U.S. Department of Defence has now turned its focus to developing efficient drone technology to assist the U.S. soldiers on the battlefield. One such effort is to develop Short Range Reconnaissance drones, better known as SRR drones to aid the soldiers to get better situational awareness during their missions. The U.S. Government has sanctioned a fund of 11 million dollars to the development of SRR drones. This sanction will be shared among six companies selected by the U.S. Department of Defence. The six companies include Skydio, Altavian, Teal Drones, Vantage Robotics, and Lumenier which are all U.S. based companies and Parrot, which is a Paris-based company.
Short Range Reconnaissance Drones
The U.S. Army is looking for small and efficient drones, that can deliver highly enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities at a sufficiently low cost. These drones can help soldiers who embark on critical missions. They could be controlled remotely and can survey inaccessible areas, giving extensive situational awareness to the army men in unknown areas of the battlefield. This drone can also act as an ‘eye in the sky’ for ground forces, providing an indispensable awareness beyond the next terrain feature.
Specifications by the U.S. Department of Defence
The U.S. government has released the specifications that would have to be taken care of in the development of these systems. For instance, the drone would have to fly for thirty minutes straight on a single charge. The range of flight would be at least three kilometres. The officials demand that it should weigh less – around three pounds. Since the military is looking for a portable system, the drones should fit into a soldier’s standard-size rucksack, and it should not take more than two minutes to assemble the entire system and get it into operation.
Parrot is a commercial drone manufacturer that is a good competitor of China’s DJI. Due to the ongoing political tension between the U.S. and China, DJI was not selected for developing a prototype for the Short range Reconnaissance drones.