Ubemannet luftrom : teknologiinnspill til FS 07
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Although human operators are an indispensable element in military aviation today, they are allready partly dispensable in many functions. Indeed humans are becoming the limiting factor for further improvements in aerial vehicle performance. UAS – Unmanned Aircraft Systems – are systems that employ unmanned aerial vehicles, but are still manned systems. The removal of human operators from the vehicles themselves presents new conceptual and architectural possibilities to both civilian and military exploitation of the airspace. Existing systems occupy a wide range in system complexity, air vehicle cost, size, sophisication and performance. A great many new systems can be expected in the years to come, including, and perhaps especially interesting, micro air vehicles (MAV) and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). The motivations for developing and fielding UAS include performance improvements, cost savings, reduced political cost through elimination of aircrew losses, greater battlefield availability of airborne resources, and reduced risk of poor operator performance under stress and fatigue. The potentially great implications of the transition to unmanned aviation dictate an active involvement from an early stage. The greatest challenges to a leading position in the manned-to-unmanned transition stem from cultural inertia, scepticism towards venturing into unfamiliar technology and not least from the very great stress on budgets which is now experienced by the armed forces. In the long term, there is little doubt that unmanned aircraft systems will become prevalent.