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30 April 2009 PRISTA UAVs: from troop companion to troop replacement
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The role of ground based troops continues to expand as the nature of military missions and the focus of warfare changes. Localized conflicts waged in restricted areas have replaced large mechanized conflicts in open battle spaces. Extremely close range surveillance activities, often performed inside caves, buildings, or other structures, facilitate strikes that must be made with surgical precision. This type of proximate reconnaissance is a critical part of the new battlefront. To increase operational effectiveness and minimize collateral damage and loss of life among troops and noncombatants, there is a continuing effort within the military to improve PRISTA (Proximate reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition) capabilities. As the vast majority of inherently hazardous PRISTA missions are presently carried out by humans, there is an urgent need for a robotic tool which will enhance capabilities and reduce risk of injury. Ideally, this tool could eventually mature to perform the PRISTA missions on its own, replacing human troops in the field. The best candidate for this assignment within the field of currently available robotic assets would be a hover-capable UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). There are no other workable near term options for a robotic asset that can go almost everywhere that humans can go, and do almost everything that humans can do.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jon Maynell "PRISTA UAVs: from troop companion to troop replacement", Proc. SPIE 7332, Unmanned Systems Technology XI, 733205 (30 April 2009);

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