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.
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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?
You can do anything you want with laws except make Americans obey them. | What I want to do is to look up S. . . . I call him the Schadenfreudean Man.

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

Tom Ligon wrote:I'll concede one of these could carry a small charge.

It could also carry a couple ounces of anthrax or ricin. The law definitely needs to be changed. Probably won't happen until 50,000 people die at a sporting event though.
"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?
You can do anything you want with laws except make Americans obey them. | What I want to do is to look up S. . . . I call him the Schadenfreudean Man.

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

Tom Ligon wrote: This is idiocy.

No, there just needs to be something so transparent it's undeniable, that demonstrates to the general public the flaw in their beliefs. That flaw is a single point failure to the rest of the whole political construct.
You can do anything you want with laws except make Americans obey them. | What I want to do is to look up S. . . . I call him the Schadenfreudean Man.

hanelyp
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Re: Drones

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

Tom Ligon wrote: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'm already seeing paranoia from another direction, suggestions that it was a deliberate false flag operation to support more restrictive regulations. The revelation that the pilot is a government employee with a security service feeds into that.
I will posit that a noisy little quadrotor is pretty easy to bring down.

I've seen videos suggesting it's not so easy, unless you have a LOT of bullets to throw at it like a shotgun. A fairly fast fixed wing model could be even harder to shoot down, with a much longer operating range.
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GIThruster
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Re: Drones

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

hanelyp wrote:I've seen videos suggesting it's not so easy, unless you have a LOT of bullets to throw at it like a shotgun.

I'm sure anyone authorized to blast drones out of the sky would choose a shotgun.

BTW, I am not suggesting all drones be regulated. I think just as we regulate the airspace around the White House for general aviation traffic, we should regulate the lower down airspace used by these toys such that we don't have them crashing into people's lawns, be they government officials or anyone else. And there need to be laws to protect people's privacy. The bikini clad women scampering around the pool in my back yard have not given their consent to be filmed by the twelve year-old next door, and should not be subject to that. There's a fence for a reason. Drones that fly or peer over the fence are deliberately violating my privacy.
"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 wrote:BTW, I am not suggesting all drones be regulated. I think just as we regulate the airspace around the White House for general aviation traffic, we should regulate the lower down airspace used by these toys such that we don't have them crashing into people's lawns, be they government officials or anyone else. And there need to be laws to protect people's privacy. The bikini clad women scampering around the pool in my back yard have not given their consent to be filmed by the twelve year-old next door, and should not be subject to that. There's a fence for a reason. Drones that fly or peer over the fence are deliberately violating my privacy.


The White House is already in a circle of FAA "Prohibited Airspace" that extends to ground level, and the news a day or so back here said there is a law against the things locally. But you know how the old saw goes ... if you make guns illegal, only criminals will have guns." A person intent on putting something illegal onto a quadrotor or model airplane is not going to let something like an airspace prohibition stop them. Prevention or prosecution of criminal acts requires that you focus on the actual criminal activity.

As for the privacy part, most 12-year-old kids not only consider a smart phone an essential part of life, but they must have a selfie stick for it. That's harder to detect, cheaper, and steadier than a quadrotor. So I would suggest that your actual complaint should be directed at misuse of cameras, specifically whatever laws can be reasonably passed against photographing people who reasonably believe that they are secluded on private property.

Cameras are everywhere. A quadrotor flying over your pool may irritate you, but at least you would be aware of it, and can and should complain about it. But what about cameras in sunglasses? There's a huge market in covert cameras these days. If they can hide them in sunglasses, they can hide them anywhere. And one tool in my kit (for peering into walls and tanks) is a video pipe snake. The police use these to peek under doors before breaking them down ... standard tool for plumbers these days that you can buy at Home Depot. Some models have a camera thinner than a pencil, and the better ones are HD.

Then there is the despicable act known as "upskirting." This is done from near ground level, not from the air. And what about hiding cameras in bathrooms or bedrooms? I think the rabbi in DC who had a clock radio with a camera in it (bought as a surveillance device over the internet) probably made national news ... he put the device in an area where young women disrobed for a ritual shower.

Privacy? You got none, fella. Quadrotors can be used to violate it, but they're hardly the worst threat. Again, only targeting the improper use of cameras will help. Thinking you've solved the problem by regulating one possible platform fails to address a thousand other possibilities.

http://www.lorextechnology.com/HD-Sport ... od270001.p

GIThruster
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Re: Drones

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

Tom Ligon wrote:A quadrotor flying over your pool may irritate you, but at least you would be aware of it, and can and should complain about it.

I'm not much of a complainer kinda guy. I'd prefer to just shoot it down. If it's over my property, regardless whether the municipality passed an open season on drones law, the drone is coming down. That's what Remington 11-87 is made for. And honestly, just as we prosecute people who peer over walls and through the windows of others, we need to do the same when people use their drones to thwart attempts at privacy.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis


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