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Chinese Study Suggests Drone Camera Data as Targeting, Navigation Tech

unmanned aerial vehicle

Chinese researchers have proposed the use of camera data to steer an unmanned aerial vehicle toward a target in places where GPS is under attack.

In a study published in the journal Engineering, the researchers explained that a done can use its on board cameras to estimate the target’s position and how quickly it is moving. The technique can be employed in contested environments where signal jamming can render human-operated drones useless. 

While the U.S. military has been using drones that can fly across GPS-denied airspace for years, vision-based robots can see more sharply than ever, thanks to advances in computing, sensors and other related technologies.

Peter Singer, a technology expert and strategist at the New America think tank, told Defense One that the study reflects the growing reliance on artificial intelligence and autonomy to operate UAS.

“The days of a human joysticking a drone from afar, using an unchallenged control signal and easy access to GPS or StarLink, are on their way out. It was easy to see this trend before Ukraine; what is happening there only reinforces it,” Singer said.

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