Profile image
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

The sound of 103 micro drones launched from an F/A-18 will give you nightmares

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:12
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The sound of 103 micro drones launched

from an F/A-18 will give you nightmares.

Perdix Micro-UAV Drone Swarm


By Dyllan Furness — Posted on January 11, 2017 10:00 am
The United States military successfully launched what it’s calling “one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms” in October. At a test site in California, the 103 Perdix drones released from three F/A-18 Super Hornets demonstrated sophisticated swarming behaviors, including collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing, according to a Department of Defense press release. The feat is one of the most significant tests of the military’s autonomous flying systems, and was documented in a “60 Minutes” segment Sunday. The DoD shared a video of the test online, and from the ground the sound is terrifying.

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), said in a press release. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

The DoD likens the swarm’s behavior to that of a sports team running a coach’s play, in that the swarm responds to specific instructions but decides itself how best to perform the mission. However, unlike most sports teams, their is no single leader among the Perdix swarm, so the drones can adapt to missions regardless of changes in numbers.

Perdix drones are inexpensive and small — with a wingspan under 12 inches — making them attractive for the Pentagon’s swarming missions. Meanwhile, new technologies and modifications made by engineers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory have equipped these systems with military capabilities once exclusive to larger and more expensive machines.

Last May, the Navy began tests on Low-Cost UAV Swarm Technology (LOCUST), which is capable of launching swarms of reconnaissance drones. The Perdix drones will serve similar surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance functions.

The SCO is now searching for companies that can rapidly produce 1,000 units this year.


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories


Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.