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funfly
5th Dec 2014, 17:27
The CAA are going to crack down on quad-copters or drones which they see as a menace and great security risk and have produced a document laying out their new requirements for S.U A.s (small unmanned aircraft) which appears to include all model aircraft.

Although the document was presumably written with quads in mind,our hobby has been caught up in it due to the terminology of S.U.A. The whole document has a far reaching effect on our sport but some parts more than others.

For example Page 6-Item 6.1.1--6.1.7 states clearly that S.U.A.s should not fly above 400 ft, should not fly less then 50mtrs from a person,vehicle or structure unless they are part of the flying fraternity and then to within only 30mtr.

The document can be found at:

FF

[URL="http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/InformationNotice2014190.pdf"]Small Unmanned Aircraft Operations Within London and Other Towns and Cities (http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/InformationNotice2014190.pdf)

M.Mouse
5th Dec 2014, 18:22
But pics taken from public property are perfectly legal, so I'd argue that pics taken from public airspace are equally legal.

Good luck with that one!

The rules quoted by funfly are the existing rules for commercial operations of a UAV. I am not sure why an amateur operator should be subject to less stringent flying rules than a commercial operator.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Dec 2014, 19:26
Passing laws against people who are generally ignoring the current ones is completely and expensively pointless, but sadly typical.

VP959
5th Dec 2014, 19:37
I'm no fan of the CAA (as they will attest from the many runs in with them over the years), but the fact is that some quadcopter operators have forced the CAA to act, as they have been bloody irresponsible. Quite apart from the paparazzi use of these things, to gain access to private properties of celebrities, there have been several cases of people setting up businesses to take unrequested low level aerial photos that they then go around and try an sell from door to door.

A few weeks ago I had one of these monkeys knock on my door to try and sell me a very nice aerial photo on my house. My first question was how on earth he'd been able to take it, given that our house is inside a MATZ that extends down to ground level, and this photo was clearly taken from around 400 to 500ft. He hadn't a clue what I was on about and said he'd taken it using his "state of the art" quadcopter. I pointed out that he'd been flying it in a very active MATZ and so was posing a serious flight safety hazard, especially as out house is on the approach to one of the runways, so fast jets are often passing overhead below 500ft.

This prat couldn't care less, and went on his way to try and sell more photos elsewhere.

I have every sympathy with model flyers, but it seems that there are a lot of commercial users abusing the privileges that model flyers have had for years, and putting legitimate users of restricted airspace at risk.

con-pilot
5th Dec 2014, 20:19
It is always the few that ruin it for the many.

Mechta
5th Dec 2014, 20:30
I am not sure why an amateur operator should be subject to less stringent flying rules than a commercial operator. Grandfather rights perhaps, as with cloud flying for manned gliders in the UK? If the risk has been shown to be minimal, then there is not a lot of point changing it. Having said that, there is very little in what I have read that changes current practice for traditional model fliers flying in a club environment (i.e. pre-multicopter).

There doesn't appear to be any requirement for either airframe or uplink redundancy on the commercial multicopters, so there are plenty of opportunities for single point failures to result in loss of control. I would have thought a minimum of five arms and motors would be needed to give basic redundancy. I guess a 'return to base' setting is being relied upon for a loss of signal.

VP959
5th Dec 2014, 20:45
All of the small commercial quadcopters I've seen are dead easy to jam or cause to crash from interference. As such, flying them over people or their property to take video is pretty dodgy, verging on being bloody irresponsible, and that's without considering the invasion of privacy or possible terrorist threats these devices offer.

They have props spinning at a few thousand RPM, often unshielded and made from hard and sharp material like carbon fibre.

They are relatively cheap to buy from a plethora of web sites.

They are often flown out of direct line of sight from the controller, using their on board camera to provide a "pilot's eye view" to fly the machine. It would be dead easy to fit a small explosive charge, or biological or chemical, payload that could be remotely triggered when very close to a target.

Overall, even though I abhor over-regulation, something needs to be done to counter the nuisance, risk and potential threat from the irresponsible, or nefarious, users of these things.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Dec 2014, 20:51
Something needs to be done; agreed. Prosecution under existing laws is perfectly possible, so do that.

