• WILDFIRESUsing Drone Swarms to Fight Forest Fires

    Forest fires are becoming increasingly catastrophic across the world, accelerated by climate change. Researchers are using multiple swarms of drones to tackle natural disasters like forest fires.

  • DRONESTesting Cutting-Edge Counter-Drone Technology

    Drones have many positive applications, bad actors can use them for nefarious purposes. Two recent field demonstrations brought government, academia, and industry together to evaluate innovative counter-unmanned aircraft systems.

  • SEARCH & RESCUEA Drone with Ears

    When a region is hit by a natural disaster, searching for survivors is complex work as buildings and roads may be damaged. The use of drones equipped with daylight cameras and thermal imaging cameras is therefore becoming increasingly widespread – except that if victims are trapped under rubble, they cannot be seen by these imaging sensors. Equipping drones with acoustic sensors allows rescue teams to identify and locate cries for help, clapping, or knocking signals.


    The EU wants to establish its own satellite network by 2027, with the aim of increasing the resilience of the European communications infrastructure and gaining technological sovereignty in space. Achieving this will require novel solutions.

  • FIREFIGHTINGFireDrone Supports the Firefighters

    Researchers are developing a heat-resistant drone that can analyze the source of danger at close range in the event of a building or forest fire. This allows firefighters to optimize the strategy of a high-risk operation before entering the danger zone.

  • ARGUMENT: CHINESE DRONESU.S. Reliance on Chinese Drones: A Sector for the Next CHIPS Act?

    More and more lawmakers from both parties are beginning to pay attention to the issue of drones and national security. Different bills seek to regulate federal agency procurement and use of certain foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones. Annie I. Antón and Olivia C. Mauger write that “Building on the bipartisan consensus to enact the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act, there is a compelling case that UASs should be a next sector for similar action.”

  • RADIATION DETECTIONExploring Feasibility of Using Drones to Survey Sites for Low Levels of Radiation

    By Allan Brettman

    Drones are tools for search and rescue, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring, and perhaps even package hauling. One day, they may work with humans to augment the task of conducting surveys to detect low levels of radiation—information that could contribute to the decommissioning of sites no longer needed for nuclear-related energy production or research.

  • DRONESMaking Drones Suitable for Cities

    By Tom Cassauwers

    Unmanned aerial vehicles will make their way into urban skies only if the safety of people below can be ensured.

  • DRONESNew Algorithm Keeps Drones from Colliding in Midair

    By Adam Zewe

    Researchers create a trajectory-planning system that enables drones working together in the same airspace to always choose a safe path forward.

  • DRONESSecurity Vulnerabilities Detected in Drones Made by DJI

    Researchers have detected security vulnerabilities, some of them serious, in several drones made by the manufacturer DJI. These enable users, for example, to change a drone’s serial number or override the mechanisms that allow security authorities to track the drones and their pilots. In special attack scenarios, the drones can even be brought down remotely in flight.

  • CHINA WATCHChina’s Militarization of Meteorological Balloons

    By Tilla Hoja, Albert Zhang, and Masaaki Yatsuzuka

    Beijing’s spy balloon is a clear example of an emerging technology developed for military and intelligence operations but that crucially evolved out of civilian and scientific programs. China’s balloon-technology programs contain sober lessons about Beijing’s incremental acquisition of foreign intellectual property and its technology partnerships with Western research institutions.

  • CHINA WATCHSpy Balloon Reveals China’s ‘Near Space’ Military Program

    By Natalie Liu

    Chinese spy balloon drifting across the United States this month was a demonstration of a little-noticed program which has been discussed in China’s state-controlled media for more than a decade in articles extolling its potential military applications.

  • CRISIS MANAGEMENTWhat China’s Surveillance Balloon Says About U.S.-China Relations

    By David Sacks

    The question of what information the Chinese were trying to uncover using a balloon – when China’s many satellites could glean this same information – is intriguing. A far more important issue, however, is what this episode says about the ability, or more accurately inability, of Washington and Beijing to manage a future crisis. Worryingly, it appears that neither the United States nor China is prepared for a serious crisis.

  • WAR IN UKRAINEDrones Employed in the Ukraine War

    By Amos Chapple

    Unmanned systems have revolutionized modern warfare – and pilotless aircraft have had a significant impact in the war in Ukraine.

  • DRONESWestern Tech in Iranian Drones Is Helping Russia in Ukraine

    By Natalie Sedletska, Maksym Savchuk, Kyrylo Ovsyaniy, and Carl Schreck

    Iran boasts that its advanced Mohajer-6 combat drone, now used effectively by the Russian forces in Ukraine, is an example of Iran’s “indigenous” ingenuity. But the core electronic components of the Mohajer-6 contain parts produced by companies from the United States and the European Union.