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Surviellance drones over LA soon.

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CX

posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 07:05 AM
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drone aircraft, are about to be launched for the first time by the police in Los Angeles.

UAVs have long been used by the military in war zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan. But the technology has been adapted for domestic use and could revolutionise the way law enforcement agencies carry out surveillance and rescue operations.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) has been experimenting with a drone called SkySeer, which it intends to put into service later this month.

Source: news.bbc.co.uk...



I can see these having great value to the police, but i do wonder what other activities they'll be used for? As they say though, there are CCTV cams on every street now and i'm damn sure you'll never hear everything they are used for.

I can see a new urban sport of "shoot the police drone" emerging.


CX.




posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 07:15 AM
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Considering that these "drones" have only sinlge camera and quite short range/loiter time, i can't see anything bad about these. Good tools for tactical on-site recon, but not for any long time information gathering. I'd be worried if police starts fielding Long range Predator sized UAVs (UCAVs to stop speeder
)



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 08:00 AM
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Other police forces have successfully used small drones like this. The big problem is collision avoidance, both buildings and aircraft. Automated collision avoidance is the holly grail of UAVs because it's precisely what's stopping their widespread civilian use, particularly in Western countries. The FAA doesn't seem to be in any hurry to issue specs for acceptable collision avoidance requirements so I wonder how the LAPD get to use these - surely they must fly them higher than any building in LA to avoid any possible (and costly) collision? - At the same time surely they must fly them lower than other aircraft?

PS. The system is awesome and well suited to police work. The article says that 250ft is high enough to clear a 25 story building.

[edit on 7-6-2006 by planeman]



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 08:08 AM
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Planeman
Colliding a 2kg RC plane to a building isn't a big deal, at worst you'll brake a window.
You don't need FAA licence for recreational RC Planes, so why would the cops need one for theirs?



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 08:17 AM
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Originally posted by northwolf
Planeman
Colliding a 2kg RC plane to a building isn't a big deal, at worst you'll brake a window.
You don't need FAA licence for recreational RC Planes, so why would the cops need one for theirs?
Good points but... breaking a window on a sky scraper is very serious as it brings up MASSIVE public liability costs - the sort of thing that is hard to ensure against. Moreso if someone fell out of the window etc. If the owner of an RC plane crashes it into a building they can run away and hope no one saw them, the LAPD can't. Even a single crash into a building might trigger a general media/public anti-UAV frenzy.

I agree in so far as these micro-UAVs offer the least risks though.

And as for RC flying, I'm sure if a civilian started flying an RC plane around the streets of LA the police would be able to stop them on public safety reasons.



_

Personally I feel that the real future of LE UAVs is a mix of micro UAVs like this one and much larger UAVs flying at higher altitude with better sensors to completely replace helicopters in the surveillance role. What UAVs cannot do is medivac.



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 10:50 PM
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I would imagine a drone would make a great tail for high speed chases, heck even foot pursuits with the FLIR. if they have several of them airborne 24/7 I dont think anyone will get away



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 03:36 PM
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Call me dumb if you like, I am just a regular Dude from UK. Why do you need to spy on your own people ?



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 03:55 PM
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I created a thread on this yesterday, but I think this one ought to stay instead, because it's generated a lot more replies. A note to any other mods who may be watching, kindly leave this one open and close mine, it uses the same source link and everything. Thanks.


Here's mine BTW: www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by Primary Mover
Why do you need to spy on your own people ?


These are to be used in places where helicopters are now, only with a quicker response time. The real surveillance drones don't make the news, DUH!!



The UAV's ability to hover in virtual silence over an accident or crime scene, without any risk to a pilot, provides both a tactical and economic advantage.

It is envisaged that SkySeer will be put to use when children go missing down a hillside in difficult terrain.

With burglaries, the police say the SkySeer will be used get an aerial view of a building where someone is believed to have broken in through the roof.



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 07:38 PM
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Wow sounds like that tv show that used to be on "Dark Angel". That one with Jessica Alba or what ever her name is.

PrimaryMover, they arent spying on us, they are just looking out for us. Thats all.
Boy am I glad we have a big brother type govt.



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 09:14 PM
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One of the biggest complaints I've ever heard about the use of Police helocopters is that the noise they generate can actually be disruptive of efforts on the ground. It does no good to follow a 'suspect' who's fleeing if the people on the ground trying to stop them can't hear where he's going.



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Call me dumb if you like, I am just a regular Dude from UK. Why do you need to spy on your own people ?


Not that I would be a fan of a fleet of these things hovering around but Los Angeles county is huge like over four thousand square miles a population of about eleven million and a total police force of roughly fifteen thousand (and I think I'm being generous with that number) which includes LAPD, LASD and the individual city police forces within the county.

If you're a cop in Los Angeles it's pretty much like waking up on the third day of the alamo every day.

