Companies Delft Dynamics B.V., Tective Robotics, Avalor AI and research institute  TNO will be teaming up to bring a swarm-based reconnaissance capability to the Dutch Ministry of Defence in the awarded defence technology project SPEAR (Swarm-based Persistent Autonomous Reconnaissance)! This project will be supported by the Robotics & Autonomous Systems (RAS) unit of the 13th Light Brigade of the Royal Netherlands Army.

SPEAR provides for the development of a fully autonomous, tactical swarm of drones that can be deployed over a longer period of time as an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. With this autonomous swarm, the operator can launch multiple drones at the touch of a button, which remain continuously in the air through automatic task execution, including independent battery change and mission management.

The project consists of the development of an autonomous swarming algorithm, target detection and classification through machine learning, a mobile launch & recovery platform for an independent battery exchange, specialist swarming drones and the necessary interfaces for interaction with the swarm. The core of SPEAR is the integration of these components, laying the foundation for a multifunctional drone swarm. SPEAR builds on numerous projects within and outside Defence and makes it possible to demonstrate the effectiveness of a swarm in a tactical test scenario. Compared to current resources, SPEAR can supply more ISTAR capacity with less manpower.

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