Thursday, September 8, 2016

Drone Survival

The reality of this day and age is that we can be watched by our government or others just about anywhere, day or night. Between cameras everywhere, satellites, and everyone with a phone, drones are a natural for these NSA watching days. When I was kid they called these things RC or radio controlled, and they were considered toys even though you could spend a lot of money on one. It wasn’t until after 9-11 that the military beefed up their use of drones and started arming them.
One of the first recorded usages of drones was by Austrians on August 22, 1849. They launched some 200 pilotless balloons mounted with bombs against the city of Venice. Less than two decades later in the U.S. Civil War, Confederate and Union forces both flew balloons for reconnaissance missions. In 1896 Samuel P. Langley developed a range of steam-powered aerodromes, unpiloted aircraft that were flown successfully along the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. In those ninety-second flights, a glimpse of the future could be seen in the hovering aerodrome. The practice of aerial surveillance later emerged in the 1898 Spanish–American War when the U.S. military fitted a camera to a kite, producing the first ever aerial reconnaissance photos. In World War I, aerial surveillance was used extensively. Analysts used stereoscopes to hunt for visual clues about enemy movements on photos that were stitched together to form mosaic maps.
With this history why wouldn’t the military, and others, use drones? Drones are used to monitor pipelines, and to find livestock, besides delivering Amazon packages. There are many applications that I’m sure have not been thought of yet. Either way, drones are here to stay.
My privacy is important to me. What would I do if I was constantly being harassed by a drone? Probably blow it out of the sky out of the owners view.
A Kentucky man became a local celebrity of sorts after he was arrested for shooting down with a shotgun a drone hovering over his property.
William Merideth of Hillview, Kentucky believed the drone was spying on his 16 year old daughter while she sunbathed in their garden.
The drone's operator claimed he was in fact taking pictures of a friend's home.
But a Bullitt County judge later ruled that Merideth was right and dismissed all charges.
Others have not fared so well. There’s even a drone shooting shot gun shell. I’m not sure why you need a specialized shell to do the job. I mean if it’s a toy 3 pound RC I think bird shot would take it out.
The FAA Rules as of June 21, 2016 say this:
“Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.”
A summary of those rules can be found here:
So to operate a drone weighing less than 55 pounds over your neighbor’s backyard without the participation of your neighbor is against the FAA rules. Is this law? No. The FAA does not make laws, but a judge may look at the FAA’s rules as law. Does this mean you can blow it out of the sky? No. I would not recommend a shot gun blast in a place where you cannot shoot a gun because that would be against the law. I live in the country where I can shoot so the issue might be me destroying someone else’s property rather than discharging a firearm in a certain jurisdiction.
Yet I like the idea of having options for defending against drones, legal or not. As I said before, this is for informational purposes only. Do not break the law. If things ever got bad enough laws would not matter. Keep up with the FAA “rules” because they seem to be fluid.
Here are some ideas from the “Drone Survival Guide”:
Hiding from Drones
Drones are equipped with extremely powerful cameras which can detect people and vehicles at an altitude of several kilometers. Most drones are equipped with night vision, and/or infrared vision cameras, so-called FLIR sensors. These can see human heat signatures from far away, day or night. However there are ways to hide from drones.
1. Day camouflage: Hide in the shadows of buildings or trees.
Use thick forests as natural camouflage or use camouflage nets.
2. Night camouflage: Hide inside buildings or under protection of trees or foliage. Do not use flashlights or vehicle spot lights, even at long distances. Drones can easily spot these during night missions.
3. Heat camouflage: Emergency blankets (so-called space blankets) made of Mylar can block infrared rays. Wearing a space blanket as a poncho at night will hide your heat signature from infrared detection. Also in summer when the temperature is between 36°C and 40°C, infrared cameras cannot distinguish between body and its surroundings.
4. Wait for bad weather. Drones cannot operate in high winds, smoke, rainstorms, or heavy weather conditions.
5. No wireless communication. Using mobile phones or GPS-based communication will compromise your location.
6. Spreading reflective pieces of glass or mirrored material on a car on a roof will confuse the drone’s camera.
7. Decoys. Use mannequins or human-sized dolls to mislead the drone’s reconnaissance.

Hacking Drones
Drones are remote controlled. The pilots operating the drone can be thousands of kilometers away at ground control stations. The control link is the satellite transmitted datalink by which the pilot controls the plane. By jamming or intercepting the datalink, one can interfere with the drone’s controls. The data link is sometimes encrypted but not always.
1. Interception. A complicated technique is to use sky grabber software with a satellite dish and a TV tuner to intercept the drone’s frequencies. Communication from and to the drone can be intercepted.
2. Interference. By broadcasting on different frequencies or pack of frequencies the link between the drone pilot and the drone can be disconnected.
3. GPS spoofing. Small, portable GPS transmitters can send fake GPS signals and disrupt the drones’ navigation systems. This can be used, for example, to steer drones into self-destruction flight paths or even hijack them and land them on a runway.

These are viable ideas and safer than shooting the drone from the sky. If the drone is sophisticated enough you couldn’t shoot it down with small arms anyway.
The above website offers for sale a drone survival guide to ID common drones used by countries throughout the world. It shows silhouettes of these drones printed on aluminum paper so the guide itself can be used as a reflective devise against drones. It does give you the guide and more information to download for free. I think it’s a good guide although I don’t think I’ll ever need it. I like options.

Drones are a real concern these days as more and more our privacy is being invaded.

Semper Paratus
Check 6