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Military Drones and the Systems Engineering Life Cycle

Lockheed D-21B at the National Museum of the United States Air Force


Drones have been employed in military combat since as early as 1850 when simplistic air balloons loaded with explosives were used to attack Venice. Drones used for combat that we think of today were experimented with in the 1930s. One example of which later became the Curtiss N2C-2 Drone in 1937, (Vyas, 2020). Today, military forces around the world rely heavily on drones to complete military missions that were once accomplished by manned aircraft.

Why use Drones at all?

If one would list the pros and cons of using drones over…

Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

In the State of Maryland, and to different degrees all over the country, thousands of Americans have had extreme difficulty “just getting someone on the phone to talk to” when trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The month is February of 2021, just three months after the initial Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines started distribution. According to the Maryland Department of Health, the first phase consisted of essential emergency and medical staff and soon thereafter we reached our current phases: the rest of the population most vulnerable to the disease (Maryland Department of Health, n.d.). As the vaccine distribution has…

737 Max in a banked turn. Photograph by Uwe Deffner, The New Yorker

In October 2018, a Boeing 737 Max-8 crashed South of Indonesia into the Java Sea, killing 189 people. Shortly afterward in March 2019, another one met a similar fate plundering into the ground near Bishoftu, Ethiopia right before the 737 Max fleet was grounded. Were the systems that aid the pilots in flying the plane safely to blame for these catastrophes? Or were the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and emergency checklists woefully inadequate in preventing a mishap during an emergency? …

mike Haas

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