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View Full Version : Attack of the Drones


rickair7777
12-21-2018, 04:48 PM
Looks like a premeditated drone swarm used to shut down a commercial airport.


https://www.npr.org/2018/12/21/679293917/how-to-stop-a-drone-theres-no-good-answer


Shoot it down. Jam it. Use a missile or maybe a net.

There's no shortage of ideas about how to stop a drone, but as the past few days at London's Gatwick Airport show, the reality is far more difficult.

From Wednesday to Friday, flights in and out of Gatwick were halted after a small drone, or perhaps multiple drones, were spotted over the airfield. Hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands of passengers saw their holiday travel plans grounded.

"We had seen drones interfering with air traffic at airports all over the world in the last few years, but we have never seen something on this scale," says Arthur Holland Michel, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. Michel says the goal appeared to have been to disrupt operations at Gatwick for as long as possible.

"What's incredible is that they achieved exactly that effect with very accessible technology that can be bought online for a few hundred dollars," he says.

Michel says that to stop a drone, you first need to find it, and that's not easy to do. "A drone is very small. The airspace is very large," he says. Commercial airliners carry transponders, little radio beacons that allow air traffic control to track their movements precisely. But drones are not required to have transponders. And many are too small to be easily tracked with conventional radar.

British authorities have deployed a range of measures, including helicopters, police officers on the ground, and a military-grade system to find the drone or drones.

But even once they've found it, they will have to do something to stop it. It might seem simplest to just blow it out of the sky, but that's not really an option. "You can't just fire weapons haphazardly in what is a built-up area around the airport," Chris Grayling, the U.K.'s secretary of state for transport, told the BBC's Today program on Friday.

Using more specialized weapons like military-grade lasers or surface-to-air missiles can work better, but those missiles typically cost far more than the average drone, Michel says. And again, deploying them around a commercial airport has the potential to cause more problems than it solves.

British authorities say they now have a range of options available, one of which is widely reported to be an Israeli-developed system known as Drone Dome. The system finds the drone by using a combination of radar, cameras and wireless communications sensors. It can then use signal jamming to interfere with the GPS or radio signal to and from the drone.

Michel says companies are rushing a whole range of anti-drone systems to the marketplace. A survey he conducted back in February found some 230 products on the market. "I think you could safely say within a year of that report coming out we will probably have seen about 100 more products," he says.

The products are using a dizzying array of technologies to try to stop drones. "We've seen things like water cannons, programmable ammunition, lights and lasers to dazzle the drone's sensors," he says. Some companies have even developed anti-drone drones that can either fire a net or simply crash into the offending vehicle. The best way to stop a drone, the thinking goes, may be with more drones.

Michel says eager companies, sensing a growing demand, are making the hard sell, but he doubts any one system will prove completely effective in every environment. "You are going to see a lot of manufacturers that perhaps make claims about their products that are not fully realistic," he warns. "They may have their heart in the right place but their technological solution may not live up to the challenge."


Excargodog
12-21-2018, 05:26 PM
It can then use signal jamming to interfere with the GPS or radio signal to and from the drone..

Deploying vast number of GPS blockers around an airport seems like a suboptimal “solution.”

EasternATC
12-21-2018, 05:57 PM
Looks like a premeditated drone swarm used to shut down a commercial airport.


https://www.npr.org/2018/12/21/679293917/how-to-stop-a-drone-theres-no-good-answer





No, looks more like two guys with one drone.


PurpleToolBox
12-22-2018, 12:40 AM
Looks like a premeditated drone swarm used to shut down a commercial airport.

Drones pose a considerable threat to airports and aircraft. We all know it. However, drones can also be used as a weapon against aircraft and airports.

Imagine a swarm of drones deployed at the departure end an airport where a commercial aircraft is on takeoff roll, and the drones are programmed to visually seek and fly into the engines. Or worse contain explosions. That is doable with existing technology.

I think regulators need to act quickly and propose much more stringent requirements for consumer drones and their design. Requirements such as certification (complete with registration, tail number, etc.etc.), GPS fencing, altitude limiting, line of sight distance limiting, user information broadcasting (the drone control signal should broadcast the certification information along with user's GPS location). And anyone caught with a drone without these features or the features disabled would face serious penalties.

You'll also need some type of system to stop militarized or weaponized drones that have been modified of the above features or built around them.

