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Drones threatening commercial a/c?

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Drones threatening commercial a/c?

Old 31st Oct 2014, 13:30
  #21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MMouse
The big difference with modern multi-rotor UAVs is that unlike a conventional model helicopter or model aircraft they can be flown with ease because they are electronically stabilised by inbuilt electronic gyros and with GPS installed will hold position as soon as the controls are released. Therefore, anybody with the money to purchase one, or the bits and the skill to build one, can then fly it with no training whatsoever.


Unfortunately the widespread availability and cheapness of UAVs means that idiots can have a field day.
Excellent post. I've flown aerial photography from R/C aircraft for some 15 years now and it is astounding to read of the incident now that the technology is cheaply and readily available to those with "more money than sense".

Per usual, those of us in compliance and doing a good job will be the real losers.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 14:27
  #22 (permalink)  
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Jammers can be installed in the airports to disrupt the control on all major frequencies used in remote controlled models, but you can still program a drone to fly to a preset GPS waypoint autonomously.
I'm not sure that you could get away with jamming the 2.4GHz band. Wifi operates at 2.4GHz too, and I suspect that there'd be plenty of lawsuits if an airport decided to disable all 2.4GHz equipment within 10km (or whatever distance is appropriate).

I wonder whether there's another way to "shoot down" a drone. Maybe a highly targeted beam on both 2.4GHz (control) and 1575MHz (GPS) to make the drone completely unflyable - although that relies on being able to detect and target the drone quickly.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 14:50
  #23 (permalink)  
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How about training falcons to intercept them? I saw a video where a drone was downed quite easily by a bird recently.
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 15:01
  #24 (permalink)  
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In what way are these drones more of a risk than conventional remote control planes and helicopters? Is it just the ease of use and stability from the 4 or more rotors?

My experience with a r/c helicopter was that with a lot of patience (indoors, no wind) you may get somewhere near to your target. Outside with weather, moving quickly to intercept an aircraft would have been impossible (for me and my kit)

Oh and a personal moan calling it London Southend Airport just so the Orange ones can claim they fly to the capital.... It's not even in Southend
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Old 31st Oct 2014, 15:14
  #25 (permalink)  
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The new(ish) quadcopters require almost no skill whatsoever. When compared to a r/c helicopter you could say zero skill. When compared to an r/c plane, you could say 1/100th of the skill.

Basically they will fly by themselves. You simply use the joysticks to move them from one place to another. You can even (with some models) give them GPS coordinates and they will go there by themselves.

So line of sight is not a requirement to keep the thing "under control", or even to get it where you want.

And you can get this for less than £100.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 00:02
  #26 (permalink)  
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with respect the above is not close to the truth

1. you can buy quadcopter for less than 100 pounds and they will not do all this as above, in fact they are not going to be able to fly at any distance to bother aircraft

2. Drones that you can programme GPS into and they fly themselves are illegal in most countries as you have to have control and line of sight according to the air navigation order. Those that don't come under this are operated by USAF / RAF / A de la air

3. There is a lot of hysteria about this - most chinese RC handsets will not even get to half a mile let alone further.

4. The quads are easy to fly but the orientation issue remains and they are easy to crash. also if the GPS lock is not gained at launch then the GPS is irrelevant

5. In terms of ease of flight quads / prop plane / turbine plane / big heli

Personally - I think this is a lot of scare mongering.... the only major issue is idiots flying these things near people. Plenty of videos on you tube of what big helis do to flesh, image 4 props going like the clappers!!
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 00:05
  #27 (permalink)  
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jammers - lot of old as far as drones are concerned. If the signal is lost most quads either return to launch site or drop out of the sky. They cannot continue on some automated destructive pathway. Also these are illegal in most countries in EU and North america as they don't comply with air nav laws
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 01:37
  #28 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure that you could get away with jamming the 2.4GHz band. Wifi operates at 2.4GHz too, and I suspect that there'd be plenty of lawsuits if an airport decided to disable all 2.4GHz equipment within 10km (or whatever distance is appropriate).
I'm not sure but i think that most r/c transmitters operate on different bands than WiFi does, since they dont interfere with WiFi signal. What is called 2.4Ghz is a lot of frequancy band/channels. And the most popular commercial quadrocopter, the Phantom, operates on 5.8Ghz IIRC. Although 5.8Ghz is also used for some new generation of WiFi i think it can be sacrificed.

