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Preventing Terrorist mini-Drone Attacks

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posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 08:40 PM
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I have reserved publishing these thoughts out of fear that I'd be providing enemies with information. Now that its gone MS, I feel much better about it. End disclaimer


note: I write this only because they've already considered it. The best defense is never secrecy. Quite the contrary. Transparent analysis and brainstorming is the only true defense to rapidly evolving threats.

I feel that miniature UAVs (hobby drones) present a clear and credible danger to us. These devices add an extra dimension to warfare capabilities. And with all capabilities come exploitation.

Here is a scenario to better illustrate these concerns:

Rush hour. Several men sit atop a hill overlooking a busy freeway. They are poised to attack. Their weapons? A swarm of 50 mini-UAVs with HE IEDs. The assailants carefully wait until they see an LP tanker crawling in traffic (thank you, LoadStain, for pointing out my first error!) . While the armada begins their descent on the unsuspecting motorists, two drones split off and make their way for the gas tanker. With pre-attached magnets, they easily couple to its hull. Using shaped charges, their payloads penetrate the metal and ignite the gas inside causing a massive explosion. Seconds later, hordes of drones make suicide runs on the other vehicles using their HE warheads. This causes major confusion, chaos and many more are killed by the ensuing anarchy.

How could this be prevented?

A few problems I can think of. Remember, when talking about preventing an attack, we have to accomplish 3 goals.

1) Detect the hostile equipment
2) Intercept the equipment before its payload detonates
3) Do so without causing more damage than the weapon itself

With this in mind, I infer the following points:

- Typical SAM systems wouldn't be very effective. For one, the patriot missiles themselves are quite powerful and would cause major damage.

- Each craft is very small. Even with a large swarm, given their altitude, would likely be invisible on radar.

- The flight time in this scenario provides a clear advantage to the attacker. The defenders response time is further impinges with detection and determination difficulties.

- Jammers may work, unless they're programmed to kill power and detonate on impact with signal loss

- Projectile based AA systems would have to carefully asses their backdrop. A swarm would negate any advantage of,this type in an urban or populated area.

Lets also look at the viability factor. Given the destructive potential, relative low cost and huge media event, I believe it becomes attractive to potential threats.

This is a relatively sophisticated attack, but doesn't require extraordinary technical expertise. Further, with the availability of high order explosives (and ease of manufacture), it wouldn't take more than an intermediate level of explosive skills. The overall cost may reach into the 20k$ range, but that's nothing to an organization like ISIL.

What else can be done? What are some counterdrone tactics that could be used here?
edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: second disclaimer

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edit on 2/6/2015 by JBurns because: technical inaccuracies




posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 09:22 PM
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Talking out of my left ear, but it would be fun to see a GPS auto hack that would redirect the drone to sender.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 09:25 PM
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a reply to: JBurns
Tankers or any vehicle carrying LP, or any explosive materials are banned from using tunnels.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 09:38 PM
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a reply to: aboutface

That would truly be poetic justice


@LS, thank you for pointing that out. I feel kind of stupid for not thinking of that.

But even so, do you believe this poses a threat?

For the sake of reality, remove the tunnel.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: Loadstain

Ok, I have corrected my OP for realism's sake. Thank you for pointing this out.

For reference, my first scenario involved an LP truck nearing a tunnel. As LS pointed out, that's not going to happen. But, for the sake of argument, this scenario could still be deadly sans tunnel. Although I, too, was assuming they'd use the extra confinement for enhanced effects.

Thank you



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 09:48 PM
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a reply to: JBurns


For the sake of reality, remove the tunnel.


Many tankers are built of materials that are non magnetic , aluminium and the 300 grades of stainless steel for instance . They would have to have prior knowledge of the tank type and cargo . Not much use blowing up a milk tanker for instance . Also double hulls would be a problem . Many tankers worldwide have crashed and most do not explode .



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 09:49 PM
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Well something needs to be done to stop drones from flying too high and endangering flight paths, plus going into no-fly zones. Signal impairment something-or-other would down the drone, would it not?



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:18 PM
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Let me just say its E.V.I.L. what you are describing, but i fear these drones have flown straight out of pandorax box and theres absolutely no turning back. Attacks by drones are un preventable. Unless you ban drones. And thats not going to happen, the technology is out there, and its easy to build and assemble your own drone from separate parts, it they do get banned. If they ban the buying of separate parts its probably just as easy to build your own separate parts meaning you wont have to buy them from China. Simply put,its too late and the scenario you just described is one i too have thought of, and I think an attack by drones by terrorists is inevitable. I'm sure with all the funds IS supposedly has that theyve got drones too in iraq and Syria! Who knows what they might think of! We know they have internet! We know they use social media! .... They might even use this site!

