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Old 02-21-2013, 03:42 AM   #1
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Drones Large and Small Coming to US

http://news.yahoo.com/drones-large-s...010537668.html

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Most of the drones that have begun to appear in the skies above the U.S. homeland don't resemble the Predators or Reapers flown by the U.S. military and CIA above Afghanistan and Pakistan. Instead, these smaller versions of flying, unmanned vehicles almost rival the animal kingdom in their diversity.
Government agencies such as NASA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection operate aircraft-size military drones that take off from runways like airplanes. Labs in the United States have even built tiny drones that look like hummingbirds. But most drones resemble the radio-controlled aircraft and toy helicopters flown by hobbyists for decades, capable of taking off horizontally, vertically or by being thrown into the air like a trained falcon or hawk.
"To say they're all the same is not accurate at all, said Kevin Lauscher, an industrial sales representative for Draganfly Innovations Inc.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration does not plan to permit drones armed with weapons in U.S. civilian airspace, according to an official quoted by the Washington Times. But state agencies, sheriff's offices and universities have already found more widespread use for drones that carry cameras for taking photos or video from above.

"If you look at the capabilities, there are small, quad helicopters and rotor helicopters that can be fitted with a camera and fit in the palm of your hand," Lauscher told TechNewsDaily. "They go all the way up [in size] to a Global Hawk, which is a relatively large military drone.

Draganfly Innovations builds small drones weighing less than 5 pounds that fly under the control of a human operator using two joysticks. The Canadian company has sold some drones to law enforcement for taking pictures or video of traffic accidents or crime scenes, as well as aiding SWAT teams preparing to storm a building or housing compound. [7 Next Generation UAVs]

But law enforcement represents a relatively small part of Draganfly's business. Many more clients use drones to cheaply inspect the exterior of huge factories, manufacturing facilities or construction sites. Drones could even help check on tall structures such as wind turbines, Lauscher said.

FAA drone license applications tracked by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights organization, suggest many other possible uses. Some U.S. states have begun considering drones for checking on highway traffic conditions, inspecting bridges and fighting wildfires. U.S. corporations, such as FedEx, have already begun planning for the day when drones could deliver packages.

Unlike free-flying birds, practically every unmanned aerial vehicle known as a drone flies under some form of human remote control. But university labs have already shown how pre-programmed drones can carry out intricate flight patterns, and military-grade drones have emergency backup routines in case they lose the signal connection to their human operators.
Bird watchers accustomed to spotting a gaggle of geese or a murder of crows may someday spot similar groupings of drones. Such drone swarms will likely use advanced forms of today's artificial intelligence programs to coordinate their missions without precise human control, a future with possibilities both delightful and daunting.
"Can drone technology be abused? Absolutely," Lauscher said. "Can they be beneficial and save lives? Absolutely."
Slippery slope.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:51 AM   #2
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:10 AM   #3
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Slippery slope.
Sorry, I don't see how this is a slippery slope. After major conflicts, military inventions have found civilian applications, and have even spawned innovation. Can drone use be abused? Probably no more than than a cop abusing his authority that we always read about. If it weren't for the negative publicity drones have received in the news, I doubt we wouldn't even think twice. Not surprising that controversy surrounds technological advancement. However, In this case, drones in the US won't be reigning down hellfire missiles.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:37 AM   #4
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It's cool, though, because it'll take a government official to sign your death warrant, not just the whims of the operator.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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But do they fly slow enough so I can shoot them down?

I thought it was a bird!
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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Innovations biggest obstacle.... Tin foil hat community.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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But do they fly slow enough so I can shoot them down?

I thought it was a bird!

my first thought too! Who's going to be the first in trouble with the government because one of these RC nerds working for the govt. flew a drone over a good hunting spot and got shot down... haha!
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Innovations biggest obstacle.... Tin foil hat community.
So drones over the US are a good thing?

Edit: nvm, I forgot if one life can be saved, it's worth it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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Innovations biggest obstacle.... Tin foil hat community.


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So drones over the US are a good thing?

