Drones

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ladajo
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Re: Drones

Postby ladajo » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:25 pm

Reflectivity can tell you a lot about a substance. LIDAR can do some pretty cool stuff.
Things that probably can not be talked about here.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Betruger
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Re: Drones

Postby Betruger » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:42 pm

Would that sort of hardware/software be unusable for NASA, or is there a way to release the data produced without revealing what needs to stay secret?

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:58 pm

Almost all classified radar stuff concerns signal analysis and processing that gives things like phased array pointing and aperture synthesis, with the exceptional addition of the powerful millimeter wave radars developed for air-to-air applications. The processing itself is extremely advanced. Interferometry is by comparison, pretty simple. There is a little work on high k dielectrics but these are quite limited from VHF on up.

Reflectivity is a function of frequency, so to get a really nice idea of what something is made of, one wants to use more than one frequency. Many radar systems use multiple frequencies for other reasons. Radar generally has better power and range but worse resolution, the lower the frequency; as well as requires a larger array. Multi-frequency radars like the AN/SPY-1 aboard all Aegis equipped ships happen to have this capability for missiles, that also allows really funky analysis of materials at distance. That's not what they're designed for. That's just a nice benefit from having such an astonishing array and the processing to go with it.

When you don't need resolution, in general lower frequency is better. AN/SPY-1 is microwave and at 10 MW only good to about 175 miles. We're looking at a similar system but in VHF that would give far greater range inside far smaller a package but with greatly reduced resolution. Imagine the power in most ways, of an Aegis equipped cruiser that fits in the nose of a BOne long range missile gunship. A single plane could shoot down hole squadrons of J20's from hundreds of miles away, anywhere in the world with such a system.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:38 am

We're about to go thru a new wave of paranoia and "something must be done" regarding the toy that crashed on the White House lawn.

I periodically see people worrying about what these things can carry and how they will destroy our privacy. I'll concede one of these could carry a small charge.

But if you go to a sporting event these days, there will likely be a small squad of people launching tee-shirts into the crowd, maybe with an outsized rubber band slingshot, or if they are well-funded, maybe one of these:

http://www.tshirtgun.com/bleacherreacherpro.html

I will posit that a noisy little quadrotor is pretty easy to bring down. The link below says one group spying on a shooting club has had it happen 4 times so far. Thus, it the Secret Service wants to issue a few shotguns with duck shot, they can probably intercept these.

http://www.suasnews.com/2012/11/19719/a ... urth-time/

But what about grenades, pipe bombs, mortar shells, etc? Heavy stuff on a ballistic trajectory is low-tech, and hard to stop. Quadrotors are a distraction, and any defenses put in place specifically for those would be meaningless PR in response to "something must be done."

As for invasion of privacy, nobody has any anyway. But here's some insight. A couple of days ago I replaced my old analog low-def security camera system with a new 1080p IP-based system. The cameras are way sharper. They're also similar to the Go Pro Heroes they're putting on quadrotors ... wide angle. Last night I ran a test to see if the camera could have identified a little perp who egged our front door on New Year, 2005. I did frame grabs on that incident, and got black and white ghost blurs of him. I could tell his pitching form was excellent, but identification was impossible.

So last night I replicated the event, without the egg, using the new cameras. While the image was better, my face is so pixilated you can't even tell I have a beard. The problem is the wide angle. At 40 feet, identifying someone with a typical wide angle security camera is hopeless. At 15-20 feet, it works much better. If you want to photograph from a UAV at longer distances, you need a seriously stabilized telephoto camera.

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:08 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:32 pm

Or you could carry ten pounds in a paper sack and dump it from the cheap seats in the upper level. There's already a law against making anthrax and ricin.

I'm on record with the DHS as saying to forget the toys. I'm more worried about houred-out but flyable cargo planes. You can pick up an old L-1011 for less than the cost of a Beech Bonanza, and it will carry 100 tons.

Betruger
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Re: Drones

Postby Betruger » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:12 pm

What am I missing? Is not the cost of one of those cheaper manned aircraft still equivalent to multiple drones which themselves are operable by a single human, and remotely?

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:42 pm

Cheaper, yeah, but if you wanted to kill a bunch of people, would you want a UAV that could carry a cherry bomb, or enough explosives to equal a tactical nuclear weapon? For a project of that scale, there's no problem finding a volunteer to fly it. But frankly, it would not be as hard as you think to rig one to fly itself. Easier today than Joe Kennedy's last flight, if you are wondering how to get it in the air. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Aphrodite

I know people who hate motorcycles because there are motorcycle gangs, and some members are criminals. I've been known to gently point out that there are also car clubs and almost all criminals drive cars. So obviously we should ban cars because sometimes they are used by criminals, and even in the hands of ordinary people they kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

After they come around and collect all the guns, I expect kitchen knives will be next. I've already been treated as a suspicious character because I'm in the habit of carrying a Swiss Army Knife.

Backpacks and briefcases are searched or outright banned in some places. A little larger bomb in a briefcase would have shortened WWII, when no aerial bomb at the time could have gotten into that bunker. Ban those dangerous briefcases ... except maybe we send one to NK.

If we ban everything somebody could tie a firecracker onto, or contaminate with germs, or put some poison in, we're going to all be sitting around in empty rooms afraid to go near anything. This is idiocy.

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:06 pm

Tom, we already know the islamo-fascists have their eye on anthrax and ricin because we have recovered the cookbooks explaining how to weaponize them. What is missing is the delivery system. A small pan with a lid operated by a $2 servo is enough to dose an entire stadium and no one would know what was happening until it was way too late to stop it.

Besides, there are already privacy issues with the drones. Just because you can do a thing, does not mean you should do a thing.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:21 pm

We'll ban pan lids, too, then. Mmmm, and cookbooks. Ban cookbooks!

People look this stuff up on computers. Ban those.

My wife is a gardener. Gardeners can raise beans. Castor oil comes from beans. Lock up all the gardeners.

Criminal activity is criminal. The fact that a criminal uses something common does not make the common thing criminal. It does not even make a way cool toy criminal.

Delivering a powder or aerosol does not require a UAV. Someone with the criminal intent to do so and the slightest bit of imagination will do so.

Betruger
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Re: Drones

Postby Betruger » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:23 pm


hanelyp
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Re: Drones

Postby hanelyp » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:32 am

The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:31 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Tom Ligon
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Re: Drones

Postby Tom Ligon » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:38 pm


GIThruster
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Re: Drones

Postby GIThruster » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:22 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis


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