Mechta
5th Dec 2014, 22:03
Overall, even though I abhor over-regulation, something needs to be done to counter the nuisance, risk and potential threat from the irresponsible, or nefarious, users of these things.

Irresponsible users may think twice if fines are sufficiently large and the Police & CAA are seen to be prosecuting. The nefarious ones will carry on regardless, unless the things are banned out right and possession is treated in the same way as hand guns. The latter is going to be extremely difficult unless ownership of all r/c model aircraft and parts thereof are also banned.

G-CPTN
5th Dec 2014, 23:21
ISTR that Merseyside Police (http://www.personal-drones.net/the-rise-and-fall-of-uk-mereyside-police-drone/) went public with their intention of using these drone 'copters to spy on miscreants until someone pointed out that they needed a licence (which they didn't have) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8517726.stm) and then it went quiet.

I have seen one in use (on a large country estate) by a professional photographer.
He was photographing a large group of people assembled for an award presentation, so, being able to position his (aerial) camera to be able to include all the participants was an advantage:-
http://i2.thejournal.co.uk/incoming/article7509766.ece/alternates/s615/JS42723690.jpg
Apart from the cost of the machine (several thousand pounds) he said that the licence(s) cost him a further few thousand pounds (5 for the drone and 3 for the licences IIRC).

His had a 'return to base' function if it lost contact with the transmitter or ran low on battery power. He demonstrated it 'disappearing' beyond direct view (beyond the tree line) - but he had a monitor that showed what the onboard camera could see.

It seemed that he was a responsible operator, but, such devices are available for much less than he paid and are within the realm of the amateur as a hobby activity 'toy' - possibly without bothering about licences or whatever laws might exist or be introduced.
There is no visible identification, and, as I have seen, the drone could be a significant distance from the operator and beyond the detection range of any observer.

FLCH
6th Dec 2014, 00:01
Since it is attached to you on the ground, albeit by a bit of string, could it be argued that it is not, for the purposes of the Act, technically a flying machine?


The correct term would be a "floater" :)

Mechta
6th Dec 2014, 00:31
There is no shortage of Air Navigation Orders regarding kites in CAP393.

Here is a summary of them:

http://www.bkfa.org.uk/files/Kite%20Flying%20legislation%20-CAP%20393%20Analysis.pdf


FLCH, Mad Jock and the rest of his countrymen would probably consider a 'floater' to be something rather less desirable than a kite...

mad_jock
6th Dec 2014, 07:12
Metcha we certainly do.

But to be honest there is a whole raft of phrases used in mainstream which allow us a bit of childish giggling.

imagine my surprise at seeing a TV show called "testicals" on TV, thankfully it turned out to be a sci-fi crime series.

As for the legislation, I have seen some very responsible operators of such hardware, and I have also seen some idiots....

It is a shame that a small minority have spoiled it for the majority but that's just a fact of life.

mad_jock
6th Dec 2014, 08:02
oh and this isn't new legislation its already in force all that the document is telling you is what it currently is.

Oh and be aware as well the "pilot" alcohol limits apply to who ever is on the controls. Which is a quarter of the car drink driving limit. Which means realistically you can't have a drink 24hours before operating it.

And the sentence for being over the limit carry's a prison term.

mad_jock
6th Dec 2014, 10:21
nah that's not what a floater is :D its getting there but its when you have a turd that won't flush and keeps floating to the top.

A bondi cigar I believe is more of a free range turd which is having a bit of a swim about.

Goldfish's cagoule coming from a 6 year old next to the clyde had me laughing the first time I heard it.

WAC
6th Dec 2014, 10:22
"Bondi Blind Mullet"

Mechta
6th Dec 2014, 11:14
Goldfish's cagoule coming from a 6 year old next to the clyde had me laughing the first time I heard it. :D:D:D That appears nowhere else on t'internet yet, but here! How could we possibly have allowed ourselves to be divorced from such artisans of our (allegedly) common language?

With regard to 'floater', Ben Ashman, who designs, builds and imports various single seat deregulated microlights had one weightshift design with lots of wing area and a small engine, that he was going to market as the 'motor floater', until advised by one of his Scottish customers of what visions that conjured up.

