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Proceedings Paper

Controlling UCAVs by JTACs in CAS missions
Author(s): A. Emre Kumaş
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Paper Abstract

By means of evolving technology, capabilities of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)s are increasing rapidly. This development provides UAVs to be used in many different areas. One of these areas is CAS (Close Air Support) mission. UAVs have several advantages compared to manned aircraft, however there are also some problematic areas. The remote controlling of these vehicles from thousands of nautical miles away via satellite may lead to various problems both ethical and tactical aspects. Therefore, CAS missions require a good level of ALI (Air-Land Integration), a high SA (situational awareness) and precision engagement. In fact, there is an aware friendly element in the target area in CAS missions, unlike the other UAV operations. This element is an Airman called JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller). Unlike the JTAC, UAV operators are too far away from target area and use the limited FOV (Field of View) provided by camera and some other sensor data. In this study, target area situational awareness of a UAV operator and a JTAC, in a high-risk mission for friendly ground forces and civilians such as CAS, are compared. As a result of this comparison, answer to the question who should control the UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) in which circumstances is sought. A literature review is made in UAV and CAS fields and recent air operations are examined. The control of UCAV by the JTAC is assessed by SWOT analysis and as a result it is deduced that both control methods can be used in different situations within the framework of the ROE (Rules Of Engagement) is reached.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2014
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9084, Unmanned Systems Technology XVI, 908413 (3 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2053513
Show Author Affiliations
A. Emre Kumaş, Turkish Air War College (Turkey)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9084:
Unmanned Systems Technology XVI
Robert E. Karlsen; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker; Grant R. Gerhart, Editor(s)

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