Defensive swarm: an agent-based modeling analysis
Padgett, Nathan E.
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Security at remote military bases is a difficult, yet critical, mission. Remote locations are generally closer to enemy combatants and farther from supporting forces; the individuals charged with defending the bases do so with less equipment. These locations are also usually reliant on air-resupply missions to maintain mission readiness and effectiveness. This thesis analyzes how swarms of small autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could assist in defensive operations. To accomplish this, I created an agent-based computer simulation model, which creates a tactical problem (enemies attempting to attack or infiltrate a notional base) that a swarm of UAVs attempts to defend against. Results indicate that a swarm can effectively deter 95% of attackers if each UAV is responsible for covering no more than 0.18 square miles and at least 40% of the UAVs are armed. I conclude that UAVs are an excellent addition to base defense and are particularly helpful at remote outposts with less organic capability (limited field of view, defensive assets, etc.). While this research deals specifically with countering a threat to a central base, the algorithms for swarm dynamics could be applied to future problems in mobile convoy or aircraft defense, and even peacetime applications like search and rescue.
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