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excelsior

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Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« on: February 18, 2013, 11:47:16 AM »

It appears that the permits for drones in U.S. airspace will be increasing greatly in the near future.

Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.

more at:  http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-domestic-drones-20130216,0,3374671.story

WASHINGTON — While a national debate has erupted over the Obama administration's lethal drone strikes overseas, federal authorities have stepped up efforts to license surveillance drones for law enforcement and other uses in U.S. airspace, spurring growing concern about violations of privacy.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it had issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007, far more than were previously known. Some 327 permits are still listed as active.

Operators include police, universities, state transportation departments and at least seven federal agencies. The remotely controlled aircraft vary widely, from devices as small as model airplanes to large unarmed Predators.

The FAA, which has a September 2015 deadline from Congress to open the nation's airspace to drone traffic, has estimated 10,000 drones could be aloft five years later. The FAA this week solicited proposals to create six sites across the country to test drones, a crucial step before widespread government and commercial use is approved.

I found this line in the story interesting:

Companies have marketed drones disguised as sea gulls and other birds to mask their use.


Check out this video around the 2:10 mark:

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BigRedDog

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 12:10:52 PM »

Cool...

I was in Verizon one day last week and they have one in there that you control from an Ipad or most any Android tablet...  it flies for 10-15 minutes...  up to 500 feet high...  has both front facing and down facing combination video/still camera that you control right from the tablet.  Under $300!!!

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/accessory?archetypeId=13283&initialPhoneId=&action=accessoryDetails&accessoryId=51842

Several videos here:
http://ardrone2.parrot.com/usa/

Down at the bottom they show a 'professional' model starting at $9K!


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Professor H

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 01:20:38 PM »

I know the forestry services are considering or have started using them to monitor for forest fires in remote locations.
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excelsior

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 05:23:36 PM »


Here are a couple helicopter drones are being used in the Middle East:



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excelsior

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 11:10:42 AM »

Here is a video showing a vision of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) being developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory in Wright Patterson:



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Monique

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 08:06:00 AM »

The bird and dragonfly models are pretty fascinating. I can see lots of potential uses for prevention of crime and forest fires, maybe even search & rescue. Then there's the more nefarious uses, such as government spying on innocent citizens and personal stalking.

Still, the technology is just cool.

**I wonder how long it will take to develop a 'drone detector'?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 08:13:56 AM by Monique »
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marilyn.monroe

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 08:49:11 AM »

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/politicsnorthwest/2013/02/21/bill-regulating-unmanned-drones-gets-committee-approval/

Washington

OLYMPIA — A bill regulating the use of unmanned drones in Washington state cleared the House Public Safety committee Thursday after heated public testimony about privacy rights and crime prevention.

House Bill 1771 sponsored by Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, would require agencies using or buying drones to get approval from the Legislature or local governments. Drones could only be used with a warrant or in emergencies. The legislation doesn’t address private use.

Taylor said law-enforcement officials urged him to offer the bill as they are interested in using drones, but uncomfortable with the lack of rules governing them. Bill co-sponsor Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, said he signed on because of public concerns about violations of privacy.

“This issue is really about freedom,” Shea said.


May the force be with you friends! Michigan local govs still fighting big oil for local oversight. Some think they don't have the "standing" for it (sound familiar?).

Drones have already been hacked and commandeered.

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marilyn.monroe

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 09:07:34 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/alameda-california-sheriff-drone-2013-2


Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahearn says his office would employ the drone mainly for search-and-rescue missions and "public safety and life preservation missions" {like the birds in Monroe eh} where it might be too dangerous to send a live officer, according to a five-page draft document released by the department.
“We will not use this for surveillance,” Ahearn told the board. “We will not use this for weaponry.”
But when the sheriff's office first applied for funding, it also listed "intelligence gathering," "suspicious persons," and "large crowd control disturbances," as some of its planned uses for drones, bloggers at MuckRock found in a public records request.
"All drones carry some sort of camera with recording capabilities," activist Trevor Timm of EFF told the county board in his testimony. "Some newer high definition cameras—previously used only by the military—are so powerful they can see the color of your shoelaces from a mile away."