Ben's plans to import the design below also had the kiss of death put on it, once it got back to him that his northernmost customers called it the 'Toilet Duck'.

http://www.lightsportaircraftpilot.com/u.s._sport_aviation_expo_2008/images/sebring08-2/ZJ-Vierataildragger.JPG

mad_jock
6th Dec 2014, 11:42
I don't know why he didn't import it.

They are just fun names. It wouldn't have made any difference to the sales.

There is a PFA tail dragger that used to be owned up north that was generally called the flying turd due to its colour and also handling characteristics.

It was sold to someone down south no problems.

Mechta
6th Dec 2014, 12:45
Mad Jock, Ben said that the ZJ Viera pictured, also had issues with vibration on the front of the nacelle and pylon from its single cylinder engine. Its a shame as it was an interesting concept.

I get the impression that despite the level of curiosity and apparent enthusiasm for three-axis SSDRs, the number of people actually dipping into their pockets to buy them has been quite small.

mad_jock
6th Dec 2014, 13:04
Especially up where we are.

Its the whole thing where can you store it.

With a flex wing you can take it down and keep it in the garage. With that you need to hanger it with Scottish wx. Just get blown away otherwise and damaged.

Tell him a mate suggest that he stick the engine inside the hull and runs a power shaft up and only has the gear box and prop on the pylon.

It should mean he can reduce the size of the elevator as well which should help with the weight penalty of the shaft. Gear box behind the prop so that the shaft doesn't have to carry as much torque so can be lighter.

Another bonus is that there will be a heat source inside to warm peoples feet.

Mechta
6th Dec 2014, 14:05
I certainly like the idea of keeping one's feet warm when flying, IMHO that should be the first design consideration, with everything else coming after. The shaft idea could work, but most aeroplanes with shafts (P-39, BD-5) have taken a fair bit of sorting to get rid of torsional vibration issues. I was thinking electric or even hybrid, with an engine positioned as you suggest and an electric motor up on the stick.

Re: storage, I agree 100%. The cheaper the aircraft the more eyewatering the hangarage appears in comparison. Something which rolls up and hangs in the garage through the winter makes flying a lot more affordable, and the performance is pretty comparable anyway.

mad_jock
6th Dec 2014, 14:24
Sounds a fun engineering problem to tackle.

Might get away with the torsional problems due to the prop being pretty light weight. And running the shaft at low torque and high speed will help.

But an electric might work. Its just a weight problem as such and finding the best compromise.

Sop_Monkey
7th Dec 2014, 11:56
If we could train these creatures that is! Would really screw the CAA up on that score.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/video/awesome-gopro-footage-shows-eagle-142049856.html

M.Mouse
7th Dec 2014, 12:17
Apart from the cost of the machine (several thousand pounds) he said that the licence(s) cost him a further few thousand pounds (5 for the drone and 3 for the licences IIRC).

The cost of the ground school, written exam, flying test and assorted other fees comes to under £2,000.

He demonstrated it 'disappearing' beyond direct view (beyond the tree line) - but he had a monitor that showed what the onboard camera could see.

His qualifications would be strictly Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) and what he demonstrated was not legal.

There is no visible identification, and, as I have seen, the drone could be a significant distance from the operator and beyond the detection range of any observer.

It is a requirement to have the model registered and the registration mark displayed on the UAV. I agree that the detection range is limited purely due to the physical limitation of the size of the marking.

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 12:39
The model forums dedicated to these things are littered with videos taken beyond line of sight from the operator, as many are now flow using pilots-eye-view (also known as FPV - First Person View) systems with a video downlink to video goggles worn by the ground operator.

A quick web search will find hundreds of such videos.

