Originally posted by texasgirl
I find this very disturbing for our future. I mean, what if someone hacked into a drone and used it as a weapon against us?!
Originally posted by hdutton
reply to post by texasgirl
I would not have any interest in hacking a drone and activating a "kill mode".
I think it would be much more fun to hack into them all, have the return to their launch points and land.
Law enforcement in the United States has been quietly using aerial drones in a domestic capacity. The Texas Department of Public Safety has deployed them more than any other local or state agency.
The Washington Post had a detailed story on Sunday that described a high-risk operation in Austin, Texas in 2009 where a drone was used. Officials involved in that event talked about it for the first time publicly in The Post’s article. They approved of the fact that it allows them to observe things with a whole new level of secrecy.
"The nice thing is it's covert," said Bill C. Nabors Jr., chief pilot with the Texas DPS. "You don't hear it, and unless you know what you're looking for, you can't see it."
Are the police using unmanned drones, like those used against terrorists in places like Pakistan and Yemen, to conduct surveillance of your community from the sky? Since 2006, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued about 700 to 750 “Certificates of Authorization” (COAs) to 56 domestic government agencies and other entities that want to operate drones in the U.S. Some of the agencies have more than one COA, like the University of Colorado, which may have had as many as 100 different COAs over the last six years. But the FAA released the list of the 56 agencies only after the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and lawsuit against the FAA.
As AllGov reported last year, law enforcement leads the way on interest in drones. Of the 56 domestic agencies, 22 are primarily law enforcement agencies, like the Houston Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security, and 23 are agencies that have law enforcement functions under them, like the 24 universities on the list, all of which have police departments (in one case, a college is listed twice, once for its police department and once for a Research Institute).
Among the law enforcement agencies on the list are the Arlington Police Department in Texas; North Little Rock, Arkansas, PD; Queen Anne’s County Sheriff in Maryland; the FBI; Gadsden PD; Georgia Tech PD; Mesa County Sheriff in Colorado; Miami-Dade PD in Florida; Montgomery County Sheriff in Texas; Ogden, Utah, PD; Polk County Sheriff in Florida; and the Seattle, Washington, Police Department, not to mention Otter Tail County, Minnesota (population 57,303) and the city of Herington, Kansas (population 2,526).
This technology could allow police departments to film the actions of the public below with high definition, infrared and thermal cameras.
But don’t feel relief yet because by 2013 the FAA expects to have made new laws that would allow cops across the nation to regularly use lightweight, unarmed drones up to 400 feet above the ground, high up enough for them to be unseen, ever watching eyes in the sky.
One maker is already advertising one of its small units as an ideal tool for “urban monitoring.” The military, who is often a first user of technologies that enter the civilian realm, is ready to deploy a system in Afghanistan that will be capable of scanning an area the size of a small city.
It’s not if these drones will be abused by law enforcement, it’s when. Law enforcement has a history of using FLIR cameras to spy on "suspected" criminals illegally, without a warrant. It’s naïve to think that these drones won’t be routinely used to illegally spy on civilians. Once the FAA gets that law passed around 2013, it will be open season to use drones to keep the masses in control.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by GogoVicMorrow
They aren't going to be flying weaponized UAVs. They're talking about taking control of one and crashing it into something. That's what they did in this test, except they had a person take it back over at the last minute.
Far different from radar, which works by bouncing radio waves from fixed terrestrial antennas off of airborne targets and then interpreting the reflected signals, ADS-B uses conventional Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology and a relatively simple broadcast communications link as its fundamental components. Also, unlike radar, ADS-B accuracy does not seriously degrade with range, atmospheric conditions, or target altitude and update intervals do not depend on the rotational speed or reliability of mechanical antennas.
In a typical applications, the ADS-B capable aircraft uses an ordinary GNSS (GPS, Galileo, etc) receiver to derive its precise position from the GNSS constellation, then combines that position with any number of aircraft discretes, such as speed, heading, altitude and flight number. This information is then simultaneously broadcast to other ADS-B capable aircraft and to ADS-B ground, or satellite communications transceivers which then relay the aircraft's position and additional information to Air Traffic Control centers in real time.
The 978 MHz Universal Access Transceiver ("UAT") variant is also bi-directional and capable of sending real-time Flight Information Services ("FIS-B"), such as weather and other data to aircraft. In some areas, conventional non-ADS-B radar traffic information ("TIS-B"), can also be uplinked as well.
The goal for UAV introduction into the US NAS is an equivalent level of safety, including collision avoidance for UAV operation, when compared to piloted aircraft. Flight International quotes the FAA's Nick Sabatini on this issue.
Of the remaining regulatory and technological issues, the goal is the certification of a system of technology, feedback, analysis and control, which reduces the risk of an air to air collision, to the same level of risk currently enjoyed for manned flight, is of paramount interest and importance. The regulations governing DSA are contained within 14 CFR 91.113 "Right of Way Rules". ASTM has published a standard, F2411-04e for "DSA Collision Avoidance" and is available for purchase from ASTM International. David Grilley of Alion Science has recently published a paper with AUVSI which describes the problem and represents an analytical framework to evaluate systems that qualify as candidates for DSA within a small UA system.
The most common term for this capability is Detect Sense and Avoid (DSA). The military uses deconfliction. Progress has been made in DSA technology development, is continuing, and more advances are inevitable. The question is - What level of efficiency is sufficient to satisfy the "Comparable to Manned Aircraft" level of safety requirement for collision avoidance for UASs?
Originally posted by texasgirl
Yes, these are all good comments. I never thought of it this way. I only hope the government works to correct this problem and that professional hackers (like the ones who are causing lots of problems with the banks right now!) aren't able to do this later down the road!