Air Force shifts UAS operating systems to Linux

The Air Force might have switched the control systems from its unmanned aircraft systems from Windows to Linux in the wake of a virus outbreak with the former, according to security professionals, reports InformationWeek.

The conjecture is based on the analysis of images of drone control systems that have appeared in media and unclassified briefings, the story states. For example, an image from an unclassified briefing indicates Linux might be part of a 2011 upgrade and overhaul of the drone control systems.

The apparent shift from Windows to Linux might be coincidental, the story states, but security professionals say it is interesting to note that it comes in the wake of a significant malware outbreak at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., in fall 2011, where remote pilots operate the majority of the service's unmanned aircraft in war zones.

Reader Comments

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 CJ

Writing ANY sort of a flight / safety critical software package for Windows was insane in the first place...it's a good enough product when the only thing at risk is disposable income, and it's cheap to develop in, but it's simply too bloated to economically verify for anything more important than that. I'm surprised it took this long for a catastrophic problem to become unignorable. "LINUX" isn't magic though - it STILL depends on what gets loaded into the build and how well the developers have been paying attention to their own code.

Wed, Jan 18, 2012

The title is a little misleading. It is talking about the Ground Control Station OS not the OS resident on the aircraft.

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