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December 5, 2012

DroneBug: “Right now, I still think the software is not good.”

In March 2011, a Predator parked at the camp started its engine without any human direction,

even though the ignition had been turned off and the fuel lines closed. Technicians concluded that a software bug had infected the “brains” of the drone, but never pinpointed the problem. “After that whole starting-itself incident, we were fairly wary of the aircraft and watched it pretty closely,” an unnamed Air Force squadron commander testified to an investigative board, according to a transcript. “Right now, I still think the software is not good.” -- Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations - The Washington Post

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 5, 2012 12:20 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Heck, that's nothing. An innovation of the B-1B was digitizing electronic signals, thus reducing amount of wiring and weight on the jet. This digital traffic moved around via MUX cables. In early days of B-1B (affectionately known to this day as the Bone [B-one]) a few airplanes came off assembly line actually longer than they should have been. Since MUX cables were precisely measured for length, the stresses of flying caused connectors to not properly seat, leading to all sorts of electrical disturbances on the jet. Once, all the lights went out in our cockpit and the bailout alarm sounded. Fortunately, we were flying along in daylight and it was clear it was a transitory electrical problem, not something more serious. During a different phase of flight, this could have been catastrophic.
At our base in South Dakota, we had two of these jets, referred to as Hal and Christine. Finally someone smart figured out what was going on and we got new MUX cables.

Posted by: stephen b at December 5, 2012 12:58 PM

Maybe they should have let it go and seen where it wanted to go, and who it wanted to kill.

Posted by: Fat Man at December 5, 2012 6:48 PM

If we can build self-driving cars, I don't see why we can't build autonomous killbots to reign death and destruction upon our enemies. Sure, it inevitably leads to the Robot Apocalypse, but it will be fun while it lasts. Boot 'em up and turn 'em loose, I sez.

Posted by: SteveS at December 5, 2012 7:37 PM

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