This article sums thing up, stating that the gear cost $500 and was used to film over New York City: R/C planes with pilot's eye-view video - Boing Boing (http://boingboing.net/2011/06/03/rc-planes-with-pilot.html)

Popular video sites have loads of FPV videos, like this: First Person View - The best selected FPV Videos on Vimeo on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/channels/firstpersonview)

and if anyone wants to see what's available freely on the market for a relatively low cost then take a look here: FPV flying - Low cost UAV Drone autopilot (http://www.fpvflying.com/) or the very popular Far Eastern model retailer Hobby King, here: Quanum Venture FPV Deluxe Quad-Copter Set With DJI, FatShark, Multistar and Afro Components (PNF) (http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__55569__Quanum_Venture_FPV_Deluxe_Quad_Copter_Set_With_DJI_ FatShark_Multistar_and_Afro_Components_PNF_.html)

funfly
7th Dec 2014, 12:44
My Cessna, certainly not cheap model flying!

http://www.funfly.co.uk/images/Cessna.jpg

M.Mouse
7th Dec 2014, 14:22
It is one of the current anomalies that an amateur fllyer can fly beyond line of site or FPV if you prefer, a commercial operator is expressly prohibited from doing so.

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 14:50
It is one of the current anomalies that an amateur fllyer can fly beyond line of site or FPV if you prefer, a commercial operator is expressly prohibited from doing so.

Indeed. I'm also a bit surprised at the apparent lack of any form of control, or even general public awareness, of these things. For less than £500 an off-the-shelf, beyond line of site, complete quadcopter system can be purchased, complete with VR goggles, ground control system and the FPV capable stabilised quadcopter.

It's clear from some videos posted on the web that people have been using these things to fly around looking into the neighbours gardens, windows etc. I remember back around 2005/2006 writing a paper and circulating it on the potential for using such systems for terrorist related activity, or even delivering an accurately targeted anti-personnel payload. IIRC my paper was read by the then CSA, who was apparently interested and concerned, but I saw nothing actually happen to counter the use of these things. I remember pointing out one possible scenario where one of these small quadcopters, or even a much smaller FPV flown fixed wing model, could be used to deliver a lethal payload very, very accurately using the on-board FPV camera, even in a fairly restricted and well-protected area. Conventional personnel security measures wouldn't be particularly effective against such a threat.

Since then the technology has improved, with significantly greater range and payload capability, a reduced purchase cost and the ability to buy all the parts, or a complete ready to fly system, off-the-shelf.

I also recall that there was a rather eccentric gentleman in New Zealand who had a website with a diary detailing his attempts to build a home-made cruise missile, using parts purchased freely off the web. He showed that it was certainly very feasible to do this for around $1000, IIRC, and got himself into a lot of hot water for making the information on how to do it public (which seemed damned stupid, as it was, excuse the pun, not exactly rocket science).

I'm not at all sure what can be done to reduce the risk from these things, but am sure that post-Christmas there will be a lot more of them flying around, after kids receive them as presents.

west lakes
7th Dec 2014, 14:56
Indeed. I'm also a bit surprised at the apparent lack of any form of control, or even general public awareness, of these thingsAbsolutely, I've just seen a Utube video of one flying in a built up area.
I commented that it probably was in breech of the CAA rules, to be told "it's OK it was below 400ft which was just on the radio" no mention of the 50m rule which was breeched or the congested area rule.

Sadly folk going out and buying these devices are just not aware of the legislation

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 15:30
Would that be this one?:
ghDXBIy_BSM

I lost count of the number of rules and laws broken after the first minute or so............

west lakes
7th Dec 2014, 16:22
Would that be this one?:

Nope, this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwFq3vRP0DQ&sns=fb

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 16:35
That one even has Wyre Council subscribed and requesting more illegal drone flights, which is a pretty good illustration of the lack of knowledge of both the risks and the law. I'm a bit surprised at a public body being complicit in such activity, usually local authorities are the first to go a bit OTT on the health and safety front (thinking back to the furore over the hanging basket ban or the ban on swimming backstroke in a public swimming pool).

Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th Dec 2014, 16:37
These drone operators seem to be arrogant twats. Breaking every law in the book, and invading privacy as well as endangering life. They sure need bringing into line with some very sharp shocks to make them realise the potential consequences of their toys.

There's another link from the YouTube page to an idiot in Sweden who sent his toy above the clouds. He knew it would be OK, no aircraft, 'because he'd looked at Flightradar web site'. :rolleyes:

That's the mentality of these idiots.

He then lost control of the machine, and freely admits it could have injured people or damaged property on its uncontrolled return to earth.

