How Drone Swarm System Works | What is Drone Swarm ?

Small aircraft operated either by itself or using remote control is known as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drone. Large number of drones flying in coordinated process is known as drone swarm. This page describes Drone Swarm system basics and mentions how Drone Swarm System Works.

There are number of applications of drone swarm system as mentioned below.
• Stage entertainment • Hobbyist war games • Search and rescue • Spot spraying • Animal herding • Providing wifi coverage • National security • Delivery of goods • Space exploration

What is Drone Swarm ?

Drone Swarm

As mentioned earlier, drone swarm refers to multiple drones flying similar to flock of birds in order to perform coordinated tasks. The drone swarm system either can be remotely controlled or they are self controlled based on automation algorithm built during their development.

A single operator from the ground can control hundreds of drones which can fly hundreds of Kms. They have capabilities to carry payloads of 1 Kg each. They can spend about an hour on target mission. We have seen large number of organisms moving without losing direction and without hitting obstacles or each other. This common natural flocking phenomenon have also been observed in birds, fishes, insects etc. The same flocking behaviour has been explored by the development of drone swarm system.

The figure-1 is one of the image of micro drone swarm released using aircraft by US military. Such drone systems are being used to target enemy locations as well as for surveillance purposes by defense forces. Military drone swarm systems may incorporate drones which are equipped with anti-radiation and anti-jamming weapons. This system can easily blocks hypersonic missiles. Such Swarn system can also be equipped with chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear detectors in order to provide security to the nation.

How Drone Swarm System Works

Drone Swarm System
Image Courtesy: ResearchGate

There are two main types of drone swarm system viz. manual and automatic. Manual system requires monitoring and control of drones using either control center or remote controller device. Automatic system of drones adopt themselves based on complex algorithms designed. The figure-2 depicts two major parts of manual drone swarm system viz. drone swarm in the air and control center on the ground. Realtime communication between drones and control center is very essential. There are two ways the communication between ground and air bound drones can be realized viz. speech and text.

Each drone in automatic system is separately programmed to follow specific flight path. One of the assumption in this system is that all drones in flock fly in the same direction and follow same average position. In such system, drones can self organize based on the designed algorithm and communications from other drones. Based on communication during flight, they can respond to changing conditions automatically. In this way, they can exhibit flocking behaviour like birds or insects.

Latest technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Big data and IoT (Internet of Things) will help drone swarm system to perform effectively and efficiently as desired. Drone swarm technology is widely explored by various contries such as CHina, India, USA in various sectors for benefits of mankind. Refer advantages (i.e. benefits) and disadvantages (i.e. drawbacks) of Drone Swarm System➤ for more information.

Drone Learning resources

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Also refer IoT compliant sensors which includes ambient light sensor, optical sensor, gesture sensor, proximity sensor, touch sensor, fingerprint sensor etc.
Refer Sensors and transducers article which covers types, basic functions and provide links to sensors and transducers. It include temperature sensor, humidity sensor, strain sensor, proximity or occupancy sensor, force or load sensor, voltage and current sensor, pressure sensor, speed sensor, resistance sensor, power sensor, level sensor, event or state sensor etc.

Sensors and Transducers Related Links

Proximity Sensor   Occupancy Sensor vs Motion Sensor   LVDT and RVDT sensor   Position, displacement and level sensor   force sensor and strain sensor   temperature sensor   pressure sensor   Humidity sensor   MEMS sensor   Touch sensor   Haptic sensor   Wireless sensor

RF and Wireless Terminologies