Anduril, a company that is into creating hardware and software applications in defense technology, was awarded a hefty sum of $36 million from the Customs and Border Protection force quite recently for its outstanding work in the development of autonomous surveillance towers that work with AI assistance. And now, it is all set to launch its latest drone-called Ghost 4, which has been designed for border protection. The Ghost-4 drone makes use of AI in achieving this task.
Anduril has seen a lot of growth and success during its run under the Trump government. Many defense organizations have approached the company, although it has been just three years since it started. Back in July, Anduril received an award in the form of $25 million from CBP, for a set of surveillance towers that it had developed a while ago. Now, reportedly, the company focuses on setting up about 200 towers by 2022, as a part of a current contract worth a little more than $200 million that it has undertaken with the contractor.
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Anduril and co-founder of Oculus, was the one who had introduced the concept of virtual reality. Luckey received a lot of fame and appreciation when he had ventured into defense technology after moving out of Oculus. Several ex-employees from Palantir, an organization founded by Petel Thiel, have also joined the Anduril workforce.
Although not much information regarding Anduril was available after its launch, the organization has revealed its ideas about drone technology during the last one year. Sometime last year, Anduril launched a drone named “Anvil” to recognize any potential target and strike it off the sky. This drone was referred to as a counter-UAS drone. The latest smart drone – Ghost 4, is the fourth version of Anduril’s silent “Ghost” drones to be unveiled. Ghost 4 brings about its list of unique key characteristics.
What are Ghost drones?
Ghost drones are capable of staying high up in the air for a long time. They can update the information viewed by them to a central-powered AI system, which in turn, compiles this received data with that of the Anduril’s sentry towers or any other hardware. Furthermore, the complete compiled information is updated to the firm’s Lattice software platform, which highlights any information if required. For CBP, this system works as follows – any unidentified person crossing the US border is highlighted to the border security forces.
Ghost 4 is the latest in the Ghost drone series. It has about 100 minutes of flying time and comes with a “near-silent acoustic signature,” They become extremely hard to detect. These drones are equipped with the AI Lattice software onboard itself, enabling them to identify potential risks in those areas where connectivity could be an issue. They can even highlight any unwanted activity or elements in “contested” areas.
Anduril states that the Ghost 4 drone is equipped with features like “aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cargo delivery, counter intrusion, signal intelligence and electronic warfare.” The drone has been made such that it can be used for a lot of purposes. However, for now, the Ghost Drone 4 would majorly be used for perimeter and boundary monitoring and control.
The Department of Defense has been trying out many experiments with the previous drone versions. Sometime last year, Anduril received a contract amounting to $13.5 million to establish a virtual digital fortress around Marine Corps bases in Arizona, Japan, and Hawaii. It has specifically employed people to understand military operations. Now, Anduril could look forward to getting some more defense work.