A couple of UAV couldn't hurt...a couple hundred and then I'd start to get nervous.

Oh and by the way if one of these things crashes into my place I'm following the I keeps whats I finds law.

Spiderj



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 09:32 PM
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How long before a press helicopter following a chase is brought down by a Police UAV?

Actually, micro UAVs like this are quite slow, max speed being around 50kts (57mph) so they are much slower than 4-6 seat helicopters which can typically manage about 150kts (172mph) and probably too slow to keep up with a car chase.







[edit on 8-6-2006 by planeman]



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by CX
I can see a new urban sport of "shoot the police drone" emerging.



Oh man, that's the first thing I thought of (even before reading your comment)!


At $25,000 - $30,000 apiece, this is just a laughable waste of money. They should test the idea with a cheaper RC vehicle first.


I mean, c'mon, what would you place your money on? The small RC airplane flying over Compton at 30mph and 250ft., or the Mac 10 wielding Crip/Blood looking to have some fun?



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by Xenophobe

Oh man, that's the first thing I thought of (even before reading your comment)!


At $25,000 - $30,000 apiece, this is just a laughable waste of money. They should test the idea with a cheaper RC vehicle first.


I mean, c'mon, what would you place your money on? The small RC airplane flying over Compton at 30mph and 250ft., or the Mac 10 wielding Crip/Blood looking to have some fun?

Normal RC planes cannot fly outside line-of-sight and don't have secure communications capable of real time streamed video from a multi-sensor avionics suite. The piston engines used on most RC planes are also damn noisy.



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 12:47 AM
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There are all kinds of problems with this of course.

1. No 'streaming' anything is secure over a sophisticated electronics environment (i.e. Radio Shack and Spy Emporium type shops). Whether to spoofing of the link itself or 'sampling'.
2. SWAT does a lot of nominally hard target stuff that can cover for other things and is generally unacknowledged in these secondary missions until caught (Our own Denver PD has shot people in the 'wrong house' after tasking by an officer that _knew_ it was the 'wrong house' but had a personal motivation, Miami's HRT has gotten so deep with private drug wars and excesses of power, including kidnap and torture, that they effectively disbanded the team.).
3. 'Your Fellow Citizens' all sign NDA's on hire and are institutionally closed-ranks biased by personality type (authoritarian bully complexes). Additionaly, _particularly_ for robotic orbit systems; operators can be replaced in the blink of an eye and have to choose between either not knowing what went on and facing civil or criminal penalties for voicing a suspicion (certainly at the cost of their job). Or accepting a 3-monkey condition for 'lapses in awareness' brought on by an invitation to leave the room or GCS control vehicle for a few minutes. That this could happen via even more rabidly centrist 'federal agencies' who scoop up assets and asset gathered data all the time as is is equally implicit to netcentric intel systems as any 'world wide expert analysis' argument.
4. Nobody with an ounce of sense really believes the threat of drugs (which is where this is most likely to generate street-dealer useful video), like human smuggling, is anything but artificially induced, controlled and _profitable_ industry. Which leads to the potential for 'watching the market' to adjust payoff ratios and bring new criminals 'into a system' of officialized corruption as much as anything useful.
5. As soon as video goes full digital, probably as a function of bandwidth, there will be no means to identify manipulated from authentic sourced data.
6. Most of the early systems at least had no stabilization or even pan and tilt. Which means 'pointing the camera' means pointing the aircraft and multispectral cameras required changeouts of entire payload modules (whose cost in the I2R variety will about double the drone price). Where this changes, the nature of miniaturization will support ever smaller, MORE intrusive capable, followons.
7. Such systems could invoke an increasing reliance upon 'standoff community management' whereby a drone overhead replaced police presence whose very bully-for-us INTIMIDATION is used to keep things quiet with black and whites. Whether for economics or simple 'not worth it for the risk' defacto sheep-to-the-wolves sacrificial policies in some low-rent areas of an urban sprawl. You cut back on in your face patrolling of a barrio or hood in trade for containment and crime rates will rise where they can least be afforded, even as 'unfair surveillance techniques' civil complaints and general sense of oppression will also rise. Assuming that the tapes are ever revealed because evidence of a crime may be a _bad thing_ for a strictly budgeted judicial system.
8. 5 minute assembly times are worthless for realtime pursuit. Unmentioned is total loiter window. This makes the whole 'no intent to launch Big Brother surveillance efforts' quote a lie on it's face. Because the NUMBER ONE investment area (fuel cell technologies specifically) in unmanned systems is in MAV vehicles. Not Mediums but _Miniature/Micros_.
And the only reason industry would invest in such technology is because you see readily that the civillian market for 'virtual policing' is _VASTLY_ larger in a husband-the-herd sense of the helpless if not innocent being denser on the ground and thus needing more 'minding' than the terrorists and active combattants (who not only have the intent but the weapons to accurately shoot back with).
9. We are now in a situation wherein the legislation which granted 100K death benefits to GWOT soldiers also _manditorially_ included provisions for state licensing bureaus to comply with future Federally Mandated biometric ID specs (or face losing funding across a range of subsidized programs). When video matches faces to bodies (real or digitally imagined) _in a civillian populace_ which was heretofore assumed 'innocent until proven otherwise'; the _basic tools_ of tyranny will be in place to allow one evil man or group to exploit a system erected in fearful panic or economic desparation to dictate the course of what is said, by whom, 'with proof'. Or else (we will put you in-frame with a crime, or pull you out of a demonstration on a guilt by convenience basis).


