Feasibility of the tactical UAV as a combat identification tool
Farmer, Michael P.
Welch, William J.
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Soldiers maneuvering on the 21st Century battlefield are issued state-of-the-art equipment. Despite this, the tools at their disposal to identify targets as being a Î²friendÎ³ or a Î²foeÎ³ have changed little since Operation Desert Storm. While improved optics on late model combat systems are extending gunnersÎ± abilities to identify targets at extended ranges, an optics-vs.- ballistics gap remains in the majority of U.S. Army ground maneuver forces. This gap, and other battlefield factors, increases the likelihood of fratricides in combat. This thesis examines the feasibility of using the ArmyÎ±s Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) as a combat identification (CID) tool for troops at the tactical level. Three scenarios were modeled and multiple simulations run to identify potential problems in using the TUAV as a CID tool, as well as ways to improve the system if it is used in this role. Model considerations included current and planned future datalink bandwidths, system delays, normal vs. immediate taskings, and travel times to mission areas. The thesis demonstrates that if TUAVs are properly integrated into tactical mission planning and imagery analysts possess the necessary level of vehicle identification training (to include thermal identification training), the TUAV can function well as a CID tool.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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