Monkey see, monkey do - idiots with single-figure IQs will watch these videos and think "der, looks fun, I'll have a go at that". Needs stamping on; very firmly!

mad_jock
7th Dec 2014, 16:45
These drone operators seem to be arrogant twats. Breaking every law in the book, and invading privacy as well as endangering life.

How does that differ to microlights?

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 16:54
It was interesting to see that the CAA had commented on the YouTube video where the guy was flying over London, but pretty alarming that he'd managed to fly the thing around Westminster Palace and the Tower of London. One wonders quite why that particular flight didn't make it into the more hysterical tabloids as a "major threat to security".

It's only a matter of time before someone with an axe to grind decides on a stunt, perhaps involving a "white powder incident"* with one of these things. The terrace outside the Palace of Westminster would seem to be easy to fly over, along, or even into, and small sachet of "white powder"* dropped in there would cause a fair old security alert and gain a lot of publicity for any group that was looking for it.

*A "white powder incident" is usually one where the assumption is made by the first attenders that an agent like anthrax has been released.

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 16:59
How does that differ to microlights?

In a few ways. The vast majority of microlight pilots are trained, hold CAA issued licences that are subject to renewal, fly aircraft with prominent registration marks, are obliged to carry insurance, fly aircraft that usually require a Permit to Fly and airworthiness inspections (excepting single seat exempt microlights) and generally fly within the rules. It's also hard to see how a microlight could fly within a few tens of feet of the Palace of Westminster, or within a few feet of people when flying at just a few feet off the ground.

These FPV toys have the potential to cause more havoc or injury and at the moment there is no requirement for any kind of training for their operators at all, and the things don't have to be registered, so no one has any idea how many of them there are or where they are located,

mad_jock
7th Dec 2014, 17:19
it was just the statement I was on about not the technicality's.

A search on youtube will find similar stupid flying practises in microlights as seen on those drone vids

G-CPTN
7th Dec 2014, 17:23
BBC News reporting a 'near miss' with an airliner.

BBC News - Heathrow plane in near miss with drone (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30369701)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th Dec 2014, 17:28
Mad Jock, if a microlight did what that toy helicopter did in Central London (or as near to that as is possible with a microlight) the pilot would be identified (through the registration and licencing system) and prosecuted by CAA.

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 17:29
it was just the statement I was on about not the technicality's.

A search on youtube will find similar stupid flying practises in microlights as seen on those drone vids

I don't wholly disagree, but I've yet to see anything approaching the antics of that YouTube drone flying around well-known London landmarks. I know someone who (many years ago) flew a microlight under a few bridges along the Thames very early one morning (as do a few other microlight fliers of around my vintage), and I've also witnessed some pretty daft behaviour by pilots of all flavours from time to time. I'm not at all convinced that microlight pilots are any more likely to behave stupidly and break the rules than the pilots of any other manned flying machine (and the accident and incident statistics support that view), with the possible exception of those who fly paramotors (something I also used to do a few years ago, but realised that there were substantial number of people flying them who were downright bloody dangerous to be around).

mad_jock
7th Dec 2014, 17:35
one of the biggest idiots in Scotland managed to kill himself a while back.

He completely fitted the description.

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 17:45
one of the biggest idiots in Scotland managed to kill himself a while back.

He completely fitted the description.

The chances are he'd have killed himself in any aircraft type - there are a small minority who are attracted to flying and that seem to have a death wish, I suspect we've all met one or two over the years (and I've certainly flown with one - once, and vowed I'd never, ever, do it again).

The problem with these toy drones is that they are cheap and are being bought and flown in their thousands, by people with no training at all and little or no understanding of the risks or the law and regulations.

Kids think it's cool to fly a camera around with an FPV system and peek through windows, or fly around big public buildings, as is clear from the comments on many of the videos. Maybe they won't think it's so cool when a carbon fibre prop spinning at a few thousand rpm shreds someone's face, or when one actually hits an aircraft (there have been a few near-misses already, as some of these idiots think it's cool to go up and fly close to commercial traffic on approach to get some video).

west lakes
7th Dec 2014, 17:48
Yep

BBC News - Heathrow plane in near miss with drone (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30369701)

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 18:14
Interesting quotes from that BBC News item:

Sales of drones have increased rapidly, with UK sales running at a rate of between 1,000 and 2,000 every month.