CONCLUSION:
This is only the beginning, desensitization, stage of 'unoffending, inconspicuous, harmless overwatch to save small children and hazmat spills'. Once the system is in place, the bureacracy which supports remote surveillance will have both it's own mass and inertia to the point where it will be impossible to pull free from the body politick.
If you wanted to do this legally, you should have mandated a SPECIFIC CASEPOINT for drone overhead and _strictly_ enforced that single employment scenario, geographically as much as by need, with FULL SCALE (i.e. unsuitable for most 'civillian' agencies) UAV and a huge paper trail of all employment activity.
The obvious area is of course border patrol with at least a Shadow if not ERMP type system.
For which California is the worst possible State to choose as a demo-program due to the large hispanic community.
Yet even here, the basis of creating a solution rather than eliminating the need for it dangerous. Because if you want to make Mexico sit up and behave, tear up NAFTA and enforce a 1 million dollar per man aid package penalty for border crashers until they clean up their own damn problems.
UAV technology is too dangerous for what it ultimately does to the public trust in data information (if we believe it at all, we still feel oppressed by it's omnipresence and our lack of control over it's use) for civillian use.
It should remain in the military whose nominal peacetime powers within our nation are highly abbreviated without declared emergency.

You have been warned by an acknowledged UAV/UCAV 'nut' that civillian policing UAVs inside CONUS is the beginning of a VERY BAD IDEA.


KPl.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 08:14 PM
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well, I have to disagree. A couple dozen UAVs spread throughout the city in the trunks of police cruisers would be enough to do the job, with minimal delay. And, like all UAVs, they'd be a force multiplier. Which is to say that while there's no replacing officers on the ground, giving them this tool can make the officers you do have much more effective.

I don't really understand why people instantly started screaming about privacy concerns. These aren't nano machines capable of touring your home to check up on you, and evading a warrent. They are another (and better positioned) pair of eyes for the Police officers already present. Anyone complaining that police officers paying attention to what's going on around them, or someone watching you is a violation of thier privacy really needs to wake up and realise that's thier job. We pay police officers to watch what's going on and investigate crimes because it keeps us safe.

The US Constitution grants freedom from unreasonable search or seizure, not a legal cloaking field to prevent someone walking down the street from being observed.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar
A couple dozen UAVs spread throughout the city in the trunks of police cruisers would be enough to do the job, with minimal delay. And, like all UAVs, they'd be a force multiplier. Which is to say that while there's no replacing officers on the ground, giving them this tool can make the officers you do have much more effective.


I'm sorry, but I don't buy this for a second. This "UAV" is nothing more than an expensive RC toy for the police force. They are not a force multiplier: if there are two dozen of these toys barnstorming the streets of L.A., then there are two dozen less police officers "patrolling their beat".

Additionally, I can't think of any real world situation in which these planes could possibly allow a police officer to be more effective at their job. The planes fly too slow to aid in a car chase, too fast/too high to reconnoiter a house, and tehy aren't manueverable enough to chase a subject on foot.

Now, a fast RC chopper with a gyro-stabized optical/IR video camera, and remotely controlled shotgun/rifle, that's a different story entirely.


[edit on 12-6-2006 by Xenophobe]



posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 05:05 PM
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One of the scenarios they suggested was that of trying to secure a roof, without popping up head first over a predictable edge (the one with a firetruck by it) to get shot at. Searching dense foilage, works, but only if you're fairly certain the suspect is still hiding in there. It's the five minute set up time that concerns me most, meaning it's only really useful in essentially static conditions.

And by a couple dozen in police cruisers, I meant to say that about that many spread throughout the city should ensure you can get one into the right area quickly enough, Not that there should be 2 dozen airborne all the time. The nice thing about machinery is you don't have to operate it until it will actually be useful to you.

By the way, I'm fairly certain you could follow someone running around on foot all day long. You don't need to barnstorm with it, (I take it you mean zooming around at low level?), you could hover a few hundred feet overhead to much better effect.



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 05:01 PM
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Just a quick FYI, CNN is doing a story on the Los Angeles Drones right now.

If you miss it, I'm sure they'll run it again and again and again. Got to do something with 24 hours of news time.

They say the drones shall start flying within the next 3 weeks.

Spiderj




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