At least eleven states are considering legislation to restrict the use of "unmanned aerial vehicles" by police departments, including California, Oregon, Texas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota Florida, Virginia, Maine, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, the AP reported.
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marilyn.monroe

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 09:09:44 AM »

According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), Michigan has two locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones] (p. 8 ff.). It is disclosed that the RQ-7B Shadow is operated from Grayling, under the status "Locations Requiring COAs [Certificate of Waiver or Authorization]". ("Locations where the Army currently conducts operations outside of Restricted Areas that require a COA from the FAA. In the majority of these locations, the purpose of the COA is to transition from the launch site to adjacent Restricted Areas. Additionally, the Raven can be operated using DoD-FAA agreed-to Class G airspace notification procedures for flights flown over Government-owned or -leased land." (p. 20)) Grayling has also been designated as a potential basing location for the RQ-11B.

The report also discloses that Lake Margretha is the other Michigan location included in the Department of Defense's list of 110 potential UAS basing locations. Lake Margretha is designated for the RQ-11B.
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marilyn.monroe

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 09:11:21 AM »

University of Michigan is one of 25 schools nationwide —and the only entity in the state of Michigan— once authorized to fly drones in U.S. airspace.

According to reports from DeadlineDetroit.com and Salon.com U-M was one of 25 universities authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones. Records show the school's authorization has expired, but DeadlineDetroit.com reports that U-M flew drones over Fort Grayling and Lake Douglas and had authorization to fly drones over Grand Traverse Bay.

The drones —which included a student-designed glider and the first unmanned autonomous seaplane ever developed— aren't being used to spy on individuals, but instead are the products of ongoing research by aerospace engineering students and faculty that could have military and commercial applications, DeadlineDetroit.com reports.

http://www.annarbor.com/news/drones-in-michigan-u-m-one-of-25-universities-authorized-to-fly-unmanned-aircraft/

droning on lol
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marilyn.monroe

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Just How Many Drone Licenses Has the FAA Really Issued?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 10:32:04 AM »

http://www.rightsidenews.com/2013022232039/us/homeland-security/ust-how-many-drone-licenses-has-the-faa-really-issued.html?utm_source=Right+Side+News&utm_campaign=b08292b6d4-daily-rss-newsletter&utm_medium=email


The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the FAA has issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007 and noted this was “far more than were previously known.”
This new number points out again how difficult it is to answer the most common questions EFF gets from reporters about drones — just how many agencies have applied for drone licenses? How many licenses has the FAA issued since it started issuing licenses (which was earlier than 2007)? And how much has domestic drone use increased over the years?

Why can’t the FAA provide accurate drone license information that the public can rely on? Is it because the agency doesn’t want the public to know? Or is it that the FAA, itself, doesn’t know because it hasn’t kept track of its own program? Both of these possibilities raise serious issues about how the government is managing drone licenses and whether drone use should be allowed to expand in the United States.

The only way we can have an open and full debate about domestic drone flights is if we have accurate, complete, up-to-date and reliable data on how many entities are licensed to fly drones, who those entities are, and how many licenses the FAA has issued for each year it’s issued licenses. EFF shouldn’t have to keep suing the FAA to get this information.
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Baggins

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2013, 10:52:16 AM »

I would venture a guess and say none... :P
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Frenchfry

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2013, 01:13:13 PM »

CNN: Terrorist Guide How To Avoid Drones
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excelsior

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 09:25:15 PM »

These drones will be able to detect firearms and intercept your electronic signals.

DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

more at:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57572207-38/dhs-built-domestic-surveillance-tech-into-predator-drones/



The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.

The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department's unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States' northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

Homeland Security's specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they "shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not," meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify "signals interception" technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and "direction finding" technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained a partially redacted copy of Homeland Security's requirements for its drone fleet through the Freedom of Information Act and published it this week. CNET unearthed an unredacted copy of the requirements that provides additional information about the aircraft's surveillance capabilities.

Concern about domestic use of drones is growing, with federal legislation introduced last month that would establish legal safeguards, in addition to parallel efforts underway from state and local lawmakers. The Federal Aviation Administration recently said that it will "address privacy-related data collection" by drones.
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sammy

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Re: Drones are taking to the skies in the U.S.
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 09:28:06 PM »

We're still all safe, right? winkwink! The government would never spy on it's own citizens.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 09:33:05 PM by sammy »
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