The article suggest drones on drones. But I wonder if you could teach hawks to attack drones just like the USAF uses hawks to clear airports of birds? Are there enough hawks to deploy them at airports around the world?

I am worried that the genie is out of the bottle and now that the public sees what they can do with a consumer drone, the bad guys are now brainstorming ideas.

rickair7777
12-22-2018, 07:13 AM
No, looks more like two guys with one drone.

Article said "perhaps multiple drones". It's a worrisome concept, more from an economic than a safety perspective.

The commercially available drones need to have built-in limiters to stay out areas like B/C/D, approach corridors and prohibited air space. Could include a mandatory daily pre-flight wifi update to include TFR's.

Wouldn't keep some sophisticated bad actor from building and exporting drones specifically for malign purposes, but it would limit the utility of the ones available to 99% of the usual suspects. And criminalize the bad actors.

Excargodog
12-22-2018, 09:57 AM
Once upon a time you needed real expertise to know enough electronics to program a drone or enough chemistry to build a bomb, and by the time you had worked hard enough to acquire that expertise, you were generally invested enough in the system that you let that knowledge remain theoretical. The Internet has changed all that. You want to make nitro? YouTube has several tutorials. For that matter, the economic cost of doing crazy stuff - at least in constant year dollars, has come WAY down. A $35 Raspberry pi computer has more capability than every computer aboard the Apollo moon missions put together.

Cost, both opportunity cost and financial cost, for idiots and malcontents to commit mayhem must be at an all time low.

Hetman
12-22-2018, 10:05 PM
http://ih1.redbubble.net/image.3847007.5082/flat,1000x1000,075,f.jpg

tomgoodman
12-23-2018, 05:17 AM
This drone business could get out of hand. :eek:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cY3ypQD6p2s

UAL T38 Phlyer
12-23-2018, 03:17 PM
Here’s the solution: :p

jm6a3QXG_qI

I saw some Brits during a middle-East deployment make a bazooka from empty beer cans and duct-tape. They shot tennis balls soaked in lighter fluid (very impressive at night!!) and potatoes.

UK authorities worried about guns? All you need is a handful of potato or tennis ball cannons, and problem solved. ;)

Hell, get some of those t-shirt guns they use in stadiums!

Tummy
12-24-2018, 07:59 AM
I am worried that the genie is out of the bottle and now that the public sees what they can do with a consumer drone, the bad guys are now brainstorming ideas.

The bad guys have been using drones for a long time. It was something I dealt with personally in 2008.

They don't have to knock airliners out of the sky with the drones. The disruption to airport operations are bad enough to significantly impact the local economy.

abelenky
12-24-2018, 08:02 AM
No, looks more like two guys with one drone.

Its increasingly looking like a case of Mass Hysteria / Delusions.
There were no drones at all. No confirmed sightings, no radio signals, no radar returns.

https://www.secretflying.com/posts/police-admit-it-is-a-possibility-there-was-never-a-drone-at-gatwick-airport/

EasternATC
12-24-2018, 10:20 AM
But the Bobbies insist the threat is real! (https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/24/uk/gatwick-airport-drones-investigation-gbr-intl/index.html)

rickair7777
12-24-2018, 01:11 PM
They don't have to knock airliners out of the sky with the drones. The disruption to airport operations are bad enough to significantly impact the local economy.

Yup. Just like throwing barrel size objects in the strait of Hormuz. Insurance companies will tell the oil tankers to stay away.

Hetman
12-24-2018, 03:07 PM
Keeping us all safe from the Boogyman, but at what cost? Since when was cowardice an effective deterrent?

FlyJSH
12-25-2018, 05:37 PM
Forget about the evildoers. I imagine one jerk who buys a house under the departure (who has only been there during a lull) and is P.O.ed that
"all those d--ned airplanes are flying right over" his house. He is the guy I envision messing with traffic.

JohnBurke
12-30-2018, 10:28 PM
We've been seeing quite a bit of this on fires over the past few years; air operations being shut down because some yahoo is flying his little quad copter or remote control airplane around the fire area.

Law enforcement has managed to cite a few of them, most just disappear. I think in one case fire crews downed a "drone" with a hose.

NatGeo
12-31-2018, 01:41 PM
Might have to have a guy in an ultralight standing by.

FlyJSH
01-02-2019, 06:05 PM
More like a few good ol' boys with shotguns.