Saturday, April 20, 2024

US Air Force tests drone mesh network

Easy Aerial, a leading drone technology company, has recently demonstrated its capabilities at the Wings Over Solano airshow, marking significant progress in the integration of legacy systems for Project BOAR at Travis Air Force Base.

Project BOAR, spearheaded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is a pioneering initiative aimed at establishing a comprehensive drone mesh network capable of operating beyond visual line of sight. At the heart of this endeavor lies a tethered drone-in-a-box solution, pivotal in providing real-time sensor data to enhance traffic flow management and base security protocols. Through seamless API integration facilitated by AFRL’s servers, the command center gains the ability to task multiple drones simultaneously, ensuring enhanced operational efficiency.

As the second base to initiate a Project BOAR system test, Travis follows in the footsteps of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which hosted the first test case study in November 2023. These ongoing demonstrations serve to broaden the scope of Project BOAR’s capabilities, showcasing its potential in diverse operational scenarios.

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Kristen Barrera, AFRL’s Principal Research Psychologist and BOAR project lead, emphasized the significance of the recent showcase at the Wings Over Solano airshow. The integration of drone video and static video systems into the BOAR system provided a unified operating picture, enhancing situational awareness and operational effectiveness. Additionally, the successful execution of beyond-visual-line-of-sight launches represents a milestone achievement in advancing drone capabilities for enhanced surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Photo by Kenneth Abbate

The application of BOAR technologies extends beyond airshow demonstrations, as evidenced by its integration into the 2023 Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Real-time assessments facilitated by BOAR’s common operating picture played a crucial role in ensuring security and incident response during the marathon event, underscoring its versatility in diverse operational environments.

U.S. Air Force officials, including Lt. Col. Brian Trumble and BOAR project deputy lead Brandon Nolan, have acknowledged the transformative potential of Project BOAR in streamlining UxV (unmanned vehicles) operations across various mission domains. With the proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs), airspace management has become increasingly complex, necessitating innovative solutions to enhance coordination and efficiency.

Photo by Kenneth Abbate

As AFRL continues to refine and expand the capabilities of Project BOAR, it promises to revolutionize UxV operations, offering a centralized platform for planning, execution, and assessment across diverse mission profiles.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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