the atmosphere, incoming air is precooled by a heat exchanger and burned with liquid hydrogen in the rocket. Outside the atmosphere, SABRE operates as a conventional rocket. Reaction Engines plans a full-scale ground demo in 2020. In-Space Propulsion As deep space beckons human exploration, the limitations of chemical propulsion are pushing other technologies to the fore. One of these is solar electric propulsion (SEP), long seen as key to taking humans to Mars. Because of the long flight times, Mars exploration strategies involve prepositioning infrastructure on the planet's surface for use by astronauts when they arrive. SEP-powered vehicles would slowly but efficiently accelerate large payloads into Martian orbit for eventual landing. With high-power solar arrays driving electric thrusters, SEP systems are much weaker than chemical thrusters but up to 10 times more efficient. This dramatically reduces the propellant required and therefore the launch mass, making it practical to send large payloads to Mars. NASA plans to demonstrate SEP on a robotic asteroid sampling mission in 2021, but the first flight could propel a large Mars orbiter scheduled for launch in 2022. Once in orbit, the solar arrays used for propulsion would power a ground-penetrating radar to search for water below the surface. Astronauts need faster transit times, but a return mission will still take more than three years with the best chemical propulsion. With the ability to generate high thrust with double the efficiency of chemical propulsion, a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) could cut that time significantly. An NTR heats liquid hydrogen to high temperature in a nuclear reactor and expands it through a rocket nozzle to create thrust. Funding permitting, NASA hopes to ground-test a small NTR in 2022-24 and flight-test an engine on a lunar flyby demonstration within 10 years. Cockpit Visions Synthetic and enhanced vision systems (SVS/EVS) that enable pilots to land in poor visibility are common on larger business jets. Now they are coming together in combined vision systems (CVS) that are being targeted at airlines to improve pilot situational awareness and schedule reliability. EVS uses a forward-looking infrared (IR) sensor to augment the pilot's view of the outside world, usually projected in a head-up display (HUD). SVS uses a digital database to create a virtual representation of the outside world, usually presented on a head-down display, but it can be combined with EVS on the HUD. EVS has evolved, with the development of lower-cost uncooled and multispectral sensors that range from long-wave IR to optical wavelength. Elbit Systems' ClearVision system has six sensors including short-wave IR and visible light and is being expanded to detect other hazards, such as volcanic ash. Longer-term, sensors and systems developed to enable unmanned aircraft to autonomously detect and avoid other traffic are expected to find their way onto the flight decks of manned aircraft, fixed- and rotary-wing, to help pilots operate in the increasingly complex and diverse airspace of the future. Supersonics Civil aircraft development continues to focus on increasing fuel efficiency at subsonic speed, but there is a resurgence of interest in flying faster. NASA research into minimizing sonic boom looks set to remove one of the major barriers to economically and environmentally viable supersonic transports, but work on reducing airport noise and improving cruise efficiency is still needed. NASA plans to fly an X-plane, the Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST), in 2019 to demonstrate that a publicly acceptable level of sonic boom can be achieved through careful shaping of the aircraft. Community response data collected during QueSST flights should pave the way for regulators to remove the ban on civil supersonic flights over land. Some manufacturers are not waiting—Aerion Corp., for example, seeing a near-term market for a supersonic business jet. But Gulfstream, Boeing and others view quietening the sonic boom to a “soft thump” of 75 PLdB versus Concorde's 105 PLdB “double bang”—a 20-fold reduction—as a prerequisite for the economic viability of a business jet or small supersonic airliner. Studies continue into hypersonic airliners able to fly from London to Sydney in 2 hr. but are paced by the need to develop propulsion systems that can operate with the safety, reliability and efficiency required for commercial viability. The military, and potentially the suborbital and reusable launch industry, will lead in developing the technology, but it will take decades. Electric Dreams Still in its infancy, electric propulsion attracts interest and skepticism in equal amounts. All-electric power is already feasible for light aircraft, with today's lithium-ion batteries, but anything larger will likely have hybrid propulsion—ranging from using diesel engines or small turbines as range extenders to turboelectric generators driving distributed fans via cryogenically cooled superconducting systems. All-electric two-seater trainers are on the market. Hybrid-electric four seaters are on the horizon. NASA sees the next step, by the early 2020s, as a nine-passenger “thin-haul” commuter aircraft to restore air service to small communities. Researchers in both Europe and the U.S. believe a hybrid-electric airliner smaller than 100 seats is possible by 2030. But significant improvements in energy storage will be required. While electric power provides a path to zero emissions using renewable energy sources, it also enables novel aircraft configurations in which distributed propulsion synergistically couples with aerodynamics. These range from multirotor, vertical-takeoff-and-landing air taxis to large transports in which embedded electric propulsors ingest the boundary layer and reenergize the aircraft's wake to reduce drag. Altitude Advantage Anticipated improvements in platform and payload capabilities will enable small unmanned aircraft to enter many of the emerging low-altitude markets, from infrastructure inspection to package delivery, but commercial requirements for larger, more capable platforms are expected to materialize. One of these is for high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft able to stay aloft in the stratosphere for days or weeks to provide internet access in remote regions, restore communications and navigation after disasters or perform remote sensing more affordably and responsively than satellites. Facebook and Google are developing solar-powered stratospheric UAS, and Europe is pursuing two approaches to such high-altitude“pseudo-satellites”: Airbus Defense and Space's Zephyr S UAV is able to stay aloft for more than two weeks, and Thales Alenia Space's StratoBus autonomous airship for a year. Zephyr will enter service in 2017, and the heavier-payload StratoBus could follow by 2020.

