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The Importance of UAVs

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Re: Limitations as well
bobjengr   6/13/2014 6:03:15 PM
 I certainly agree with you naperlou on needing a collision avoidance system for quadrotor drones and other remote controlled drones.  I also agree that drones can provide a remarkable service when used in difficult and dangerous environments. I feel the mechanical aspects of developing a system is fairly straightforward--its' the control aspects that become the tripping point.  I feel that as these drones find more and more domestic uses; the FAA will step in to regulate them in some fashion, not to mention Homeland Security.  Great post Kevin. 

William K.
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Re: Limitations as well
William K.   6/10/2014 9:31:44 PM
At least one of the drones was hijacked by "spoofing" the GPS system, using fake sattelite signals to mislead the system into believing it was in a different location. My preferred solution would involve a small nuclear device rigged as a booby trap to detonate upon unauthorized access. It would allow us to know just exactly where the drone had been taken for dismantling. And it would help protect the drone technology. It might possibly deter additional hijackings.

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Hi jack UAV
don.norris   6/10/2014 6:28:37 PM
If you have been viewing the latest 24 episodes, you will relize that hi-jacking the USAF X47 is the major plot line.  I really don't believe it is possible, right now, to hi-jack an operational military drone.  In fact, it is almost impossible to take control of any drone.  Having said that, I will state that it maybe possible to interrupt the comm link with a drone such that it goes out of control and likely crashes.  In case of the Iranian drone; the Russians likely over powered the drone link causing it to lose comms.  I can only guess that the fail-safe program that should be installed in these drones, failed and it subsequently crashed.  Some small scale, non-military quadcopters (multirotors) also have a "return to home" function in case the comm link is lost.

Again, only guessing because the actual military contro system is classified, I must assume that it is a satellite based and highly encrypted.  There is simply too small of a time window available to intercept, decode and decrypt the real-time digital control signals to hi jack a military drone, no matter how powerful the enemy's computer system.

In a shameless plug, please take a look a my recently published book, "Build Your Own Quadcopter" to understand why I can make these statements with confidence. I go through the comm link technology that controls civilian drones pointing out how resistent they are to interference.


Don Norris



Cabe Atwell
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Re: Limitations as well
Cabe Atwell   5/31/2014 12:25:18 AM
I agree with you naperlou. I remember when the Russians hacked that drone flight and even Iran (probably a lie) claimed to have taken control of the X-47B. It's a scary thought that they can be hijacked, especially when they are outfitted with munitions.

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Limitations as well
naperlou   5/28/2014 2:21:13 PM
Kevin, from the title I thought you were going to talk about something else. 

I was judging senior projects at DeVry University in Chicago as part of an IEEE group and one of the projects was a quadrotor. 

Frankly, with the microcontrollers available today, at very low cost, implementing these control algorigthms is surely feasible, 

On the other hand, I think we are putting too much emphasis on them in the military.  Against an enemy like the Taliban, they are great.  On the other hand, the Russians have already taken control of and crashed (mostly intact) one of our military drones.  In a conflict with a sophisticated enemy the only useful ones will be the micros that front line troops can use to take a quick look ahead. 

As for civilian use, collision avoidance needs to be required.  I don't want one crashing in my back yard.

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