Also on the level of rumours, i have spoken once to a son of an oligarch on a r/c models festival, who is himself into r/c flying and is a famous 3D heli pilot in Russia, and he said that in Kremlin and in oligarch's countryside residencies there are devices akin to military countermeasure jammers that will fry the electronics of a drone should it breach the airspace above them. I have nothing to prove those claims though and i am not even sure if it is possible from the physics standpoint. As i understand, the device should induce strong currents in any conducting materials through electromagnetic induction in the vicinity.
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Old 2nd Nov 2014, 16:10
  #29 (permalink)  
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Extensive resources currently available

If you care to examine what is available on the web for relatively little effort you might be astonished at the breadth and variety. You could do worse than to start here A newbie's guide to UAVs - DIY Drones.

Searches on terms such as "ardupilot" and UAV will yield lots of information which has clearly escaped several of the contributors here. There is, for example, a company in Buenos Aires which is marketing a fixed wing UAV with a 20Kg payload and a maximum weight of 87Kg. They're asking US$12,600 for the airframe without electronics. It doesn't take much imagination to see to what nefarious purposes this could lend itself.

GPS jammers have been deployed by military and security forces, and knowing the frequency and feeble power of the transmissions should be readily constructed by anyone interested and energetic enough to do so. Jamming 2.4 Ghz would be much more problematic, as it is the current standard for WiFi, and pretty much any domestic and industrial wireless communication, including medical devices etc. In fact if I planned to use a UAV as a terrorist or merely mischievous device to interfere with aviation I think I would equip it with a GPS device and autopilot for primary flight control. To alter the flight path I would use radio control to revise the GPS co-ordinates.

I have not, and never will have any plans to put this into action, but I think we should all be aware of the possibilities.
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Old 3rd Nov 2014, 08:17
  #30 (permalink)  
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2. Drones that you can programme GPS into and they fly themselves are illegal in most countries as you have to have control and line of sight according to the air navigation order. Those that don't come under this are operated by USAF / RAF / A de la air

4. The quads are easy to fly but the orientation issue remains and they are easy to crash. also if the GPS lock is not gained at launch then the GPS is irrelevant
There is a new "breed" of drones that are controlled by a micro-controller, like Arduino or PICaxe. These have built in gyroscope and acceleration, and some even have GPS (and if they don't a GPS unit to install on one costs about £10).

I also know of people who have built quad- and sex-copters programmed entirely by Arduino, with accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS. In fact there is a well known U-tube channel where you can get all the instructions to make your own out of about £40 worth of kit.

These are very capable of "flying" themselves, and easily programmed by anyone with a PC and the development environment to download the program (the software is free).

I personally know of 2 people who have a drone quadcopter that will fly to and maintain a programmed GPS position.

As for them being illegal. I know of a few people who have untaxed cars here in the UK, as well as some without MOT. Let alone all those cars that have been sold with existing remaining tax on them. Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

There are hundreds and hundreds of articles on robotics that explain how to make a self-contained using GPS. If you have a microcontroller controlling a copter, it is a simple thing to add GPS, and many people have already done it. Most of these people are too smart to do something stupid like park it at the end of a runway, but that doesn't mean it's not possible.
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Old 3rd Nov 2014, 09:15
  #31 (permalink)  
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The Drone era

It is here.

Like superpowers, drones can be used for good or evil. Unlike in comic books, evil is usually the strongest side.

Did you see that drone in a football match last week, with a flag of one of the teams? It triggered a quarrel, but that's nothing. Imagine that drone swiftly flying direct to the VIP zone, with half a kilo of explosives in it…

Drones will be regulated, heavily, if the authorities don't want a security nightmare. They can even device "shoot and forget" models, that autonomously fly to the target and detonate. Maybe even using cameras and face recognition… Technology is advancing too fast. BAd guys with a little imagination have now a superuseful tool, now. It can be the weapon, or an observing tool, or a decoy… What a nightmare!

That regulation will be good for air safety as well. And they can use air safety as the reason for the heavy regulation that drones require. Police and government, however, they will love using drones for their purposes, that sometimes are evil, too...

It is also evil, to me, that one day one will not be able to look at the sky without seeing a schwarm of them drones.
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 05:19
  #32 (permalink)  
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In today's NY Times:

Unidentified Drones Are Seen Above French Nuclear Plants

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Old 4th Nov 2014, 05:37
  #33 (permalink)  
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I suspect the NY Times is finally picking up on the French media coverage of the last week or two that was mentioned in previous posts.

