Looking Forward by ProQuest


Large video cameras (elee tro -optical (EO)), thermal imagers (infrared (IR)), near-infrared (near- IR) cameras, and synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) represent a large portion of what a UAV can carry. Ground units will know where improvi sed- explosive devices (IEDs) are, which vehicle was just driven, who was running away from the good guys, or who is acting out of the normal routine.

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									Looking Forward
By Capt. Andrew Tidball, USMC

              he VMU-2 Night Owls have “The Future            The longer on-station times, incorporated communica-
              of Marine Aviation” on the outside of our       tion and surveillance, as well as the lower cost of produc-
              building at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.             tion, are making UAVs a stronger option to accomplish all
              I believe UAVs are the future. We can           the missions required of today’s combat situations.
              provide real-time video and imagery of the          Large video cameras (electro-optical (EO)),
battlespace and deliver ordnance at a fraction of the         thermal imagers (infrared (IR)), near-infrared
cost of manned aviation. The only thing lacking from an       (near-IR) cameras, and synthetic-aperture radar
unmanned perspective is troop and cargo transport.            (SAR) represent a large portion of what a UAV can
    I am a pilot who loves to get out of the office and fly   carry. Most only have EO and IR cameras, similar to
helicopters—I love the feeling of being in the clouds. I      a forward-looking-infrared (FLIR) camera or a Sony
understand, however, the resistance from the manned-          HandyCam. The ability to “see” how warm an object
aviation community about UAV integration into the             is, where the temperature difference is, or the real
airspace, whether CONUS or otherwise; airspace control        color of the “blue” bongo truck can save lives. Ground
hasn’t been proven to be reliable enough. Or has it? The      units will know where improvised-explosive devices
VMU community has not had a Clas
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