Friday, July 28, 2017

drone infiltrates, blows up ammo dump in Ukraine

"A drone carrying a grenade infiltrated an ammunition dump in Ukraine, setting off an explosion that caused an astounding billion dollars worth of damage. The incident points to the growing use of drones in wartime, particularly off the shelf civilian products harnessed to conduct sabotage and other attacks.

Ukraine's domestic intelligence service, the SBU, believes that a drone carrying a Russian thermite hand grenade caused a series of titanic explosions at Balakliya, a military base in Eastern Ukraine. Amateur video of the incident posted on YouTube shows a raging fire spewing out of control artillery rockets, and an explosion and shockwave that sent civilians nearby reeling."


Here in the Black Hills is the abandoned town of Igloo, where the US military stored ammunition in separate bunkers for this very reason.


Monday, July 24, 2017

A quadcopter that flies and swims

"At the Office of Naval Research’s annual Science and Technology Expo on Friday in Washington, D.C., a development team from Rutgers University demonstrated the unusual quadcopter, which can swim at depths of up to 10 meters, then seamlessly launch to the surface and soar into the air.
The drone, developed with sponsorship from the Office of Naval Research, shows promise as a tool for mine countermeasures and port security, to name a few possibilities."

How far can it go, though?

DIY drone catcher

"The last, few years, air drones have been widely known as they are remote-controlled, flying devices that are capable of filming and photographing while being on the air. Make it extreme team gives its own solution to the problem of the annoying drones that are flying in private places in this video.

Although, we have seen various mechanisms instead of drones, our construction is unique and maybe it is the first homemade, anti-drone gun. Initially, our thought was simple, to create a gun with four barrels which would shoot a net with the help of compressed air and it would trap this flying device. "

how not to take a family video

UK comes up with drone rules

"Drones will have to be registered and users will have to sit safety awareness tests under new rules to better regulate their growing use, the government announced today (22 July 2017).
Owners of drones weighing 250 grams [8.8 ounces] and over will in future have to register details of their drones to improve accountability and encourage owners to act responsibly.
Users may be able to register online or through apps, under plans being explored by the government. The move follows safety research that concluded drones could damage the windscreens of helicopters."

that includes some mighty small quadcopters.  the DJI Spark weighs about 300 grams (10.5 ounces).  But as they get more sophisticated and capable, perhaps that is a good cutoff point.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Slaying the mighty Dro-en

and bonus;

Friday, July 14, 2017

My first flight above 20 feet with my new DJI Spark

I'm very happy with my Spark so far. I really just want to use it for taking video and photos, so i don't need speed or distance.  It handles pretty well in a wind, and is rock solid at hovering.  After flying my 7-year old quadcopter, this is like child's play.

It took a bit to set everything up, since you have to get the controller (yes, get the controller), the phone, and the quadcopter to communicate. But after that things were fine.  No issues so far.

163 mph quadcopter

"Pushing the technology that goes into the DRL’s Racer3 to its limits, those same engineers recently designed and built a high-performance racing craft called the DRL RacerX. Weighing just 800 grams (1.7 pounds), the RacerX is powered by a pair of 1,300 mAh batteries and four electric motors that can each hit speeds of up to 46,000 RPMs."

Yow, I wouldn't want to get hit by one of those!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

military still hounded by civilian drones

"At an Air Force Association breakfast Tuesday, Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, said  a pilot in a Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-22 had a 'near collision with a small UAS' while trying to land. He said that a hobbyist was most likely flying the unmanned aerial system, but warned 'you never know.'
'Imagine a world where somebody flies a couple hundred of those and flies one down the intake of my F-22s with just a small weapon on it', he said.
In April, the Federal Aviation Administration banned drone flight over 133 military bases, and Holmes said there are signs around bases that say it's a 'no-drone area.'
But that has done little to stop drones from wandering into military airspace. Holmes said that in a separate incident last week, a drone flew over a gate at another base."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

drone helps prison escape

"Authorities believe that Causey—who was sentenced to life in prison for holding a lawyer named Jack Swerling and his family hostage in 2002—orchestrated the whole thing using a cellphone he smuggled into the maximum security prison.
'We 100 percent know a cellphone was used, or multiple cellphones were used, while he was incarcerated,'South Carolina Department of Corrections director Brian Stirling said at a news conference on Friday. 'And we believe a drone was used to fly in the tools that allowed him to escape.'
It's still unclear how Causey managed to get ahold of all those items. It does, however, seem like he's gotten slightly better at breaking out from behind bars since his last attempt in 2005."

Friday, July 7, 2017

Deadwood puts a halt to drone flying

"The ordinance, which was developed by the city’s Public Safety Committee and passed first reading Monday night, notes it is being enacted 'to protect the health and safety of all persons lawfully within the city or city airspace and to prevent damage to persons and property.'
If approved by the commission on second reading July 17, the ordinance would make it unlawful to operate a drone over the protected airspace within the area designated by the 1961 National Historic Landmark District, which spans the entire downtown...

Under the ordinance, modeled after one enacted by Aberdeen, drone use would be allowed with permits from the Federal Aviation Administration, Deadwood City Commission, chief of police, public works director or fire chief and does not preclude use by law enforcement agencies, or federal or state agencies."

FAA rules already say you can't fly over people.  But this gives local police authority over drones that will be more clear and helpful.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

quadcopter idiot caught interfering with fire suppression efforts

"Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve made an arrest in the case of a drone that forced aircrews fighting the Goodwin Fire to be grounded.
Gene Alan Carpenter, a 54-year-old resident of Prescott Valley, was arrested and charged with 14 counts of endangerment, all felonies, and a count of unlawful operation of an unmanned aircraft, which is a misdemeanor.
A news release from YCSO said that on Wednesday, June 28, a drone began circling one of the airplanes that was battling the Goodwin Fire. Because of that intrusion, the plane left the area, leaving ground crews unprotected. Those ground crews had to disengage from fighting the fire and all aircraft were grounded for nearly an hour."

Throw the book at him!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Daesh using drones more frequently to bomb

"The Islamic State (IS) group is using drones rigged with munitions in the battle for the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, a FRANCE 24 team inside the jihadist group’s highly dangerous self-proclaimed capital discovers."