FWIW yesterday's "Liberation" French Language newspaper ran a "special" on this (sadly you need a subscription to get anywhere near yesterday's piece) and yet again it was covered on French TV news following at least one more power station overflight (I believe at night, at the weekend).

No-one is as yet claiming responsibility.
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 07:12
  #34 (permalink)  
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Chinese made a [email protected] turret to down small drones

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Old 20th Nov 2014, 06:37
  #35 (permalink)  
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FAA Investigating drones near JFK

FAA investigating drone sightings near New York's JFK Airport - CBS News

. NEW YORK -- Federal aviation authorities are investigating reports of unmanned drones flying close to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The FAA said in a statement that three commercial airline pilots reported seeing drones while trying to land at JFK over the last few days.

Drone decision: Ruling gives FAA tighter grip on unmanned crafts
"On Sunday, just after 8 p.m., the pilots of Delta Air Lines 838, a Boeing 737, and Virgin Atlantic 9, a Boeing 747, reported seeing unmanned aircraft approximately 10 miles from Runway 22 Left, flying at altitudes between 3,000 and 2,000 feet," the FAA said.
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Old 20th Nov 2014, 06:52
  #36 (permalink)  
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Why worry about [email protected] turrets or targetted radio jamming beams to disable them?
A good old shottey will do the trick up to a certain altitoode!
Both barrels... boom boom.
Or any other kinetic weapon.
Bit of good old buckshot right up them - eh?!!!
In fact the bird scarer bloke could be paid a bit extra to look after such duties around most airports - no?
And out of shotgun range - just mount a bleedin' Phalanx system on the control tower roof.
That'd sort the buggers.
Sorry - it's Thursday night here and I've run out of my meds...
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Old 20th Nov 2014, 10:06
  #37 (permalink)  
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whoever flies a drone or anything less than ~1000 ft from any aircraft should be jailed for a long time as a lesson for others
And various other posts.

It's called deterrent sentencing, (correctly or loosely.) and punishes people for crimes that haven't yet been committed.

I think it's imperative we have the ramifications promulgated in every way possible before locking people up and throwing away the key. After all, we do have the finest newspapers and television in the world . . . don't we?

Also, when any drone is sold, the vendor MUST warn the purchaser of the dangers and the law - in writing and verbally. And I would suggest, file a copy of the purchaser's acceptance of the warnings.

Then you can bring out the tonne of bricks.
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Old 20th Nov 2014, 12:14
  #38 (permalink)  
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Potentially a huge problem - cheap price, ease of use, 'dubious' reasons for purchase, lack of control over operators.

Unlike model aircraft, where aeromodellers are generally responsible individuals who operate in a sensible manner, drone operators may have ulterior motives and not simply be hobbyists in the normal sense.
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Old 21st Nov 2014, 14:37
  #39 (permalink)  
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Drones, if it flies the FAA plans to regulate it.

Everything down to what used to be considered toys will be regulated.

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Old 21st Nov 2014, 17:19
  #40 (permalink)  
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AIUI, this was an NTSB ruling countermanding a ruling previously made by an NTSB official (NTSB administrative law judge, Patrick Geraghty, in an appeal by Raphael Pirker against $10,000 fine by FAA).
NTSB conceded that when the Federal Aviation Act creating FAA was passed in 1958, “so-called drones were largely the currency of science fiction.” However, NTSB said, “Congress demonstrated prescience … in the early definition of ‘aircraft’; it expressly defined the term as any airborne contrivance ‘now known or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air’.”

NTSB said there is no “distinction” in the legislative language between manned and unmanned aircraft. “In summary, the plain language of the statutory and regulatory definitions is clear: an ‘aircraft’ is any device used for flight in the air,” NTSB stated, adding, “Therefore we find the law judge erred in presuming the regulations categorically do not apply to model aircraft.
So the NTSB do consider paper airplanes and helium party balloons as subject to regulation. In practice, I guess they will be concerned with anything that could cause injury or damage to property, which is certainly true even for model aircraft (Roman Pirozek killed by "toy" helicopter).

The wording of the 1958 Act seems as clear as the Second Amendment, and we know how controversial that turned out to be. I can see this going all the way to the Supreme Court.
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