They are expected to be very popular as Christmas presents.

and:

Only a very small minority of people operating drones have attended training courses in how to fly them.

The big problem is how on earth anything effective is going to be done to control the use of these things. I can't see that any form of legislation is going to be effective, and anyway that would be likely to penalise the long-established and responsible model aircraft flyers unfairly.

Policing there use is going to be near-impossible, too, as they can be flown from pretty much anywhere, or even launched from a window.

mad_jock
7th Dec 2014, 18:51
I think the purpose of that document is seeding the storm.

I suspect that more than a few will get taken to court sharpish.

I suspect another two documents will be released with the final one in the national news.

Then the prosecutions will start in England and wales.

west lakes
7th Dec 2014, 19:05
That one even has Wyre Council subscribed and requesting more illegal drone flights, which is a pretty good illustration of the lack of knowledge of both the risks and the law. I'm a bit surprised at a public body being complicit in such activity,

So I've asked the question on their Farcebook page.
The reply could be interesting! (if there is one)

VP959
7th Dec 2014, 19:06
Prosecutions started a while ago. Someone up in Lancashire was fined a fair bit for flying one of these things over, or near, BAE Warton earlier this year, IIRC.

As for it being a storm in a teacup, I doubt it is. One Hong Kong supplier is selling hundreds of FPV capable quadcopters a month, and there are many other suppliers as well. I suspect that the sales of the small, non-FPV capable, indoor use only, ones run into the tens or hundreds of thousands a month, so feel that the BBC quote from the CAA is specific to FPV capable outdoor systems.

This is supported by a quick scan around the forums dedicated to these things that shows that interest is growing at a rapid rate. I suspect this is for a few reasons. These things are very, very easy to fly, as they are autostabilised, so very little skill is needed to operate one outdoors. They are affordable as "big boys toys". And, finally, they are seen as being "cool", as they can produce videos that can be shared with others.

mad_jock
7th Dec 2014, 19:10
Flying near the UK's area 69 will get them excited.

west lakes
7th Dec 2014, 19:16
Prosecutions started a while ago. Someone up in Lancashire was fined a fair bit for flying one of these things over, or near, BAE Warton earlier this year, IIRC.

This may have been the one in Barrow near the BAE Systems shipyard where the nuclear subs are built.

If it is the same one it's mentioned at the end of the CAA document
£800 fine and £3500 costs

DrunkCargo
8th Dec 2014, 18:13
And what is to stop a hobbyist from intentionally carrying sacks of ball bearings with UAVs, and using data from FlightRadar24 to seek "accidental" engine ingestion?

This is what I've wondered for the last five years as a pax... every landing... every takeoff...

Laws are not useful in this space...

mad_jock
8th Dec 2014, 19:07
The stuff you get off the internet has built in delay.

If they were pulling it real time. The resolution gives a box around the aircraft not the exact spot.

VP959
8th Dec 2014, 19:21
It's still dead easy for someone to fly one of these things very close to an aircraft on approach or take off, though. The advantage that having FPV control gives is that a "suicide" mission with one of these things is relatively easy and cheap to do.

The main protection we have is that commercial aircraft can cope with having a catastrophic engine failure at low level, so losing one to a miscreant or terrorist using one of these things isn't likely to cause loss of life, just an expensive engine replacement.

I've always thought that the major risk from deliberate abuse of these things is by delivering an accurately targeted payload against a specific individual, or group of individuals. There are so many places where such an attack would be pretty damned difficult to counter that I'm a bit surprised one of the extremist groups hasn't tried it already. A tiny shrapnel bomb, with a bit of blasting gel/Semtex as the core, would make a very effective anti personnel weapon if delivered within a few feet of the target, and one of these things makes that pretty straightforward.

The only reasonable countermeasure would be area jamming, but jamming the common 2.4GHz downlink band and the 35MHz control uplink, perhaps together with the 1.57542 GHz GPS L1 signal, may well be impractical in terms of the level of collateral interference to other services it would inflict, so may only be a realistic option for very high profile targets.

radeng
8th Dec 2014, 21:43
I understand that many of them use 2.4GHz for control and for relaying back. Unless the 2.4GHz meets the requirements of the latest version of EN300-228 and any 35 MHz control meets the requirements of EN300-220, they are illegal under the Radio and Telecommunications Terminals Directive (soon to be the Radio Equipment Directive) as well as all the aeronautical rules.

