The threat of remote-operated drones is very real, and is finally being taken seriously.
Anduril’s family of systems designed to counter drone threats is run by the Lattice operating system and includes its Sentry tower and the small unmanned aerial system Anvil. The system also brings in “best-of-breed” third-party sensors and effectors “for a layered defensive approach,” according to the company.
The Lattice system is able to provide autonomous detection, classification and tracking of targets at the edge of the battlefield and alerts users to the detected threats. It also prompts users with solutions to engage and destroy the threats, the company described.
The Sentry tower is comprised of an onboard radar and optical sensors within embedded computing cores that can process data through machine-learning algorithms to detect, identify and track threats.
Daniel Suarez warned about this in his 2012 novel Kill Decision, effectively describing the entire scenario:
So the parent drone carries a spotter that it launches to confirm the presence of the target. The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim’s face-probably uses a cheap pocket camera face-detection chip to make a list of human faces that it compares with target photos it already has in memory.
“Where would it get my photo?”
“Facebook, LinkedIn, university profile. That’s a trivial problem.”
She watched in horror as the spotter drone suddenly projected a grid of hundreds of infrared dots across the interior of her cabin-across her very body-in a light spectrum she hadn’t seen as she lay in the darkness.
“Registration grid. Once the target is confirmed, it uses an IR laser to send a coded signal back to the parent, clearing it to attack. That’s how we knew when to make our move.”
McKinney saw her own form shining an LED flashlight beam out her screen that didn’t show up in infrared, but the video focused on the quadracopter spotter drone, which floated away. A bright light blinked rapidly on its back in a complex sequence.
“The spotter then moves to a safe distance to film the strike, confirm detonation of ordnance, fatalities, so on. ELINT suggests that it then connects to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot it can hijack to upload the video to a predetermined Web domain before the spotter also self-destructs...
(Read more about the Autonomous Assassination Drone
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