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Project Title:

Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (CUAS) Capability for Battalion-and-Below Operations
PIN: DEPS-BAST-16-02        

Major Unit:

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: Board on Army Science & Technology DEPS

RSO: Braun, Bruce

Subject/Focus Area: Math, Chemistry, and Physics

Project Scope
The Academies will establish an ad hoc study committee to:

Assess how much of a threat, both kinetic and non-kinetic, model aircraft and other small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), particularly when massed and collaborating, pose to Army battalion-and-below operations, and especially to lightly armored vehicles and dismounted infantry. Building on recent Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts (e.g., efforts by the U.S. Army Science and Technology (S&T) Systems Adaptive Red Team (ART) and the ART Technical Support and Analysis (TSOA) groups), the committee will consider the availability and capabilities of these UASs and their potential for use in both weaponized and surveillance modes. In particular, the committee will assess future improvements in areas such as power, control mechanisms, autonomous flight, communications links, flight performance, and payloads and their impacts on future threat capabilities, and will depict these UAS capabilities in a high-level (macro-scale) road map.

Assess the current capability of U.S. Army battalion-and-below units and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) infantry units to counter UASs with existing tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs); equipment; and unit organization. Identify technological, tactical, and organizational approaches for optimizing battalion-and-below units, especially lightly armored vehicles and dismounted infantry, to counter UASs on the battlefield. For countermeasure systems, consider detection and tracking capabilities as well as kinetic, directed energy, and non-kinetic (e.g., electronic warfare (EW) and cyber) approaches. Consider the fact that very little time will be available for war fighters to react to threat UAS actions. Expand on TTP and organizational needs. 

Building on current U.S. Army S&T efforts, identify near-term, mid-term, and far-term technologies appropriate for new or enhanced S&T investments to facilitate the development of technological approaches for countering threat UASs, particularly massed and operating collaboratively, used in both weaponized and surveillance modes. The committee will examine potential creative solutions, including neutralizing command and control nodes, and will describe the characteristics needed in a CUAS system. The committee will depict these near-term, mid-term, and far-term technologies and capability characteristics in a high-level (macro-scale) road map. While doing this, the committee will continually monitor and remain cognizant of on-going DoD/DHS CUAS experiments (e.g., Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment (MFIX) and ART/TSOA efforts) and their findings.

Building on ART logistics and usability assessments, consider human burdens (e.g., perceptual, physical, and cognitive) and logistics burdens (e.g., transport, resupply, and power) from two perspectives. First, determine the human and logistics burdens of potential CUAS systems on U.S. personnel and make recommendations (e.g., tactical, organizational, and materiel) for mitigating these burdens. Second, identify the potential for exploiting human and logistics burdens as a threat vulnerability. 

Determine if there are DHS-unique requirements for CUAS systems and how the DoD may be able to assist in addressing those requirements.

Project Duration: 17 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 11/07/2016
 Meeting 2 - 12/19/2016
 Meeting 3 - 01/30/2017
 Meeting 4 - 03/13/2017
 Meeting 5 - 04/24/2017


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (CUAS) Capability for Battalion-and-Below Operations Abbreviated Version of a Restricted Report