Although sadly, I doubt the illegal users will get charged with enough breaches of regulations and fined heavily on each one. Additionally, illegal use should see the UAVs destroyed.

Plus any interference on either 35MHz or 2.4GHz is 'tough' because they have no protection whatsoever from interference....so should it happen, the owner is responsible for any damage or injury, as the radio equipment has no requirement for compliance with the Directives such that in the case of interference, it does not constitute a safety hazard.....

reynoldsno1
8th Dec 2014, 22:42
It won't be long before someone starts fitting laser pointers to them ....:mad:

Mechta
8th Dec 2014, 22:58
If the were flying to a pre-programmed destination then the up and down link wouldn't be required. This would make RF jamming on up and downlinks pointless. Jamming GPS frequencies would have so many implications for all the other users that I would doubt it would be considered.

As for anti-aircraft use of drones, only two would be needed to take out the majority of airliners. Jamming of up and downlink frequencies would be worth doing in this case, as the video would be necessary to home in on the target.

The intentional nuisance value of drones should not be underestimated. A number of them flying a GPS racetrack course could close an airport for an hour or so, whilst attempts to down them would be likely to create a FOD hazard.

DrunkCargo
9th Dec 2014, 00:32
At the cost per unit, why would we assume "one" device, one engine, one incident?

Cheap toy + 2kg of large steel shrapnel like ball bearings + some kind of loose fabric to act as a sail of sorts to increase chances of ingestion? (not a physicist, nor do I really want to engineer such a device seriously, but seems plausible) I'd figure less than U$250 per device.

It would be pretty hard to avoid a mesh of these mosquitos released from a flatbed truck driving nearby... Not sure any realtime data is needed beyond layperson confirmation there are planes, and a runway nearby... (ie, use eyes, ears, IQ >= 65, credit card with $5k limit...) No shouldermounted engineering, no obvious weaponry.

Obviously I'm referring to overt intent, not just a kid with a toy or laser pointer with too much curiosity. As long as they keep serving liquid sedatives in the back, I'm happy. I'm more concerned with the self-directed cargo strapped near me than coerced irops. Too many hours, too many segments, gets the imagination running I guess =)

VP959
9th Dec 2014, 08:24
I don't think such a scenario is unreasonable, nor are any of the other malevolent uses that these things could be put to.

Just like the fact that we've all had to get used to everyday technology being misused every day (like providing enemies and terrorists the means to communicate covertly via the internet, dark net and mobile/satellite phone technology) this is another technological advance that has put a short range, low speed, very, very accurate missile into the hands of anyone with a very modest amount of money.

At the moment all we're seeing is people using them irresponsibly to take photos and videos, but I am absolutely certain that it won't be long before one is used deliberately as a weapon.

It doesn't even need to be an aerial "toy" like these quadcopters and FPV controlled model aircraft, as I saw a video a while ago where someone had converted an all-terrain model buggy to be FPV controlled, giving it the capability to be remotely guided from beyond line of sight.

In some ways, an FPV controlled buggy may be potentially more lethal, as one could carry a more substantial payload, and could probably get past/under/through some forms of security systems. One of the more powerful all-terrain buggies could probably carry enough high explosive and shrapnel to make an extremely damaging weapon.

In an aircraft context, imagine the scenario where one of these things is put through a small hole in the perimeter fence then driven across the airfield, maybe at night (the cameras these things use have a modest IR capability) and positioned against a target, ready for remote detonation.

The possibilities for misuse of this technology are endless, and there really isn't much in the way of practical technical countermeasures, we're back to relying on intelligence and surveillance with lots of Mk1 eyeballs.

anotherthing
9th Dec 2014, 09:42
You can buy a decent sized (and weight) drone for less than £100.

The prices will continue to fall, with the lower end of the spectrum being very basic models with no height cut outs etc. People will ant bigger/faster drones for less money and will not care about the safety features if they get a toy which 'looks cool'

not one day goes by without a commercial pilot in the UK being targeted by a laser.. drones are the next thing on the list for irresponsible chavs.

