A few articles on the wide open frontier of drones: counter-measures and regulation.
9/16 – Sputnick News – Anti-Drone Defense System That Can Fight Micro-UAVs Revealed in London – A company reveals product which they claim can take over control of a drone and force it to land. They claim this is a scalable defensive tool which could be used to protect anything from a small group of people to a large military base.
My guess on the counter-counter measure? Encryption of the signal to the drone.
Nov ’15 – The Atlantic – Playing Defense Against the Drones – Long read on how people as varied as prison wardens, celebrity wedding planners, security firms protecting individuals, and gun clubs are responding to intrusive drones. Great background on where regulation stands in the US (minimal rules on amateurs, stringent rules on business use, and more rules to come).
FAA has granted 1,500 waivers to the rules for government and business agencies to use drones. I had no idea there were that many waivers.
There have been 24 recorded efforts to smuggle contraband into prisons in the last few years. Great low-tech counter measures from one warden. Police tracked down two guys who tried to get stuff in. One is awaiting trial and the other has received a 15 year sentence for smuggling drugs. Big signs announce the area around the prison is a rattlesnake restoration area. Other signs call attention to the nearby bee hives used to teach agriculture to inmates.
You might be deterred from trying to fly a drone into the jail by either by the possibility of 15 years in jail, possibility of a rattlesnake bite, or possibility of a bunch of bee stings.
10/16 – NBC News – U.S. Will Require Drones to Be Registered – Leaks indicate the Dept of Transportation is planning to approve a plan to require all drones to be registered with the feds. Regs expected to be final by Christmas.
Article does not indicate whether the rules will cover new sales or all existing drones as well.
10/19 – Wall Street Journal – US Launches Fast-Track Process for Rules on Drones – Fast track rules allow circumventing normal review and won’t allow usual time for comments or public education. Final rules expected by mid December.
10/21 – Wall Street Journal – US Offers More Specifics on Drone Registration Initiative – One new detail will be to require some sort of identification marker similar to the tail number on airplanes. This supposedly would allow identification of drones operated in places they’re not supposed to be. Since drones don’t have huge rudders on which to paint a registration number, the resulting identification plaque would be really, really small. As in a fraction of an inch tall.