The Drones Finally Take Over
In May of 2016, I covered an obscure trade show put on by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International—AUVSI—in New Orleans. I spent the effort and money to do that because, at the time, it looked like drones were soon to become a significant part of aviation. While that’s true by degree, unmanned vehicles and their electric cousins, the urban air mobility contenders, haven’t quite potentiated. The civil use cases just aren’t there. Yet.
One of the most popular forums was a standing-room-only session on an emerging hot topic: counter-drone technology. It was biased toward military applications, but the civil aspect related to protecting airports from malicious drone attacks. A panel discussion suggested that “it” was coming, with it being a conflict in which UAVs or UCAVs, with the C standing for combat, would be decisive. And it would give weak militaries the ability to stymy stronger ones.
They were right. It did. But it didn’t happen in Iraq or…