  • Drones R&D Portfolio and Opportunity Analysis Report 2019 -

    30 juillet 2019 | Information, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Drones R&D Portfolio and Opportunity Analysis Report 2019 -

    DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Drones: R&D Portfolio and Opportunity Analysis" report has been added to's offering. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are finding application opportunities in various industries and have the potential to transform military as well as consumer applications. Drones essentially combine various sensing and communication technologies along with remote control or autonomous capabilities. Drones were initially developed for military purposes, which is still the most prominent application of this technology. However, with substantial decrease in the cost of individual components, drones are poised to impact multiple industries in various capacities. Drones for commercial applications represent a market that is entering the growth phase. Military drones have been around for some time, but commercial drones enable diverse applications to benefit because various stakeholders will experience high growth in the near term. Drone technology is an example of convergence of various technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, analytics and so on, that enables greater connectivity by acting as a carrier for the Internet. Key Questions Answered in the Technology and Innovation Report 1. What is the significance of drones? 2. What are the technology trends and key enabling technologies? 3. What are the factors that influence technology development and adoption? 4. Who are the key innovators driving developments? 5. What are the opportunities based on patent and funding trends? 6. What are the future prospects of the technology? 7. What sort of strategies do OEMs need to embrace to gain entry and sustain in the competitive marketplace? Key Topics Covered: 1. Executive Summary 1.1 Scope of the Technology and Innovation Research 1.2 Research Methodology 1.3 Research Methodology Explained 1.4 Summary of Key Findings 2. Drone - Technology Significance and Trends 2.1 Technology Significance and Classification of Drones 2.2 Drone Types, Benefits and Applications 2.3 Current Trends Boosting the Drone Market 2.4 Drone Technology - Industry Value Chain Analysis 3. Factors Influencing Technology and Market Potential 3.1 Market Drivers: Growing Trend Toward Fully Autonomous Drones and IoT 3.2 Demand for Fully Autonomous Drones and Big Data Analytics Expected to Increase in the Future 3.3 Market Challenges: Stringent Regulatory Environment and Lack of Business Models Restrict Wider Adoption of Drones 3.4 Stringent Regulatory Environment and High Investment Cost are Key Challenges 3.5 Market Potential and Market Attractiveness of Drones 4. Application Assessment - Key Trending Applications 4.1 Key Trending Applications of Drones 4.2 Key Applications - Military & Defense, Emergency Response & Disaster Management and Urban Planning 4.3 Key Applications - Healthcare, Agriculture, Waste Management 4.4 Key Applications - Mining, Telecommunication, and Media 4.5 Drone Application Significance and Advantages 5. Global Patent Landscape, Funding, and Regional Adoption Assessment 5.1 Drone - Global Patent Trend Analysis 5.2 Funding Trends Shows High Interest from Government for Healthcare and Homeland Security Applications 5.3 Funding Boosts Growth Opportunities in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Sector 5.4 Drone Adoption Assessment in North America 5.5 Drone Adoption Assessment in Europe 5.6 Drone Adoption Analysis in APAC 6. Key Innovations, Technology Developments and Megatrend Impacts 6.1 Innovations in Drone Flight Technologies 6.2 Developments in Drone Features and Applications 6.3 Advancements in Technologies Enabling Fully Autonomous Drones 6.4 Key Stakeholder Initiatives and Developments 6.5 University-based Innovations Enabling Drone Applications 6.6 Megatrends that Influence the Drone Industry 7. Growth Opportunities, Future Trends and Strategic Imperatives 7.1 Drone Technology Development Trends 7.2 Policy Regulations and Economic Factors Influencing Drone Industry - PESTLE Analysis 7.3 Growth Opportunities - Fully Automated Drone Delivery and Monitoring Systems 7.4 Strategic Imperative Analysis 7.5 Key Questions for Strategic Planning 8. Synopsis of Key Patents in the Drone Sector 8.1 Key Patents - Drone Collision Avoidance and Delivery Systems 8.2 Key Patents - Swarm Drones and Networked Drones 8.3 Key Patents - Drone Network Delivery System and Detection 8.4 Key Patents - Optical Recognition System and Printed Can Lid 9. Key Industry Contacts For more information about this report visit

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