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UAV brings video surveillance to the battlefield

Published by Jennifer on May 1, 2007 3:36 PM

Warfare has evolved rapidly over the last 50 years - the advent of airplanes, submarines and atomic weapons has forever changed the way that wars are fought, and has made strategy, intelligence and espionage into essential battlefield weapons. One of the latest developments in this new, distant type of war? Unmanned aerial drones.

Unmanned vehicles have been used for a long time in research, reconnaissance, and information gathering. However, since the late 1990s, the US Department of Defense has started to take advantage of aerial drones and surveillance cameras in strategy and military decision making. One of the latest examples of this is in Eastern Afghanistan, where the US Army is using the Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to aid in complicated decision making.

The Shadow UAV is equipped with a high powered surveillance camera which is specially designed to detect enemy movements on the battlefield. Equipped with night and day vision capabilities, the Shadow has been proven to be extremely valuable in helping commanders devise critical strategies and locate enemies in a particularly rough and mountainous terrain.

Members of a special drone brigade are trained to communicate with the Shadow UAV via computer, assigning it tasks like inspecting a battlefield for enemies, checking potential routes for snow or ice blockage, or to preview the terrain to be covered in an upcoming mission.

While the Shadow UAV is an extremely complex electrical device, requiring extensive maintenance and repairs, it has proven itself as an extremely valuable tool in the battlefield and a weapon of war that will be used for years to come.