On December 4th of 2011, a US intelligence gathering drone went down inside Iranian airspace. Although a drone going down in another country because of a mechanical failure would not normally cause a huge concern, this drone just happened to be a highly sophisticated RQ-170 drone with some of the latest military technologies built into it. It called into question ways in which we could keep this sensitive technology out of the hands of potential adversaries in the event of a mishap. Leave it to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to take the initiative on this project and get working on a technology that will help render drone technology useless to other unfriendly nations in the event of a crash or upon remote initiation of a destruction sequence.
Iranian government officials claimed that the drone was brought down over their territory by jamming both ground based and land based control systems to the aircraft. The Americans stated that it suffered a mechanical failure on routine patrol over Afghani airspace. Iranian authorities posted photos that showed the stealth like drone to be fully intact but the Americans said the drone appeared to have three cracks in it which showed that it was reassembled after crashing; either way, a large part of the drone and its technology would have remained largely intact and this technology could possibly have been compromised and, in turn, help advance Iran and their allies’ drone technology by leaps and bounds. Apparently, the Americans assessment of what happened to the drone is the truth because the new DARPA technology is based on what a drone does on impact, even just a light impact, in the event of a mishap.
The new technology is called ICARUS (Inbound Controlled Air-Releasable Unrecoverable Systems). It is named after the Mythological Greek character that flew too close to the sun and his wings, which were made of wax, melted. The theory behind this technology is to be able to produce low cost drones that will self-destruct once their mission is completed or for more sophisticated and expensive drones to be able to render their technology unrecoverable if they are shot down or crash over unfriendly territory. The drone self-destruct technology works by making the drones out of a special polymer that can be made to self-destruct on a molecular level when it is triggered to do so.
Why is this technology necessary? Well, it’s obvious that the use of drone technology is something that is becoming more and more relevant in the United States Military. We now have drone aircraft that function in roles such as reconnaissance, attack, defense and soon in vital resupply roles. As the technology evolves and is used more on these types of aircraft, it will be more important to safeguard that same technology even more. Hopefully DARPA will be able to continue developing this self-destructing drone technology so that it becomes standard equipment on US Military drones and helps keep sensitive drone technology out of the hands of those who might one day just use it against us.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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