In the Hive Ready to Swarm
Aviation Update|October 2020
In the Hive Ready to Swarm
In the world of disruptive technologies, few concepts conjure excitement like “Swarm Technology”.
Rahul Verma

The power of the swarm is in its natural formation from bees, to schooling fish and flocking birds, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The Hunter and Doves is a fine story from the Panchatantra, underlying the moral value that strength in collaborated numbers. Crops and vegetation in several states in our Country have been regularly threatened by humongous swarms of desert locust known to be the most dangerous of the migratory pests in the world but being the smallest.

It's not only the agriculturalist and scientist that's interested in this problem of swarming Locusts. Military too have been trying to understand and utilise this phenomenon. In a natural swarm of birds or bees, all entities/ units are doing their own thing. Each one has its own brain, knows what it can see for itself. But they don't have an explicit hive mind, and the Queen Bee is not giving instructions to everyone. The challenge has been how to build the individuals/ entities/ units so that the collective does what the controller wants. In a simple term, flinging a barrage at a defence system is one thing,and that could be done with a sack of rocks. But the key to the swarm is inits smartness to coordinate its own behaviour.

In the 9th meeting of the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), as reported by leading Newspapers, it was decided to jointly to collaborate to develop Drone Swarms, which can overwhelm and destroy the air defences of an adversary, as well as the counter-measures to thwart such attacks launched by an enemy. Extrapolating beyond nature, swarms begin to present limitless possibilities, particularly in relation to military and battlefield capabilities, where advantages far outweigh disadvantages. Swarms are scalable, flexible, easily changing size and configuration depending on the mission. They are robust, with small losses having little impact on effectiveness. Decentralised swarms, ones without a central leader are highly resilient in Electro Magnetic disruptions. In so-called emergent Swarms, individual units can respond to the actions of other local units without the involvement of any central coordination. Put simply, Swarms display sophisticated behaviour at the collective level thoughcomprising of only simple units/ entities/systems


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October 2020