Teams from Georgia Tech Research Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School met in the barren hills of Camp Roberts — a training base for the California National Guard — last January to test their dogfighting skills. Or, rather, to test the dogfighting skills of their swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Each team sent 10 propeller-driven Zephyr drones skyward with instructions to attack any enemies encountered. Although the drones were physically identical, they used different autonomy logic and collaboration and communications software that had been developed by the two teams.
“The ability to engage a swarm of threat UAVs with another autonomous swarm is an area of critical research for defense applications,” Don Davis, division chief of GTRI’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Branch, told Georgia Tech News.