As usual, the moronic few will spoil things for people who want to use drones as a bit of fun, but responsibly.

They may be small(ish), but they are a threat to aircraft

Fliegenmong
9th Dec 2014, 09:58
And what abuot those Autonomous flocks of Trumpeter Swans in North America? Over 5 foot long and weighing between 15 - 30 lbs., I've seen flock loads of those .... :}

(See what I did there? ;))

dazdaz1
9th Dec 2014, 17:39
I'm concerned (Jo public) about possible constraints with flying drones. Spring of 2015 for the third year, I'm back at Loch Ness.

Drones could play a important advancement of surveillance of the Loch.

G-CPTN
11th Dec 2014, 13:45
Since we no longer have Bloodhound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodhound_(missile))s:-

US Navy Laser Blasts Drone Out Of The Sky (http://news.sky.com/story/1390028/us-navy-laser-blasts-drone-out-of-the-sky)

mad_jock
11th Dec 2014, 14:04
Drones could play a important advancement of surveillance of the Loch.

You would have more luck looking through two toilet rolls.

Mechta
11th Dec 2014, 14:30
Quote:
Drones could play a important advancement of surveillance of the Loch.
You would have more luck looking through two toilet rolls. I want to know why dazdaz1 wants to survey the loch at the exact time that Nessie goes away for her holidays. Something fishy going on there.

MagnusP
11th Dec 2014, 14:32
Mechta, don't, please; you'll get Bluey started again. :p

Fat Magpie
11th Dec 2014, 15:39
Ze Germans have a superb system

BBC News - Rheinmetall demos laser that can shoot down drones (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-20944726)

Mechta
11th Dec 2014, 17:04
Ze Germans have a superb system

BBC News - Rheinmetall demos [email protected] that can shoot down drones (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-20944726)

Great, and just how much collateral damage, blinding etc. would that do in an airport environment? Shooting something down just adds to the chances of Foreign Object Damage for other airport users (think Concorde).

DrunkCargo
14th Dec 2014, 16:59
I think that laser is intended to heat the target to the point of punching a hole in it... blinding is not the goal. Melting, cooking, vaporizing... more the intent. Hopefully if used on living targets it's strong enough to do so in a humane way (ie, be sufficiently effective to knock out sentience before nervous system can process) and target accurately enough to differentiate say the crotch from the head.

G-CPTN
14th Dec 2014, 17:48
BBC News - How to build and fly your own home-made drone (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28090632)

Mechta
16th Dec 2014, 12:48
In the inbox this morning:

Sports enthusiasts are gearing themselves up for the Glorious 26th December, the official start of the Drone Shooting season. The skies are expected to be filled with the first wave of video camera drones flying in every direction across the UK as the wrapping paper is peeled off thousands of Christmas presents.
Drone shooting has now been added to the list of popular country sports, outstripping badger baiting, organic cock-fighting and rent raising for tenant farmers.
Land owner and retired stock broker Sir Phillip Forbes has already started regular shoots on his 3000 acre estate near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.
“Last weekend we managed to bag a couple of the blighters when they flew over the orangery and hovered outside Lady Forbes’ boudoir, necessitating a whiff of the old salts. We’ve now got every boundary covered with three lines of rifle ranks worthy of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.”
The popularity of the sport has seen sales of Hunter boots, Burberry jackets and National Trust headscarves rocketing in the run up to the new season.
“A brace of drones can now fetch up to £1,000 on the open market if the video camera is still intact,” said Sir Phillip.
However the sport does not come without some risk. After downing a drone on the edge of his estate last month, Sir Phillip realized he had only winged it as he saw Boris, his yellow Labrador retriever, flying southwards with the drone gripped firmly in its jaws.
Subsequent video footage of the incident, taken by the embattled drone has appeared on YouTube attracting millions of hits. A YouTube spokesman said, “It’s absolutely amazing – in fact it’s just the dog’s bollocks!”

DrunkCargo
4th Dec 2016, 00:11
On the laser point, wouldn't it suffice to swarm the target with a bunch of cheap drones armoured to the same strength as a commercial airliner's skin, luring the laser towards the target and possibly using it against the target?

I'm sure they've thought of all this already...