Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft that carries no human pilot or passengers. UAVs — sometimes called “drones” — can be fully or partially autonomous but are more often controlled remotely by a human pilot. RAND research has contributed to the public discussion on the use of drones for warfare and surveillance.

  • Report

    Small Unmanned Aerial System Adversary Capabilities

    Mar 12, 2020

    It is difficult to detect, identify, classify, and—consequently—counter nefarious small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs), particularly in urban areas. As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security prepares for this potential threat, it will need to know the types of threat scenarios in which these systems could be used, which design elements are likely to be exploited by a nefarious actor, and which technologies and capabilities may be available in the near future.

  • Drone quadcopter over a background of binary code, photos by Kadmy/Adobe Stock and enot-poloskun/Getty Images; design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Report

    How to Analyze the Cyber Threat from Drones

    Mar 5, 2020

    Unmanned aerial systems—drones—have become more common, more readily available, and more sophisticated. And they have new capabilities, such as increased data collection and autonomous behavior. Their cybersecurity implications demand a coherent strategy.

Explore Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Report

    Report

    The Predator ACTD: A Case Study for Transition Planning to the Formal Acquisition Process

    The Predator ACTD: A Case Study for Transition Planning to the Formal Acquisition Process

    Jan 1, 1997

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Finding Needles in Haystacks: Enhancing Air Power's Contribution Against Light Infantry

    Discusses the challenges posed by light infantry opponents and presents new operational concepts that may help meet such challenges.

    Dec 31, 1995

  • Report

    Report

    Assessment of Nonlethal Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Integration with Combat Aviation Missions

    Presents an assessment of operational concepts for, and effects of, integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with combat aviation missions.

    Dec 31, 1994

  • Report

    Report

    Cooperative Intelligence for Remotely Piloted Vehicle Fleet Control: Analysis and Simulation

    Groups of agents (human or machine) can solve shared tasks effectively by applying cooperative intelligence.

    Dec 31, 1985

  • Report

    Report

    Remotely Manned Systems in Tactical Aerial Warfare

    Discussion of some remotely manned vehicle missions and functions. Military use of RMVs is influenced by four factors: importance of accurate weapon delivery; increasing lethality of antiaircraft defenses; level of vehicle and equipment costs; and p...

    Dec 31, 1971

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    Jonathan Balk

    Research Assistant
    Education B.S. in aerospace engineering, University of California-Los Angeles

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    Rachel M. Burns

    Senior Quantitative Analyst
    Education M.P.H., University of Michigan; B.S., Ohio State University

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    Brien Alkire

    Senior Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in electrical engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Thomas F. Atkin

    Adjunct Management Scientist
    Education M.S. in management science, University of Miami; B.S. in mathematical science, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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    Mel Eisman

    Senior Operations Research Analyst
    Education M.S.I.E. in operations research, Pennsylvania State University; B.S. in industrial engineering, State University of New York

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    Sarah Harting

    Senior Defense Analyst; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.A. in international security, Georgetown University; B.A. in international affairs and German, Lafayette College

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    Sherrill Lingel

    Senior Engineer; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering, University of Washington; M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics, University of Washington; B.S. in aeronautical engineering, University of Virginia

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    Krystyna Marcinek

    Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jagiellonian University, Poland

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    Michael McGee

    Adjunct Senior Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in strategic studies, Air University; M.S. in aeronautical sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; B.S. in aeronautical engineerng, U.S. Air Force Academy

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    Bradley Wilson

    Senior Information Scientist
    Education M.S. in software engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in information technology, University of Maryland

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