The only solution I can think of would be to snipe them down with a rifle, but good luck finding ready enough sharpshooter's to protect ourselves from an attack like that. Bottom line is these things are dangerous. I don't think scrammblers would work either. Perhaps strategic emps? Cameras everywhere ∆ ¿ Perhaps you could program them to detect fast moving objects and be taken out by a targetted emp, but what about birds? Or flies that come too close to the camera? You would have to have hardware recognition technologies able quickly process an image and identify genuine threats, which would be very difficult as they move at high speeds some of them. And then, targetted emps? Do they even exist?
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posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:26 PM
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OP:

Just ask yourself... HOW do "Terrorists" benefit from attacking civilians?
Knowing that the Governments response would be to do some more bombing runs.

So the question is... Who WOULD benefit the most from civilians being attacked?

Just look at the curve of law changes after each "terrorist" attack.
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posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:30 PM
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Interesting scenario but drone swarms are really not all that practical as you'd need an operator for each drone and then you would get cross channel interference causing unreliability. A single drone attack on an individual or specific target is feasible and even logical the swarm hypothesis really isn't. One could I suppose use a laser designator and then direct well timed drone launches to multiple targets within a relatively short time span.

I'll be interested to hear more theories on this.


Just my two cents.
edit on 2/6/2015 by Kukri because: typos



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: Sovaka

Erm, I dont think the terrorists would have much of an excuse for targetting everyday civilians anymore when by my observations it would be quite easy to crash a drone through for example the houses of parliament windows mid session and easily take out a Iot of MPs, including the PM.

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posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: Kukri

One operator could fly a pre-spaced swarm on a single freq. They could act in total unison. But this does add extra complexity.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: funkadeliaaaa

Guys they have every reason for attacking civilians. Terrorism is designed to instill fear. Events are designed with a PR aspect in line.

Dirty bombs for instance, aren't very dangerous. Its the sensationalism of the attack that these psychos strive for.

@funk

I agree, this is terrible!

The EMP measure seems viable! Perhaps even claymore mines at prepositions locations. But even those sadly won't protect everywhere all the time.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:43 PM
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Regarding their motive, can you imagine the PR boost it would give if the cover of the USA Today read: "ISIL Drone Attack Kills 30 On Interstate 95"

The ###holes orchestrating these attacks do so with the goal to create terror. Sadly, the number dead are not as proportionately sensationalized. Its the idea that no one is safe that truly defines terrorism.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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There's prevention, but I wonder if there will be an app to detect when one is not far away? If radar is useless, maybe IPhones will see changes in that direction?



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: JBurns

Imo it would be easier to prevent an asteroid impact than droneageddon ©



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: JBurns

What a load of crap... I don't buy one syllable.

"Terrorists" aren't in it for fame or infamy or to get the most FB dislikes...

Most of the legitimate terrorism around the world is in response to uncalled for aggression and oppression.

When it is so easy to strike any piece of infrastructure over civilian targets that would cause so much more chaos and "fear" as you say... There is ZERO reason for them to target civilians over more potentially crippling targets.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 10:59 PM
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a reply to: aboutface

What do you mean by "not far away"? Were talking about fast moving leightweight objects. I think they are illegal to use over busy and residential places like towns and cities, but that's not going to stop terrorists launching them. Then theres the problems of actually disabling them. How are you for example going to disable a drone. Id flight with a preprogrammed flight path able to navigate automatically towards its target? Simply cutting its signal would be useless if it doesn't need a signal in the first place. You would need to hitnit with a projectile like a bullet or powerful lasers, or some kind of targetted emp of some kind.
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posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 11:08 PM
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a reply to: funkadeliaaaa

All very valid points.

I'd imagine they would still require GPS guidance. So perhaps GPS jammer as well?

and to the above, reluctance to attack hardened targets are that the operation may fail. That being said, I agree that it presents a real threat to infrastructure. There is undeniably also a threat to civilian populations as well.

There's no doubt that an attack on key, hardened points would be equally sensational. IF they're willing to risk predeployed defensive elements and hardened facilities.

What's clear is that civil populations are easier to target than hardened infrastructures.

Occam's razor says the simplest is most likely. Given their past targets, passenger jets, I'm inclined to see a real danger.



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 11:16 PM
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a reply to: JBurns

Most infrastructure is as hardened as planes... And I still haven't seen a legitimate case of terrorism of passenger jets in the past 10 years.

Any kind of resource pipeline being oil, gas or electric, all of them can be easily brought down by the same explosives used on soft targets.

You are assuming that the only valid hard targets are those that are well defended or reinforced against such attacks.
Any municipal targets for substations or even smaller major stations.
A coordinated attack (per your example of 50 drones), could devastate cities operational capacity.
Not only would you get the fear factor, you'd also lock down the economy in that city.

True terrorism from legitimate terrorists would only target those hard targets.

They will never get anywhere otherwise.

But as I stated in my OP...
Look to who benefits the most from this perpetual war on terror.
Always follow the money.




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