Edit: nvm, I forgot if one life can be saved, it's worth it.
More like lives can be taken. Security over freedom my friend. Freedom is slavery. Welcome to the police state. Quick you better arm up and head to the streets. That way the drones know who to hit first.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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So drones over the US are a good thing?

Edit: nvm, I forgot if one life can be saved, it's worth it.
George Orwell's "1984"...

Big Brother wants to watch you
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Big Brother wants to watch you
I really don't see it any different than a police officer cruising through a neighborhood on patrol, or a police helicopter flying around. The difference is a drone is flying over, providing aerial coverage that is unmanned.

Like I alluded to earlier, the term "drone" has a negative connotation when people conceptualize it in their minds. You can thank the media for that. There are plenty of useful Law Enforcement, Border Patrol, scientific, and civilian applications - non conspiracy related for drone use.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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Eh, there's a pretty big difference. A police patrol in a neighborhood provides presence and potential deterrence. It also allows for a rapid response in the neighborhood.

A drone is surveillance only. Drones are also generally meant to not be readily apparent. So now we're looking at surreptitious surveillance.

I can understand some uses for this, like you said, in something like border patrol. But it in no way replaces a person on the ground.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #13
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who needs drones when you have google maps cars?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:16 PM   #14
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Eh, there's a pretty big difference. A police patrol in a neighborhood provides presence and potential deterrence. It also allows for a rapid response in the neighborhood.

A drone is surveillance only. Drones are also generally meant to not be readily apparent. So now we're looking at surreptitious surveillance.

I can understand some uses for this, like you said, in something like border patrol. But it in no way replaces a person on the ground.
A hellfire can make a drone capable of rapid response.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #15
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A hellfire can make a drone capable of rapid response.
Good luck using that in a neighborhood.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #16
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Good luck using that in a neighborhood.
How so? I think it would be effective.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by NOVAbimmer View Post
Eh, there's a pretty big difference. A police patrol in a neighborhood provides presence and potential deterrence. It also allows for a rapid response in the neighborhood.

A drone is surveillance only. Drones are also generally meant to not be readily apparent. So now we're looking at surreptitious surveillance.

I can understand some uses for this, like you said, in something like border patrol. But it in no way replaces a person on the ground.
True, for US domestic purposes a drone would provide surveillance, but it can be argued that a Drone's presence can provide deterrence. You can probably use examples in OIF and OEF of unarmed Drones deterring enemy action as an analogy. Though the question is how would a US citizen, doing nefarious things, would act knowing it was an unarmed drone. I guess that would depend on response time from sighting to LE arrival. Good point on surreptitious surveillance, however it can compliment Law Enforcement presence by putting more eyes and dwell time on an area, or even crime ridden areas. Thus, they can vector in and guide LEO if something is observed.

Of course it will never replace a person on the ground, but I do see it as complementing and enhancing the abilities of the person on the ground.

I don't think the Drone is an end all be all, nor do I think it's a silver bullet solution for solving crime. I just see it as a technological enhancement to LE/CBP abilities, and even saving time and resources while expanding coverage area and dwell time.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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How so? I think it would be effective.
It would be effective at eliminating the threat. And their house. And doing serious damage to their neighbors houses. And most likely spread shrapnel all over the block.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #19
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It's cool, though, because it'll take a government official to sign your death warrant, not just the whims of the operator.
How would that happen in the US if the Drones are unarmed?

I know what you're getting at, such as the case with Anwar Al-Alaki and recent news on the administration/DOJ providing Congress with a white paper on legal grounds to use drones against US citizens with a nexus to terrorism overseas. To be fair, I believe that is a slippery slope argument and I'm not entirely convinced. If that were to happen, I think a trial should occur, even if the accused is tried in absentia. This article talks about using drone technology for other applications other than going after Al Qaeda.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #20
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It would be effective at eliminating the threat. And their house. And doing serious damage to their neighbors houses. And most likely spread shrapnel all over the block.
What's the issue? Especially if dropped in areas deemed "less desirable"
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