UAVs by enabling them to carry out unique missions or by providing significant cost savings.

The committtee’s recommended approach is shown schematically in Figure 2-1. First, requirements for a range of missions and system attributes should be established with a focus on key air-vehicle concepts. Next, technologies that can address the requirements should be identified and technology forecasts and trends for applicable technology areas developed. Finally, the research on the required technologies should be initiated. Fundamental research and technology development will be required to make advanced technologies generally available so that military UAVs can be developed with significantly lower system development costs. The goal should be to develop enabling technologies for a range of UAVs.

This approach has two principal advantages. First, the development of advanced technology is separated from the development of the UAV system so that basic research and technology development can be undertaken in a more realistic time frame. Second, the recommended approach allows revolutionary advances to be pursued for implementation in future systems. The balance of this report demonstrates the value of the recommended approach for developing technological needs and suggested research and technology development for a range of UAV systems.

FIGURE 2-1 Recommended approach to technology prioritization. Source: Adapted from Lang, 1998.

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