Drones should have one altitude range assigned to them, where manned flight is a keepout and is only transitional for climb or descent to manned altitudes. That altitude is also, hopefully, such that they can be used for skeet practice
A recent TV show -- one of those fictional law dramas -- had an episode in which the main character shot down a police drone that was hovering over her backyard.
If drone use does become widespread over U.S. airspace, you can bet there are people who will try to use them for skeet practice!
Hardware and in particular FPGA and CPLD (firmware) also needs a critical evaluation. I have worked on real-time and embedded control systems my entire career as a software developer. While software does deserve its share of the blame for error, bugs, etc. Hardware and firmware are just as critical. The drones will need reliable high speed communication links that must stream video in real time. Will there be a requirement for collision avoidance systems? The hardware and firmware define the constraints in which the software has to operate. If the hardware or firmware is not up to the task, then it is irrational to expect the software to take up the slack. Yet, this is often what is required. All in all, this is a bad idea on multiple fronts and is just an accident waiting to happen.
I have much more confidence in safety from private aviation because the pilot/owner is sitting in the thing. I am concerned about the drones falling out of the sky because someone forgot to fill them up, change the oil or check out that crack in the wing root.
As I private pilot, no one can convince me that a "pilot" sitting in an office chair at an Air Force Base will have the same concern for conflicting traffic as the pilot risking his own butt in flight.
After seeing this I have zero confidence in drones and even less in our governments concern for public safety, no that's an oxy moron huh, PUBLIC SAFETY.
The use of drones could be a hazard to the general publics safety.
A good way to explore further would be to employ these drones for border surveillance, coast monitoring, wildlife park inspection etc before deploying them in urbane environment. Irrespective of when, a clear agreement on standards which govern the development of these drones needs realization soon. The very core of aviation- Air Traffic Management, also needs to be analyzed to see how they should evolve to cope up with a multitude of platforms in the sky many of which could be these unmanned drones.
In military, with UCAVs/other Unmanned flying platforms under development and an acceptance of the plausibility of them replacing manned platforms, the push for acceptance of drones is likely to pick up as technology gets proven in the battlefield subject to customization to urbane environment.
If the drone technology is perfected would we see one day individual drones to be available for purchase? Wealthy individuals will be buying them for fun, tourist explorations, spying on neighbors etc. The sky will become as full as highways today! Kris
Drones of incredible capability are available right now for a few hundred dollars and they can be operated by virtually anyone that is reading this forum. Checkout DIYdrones.com to see the open source state of the art. Today A checkbook is all that is required to own a drone.
There are rules that cover the use of radio controlled hobby aircraft. These rules have delivered acceptable safety for all. These rules should be a good baseline for drones. Some RC aircraft can be several feet long and weigh many pounds.
I agree RC aircraft rules are a good place to start, but they are usually over unpopulated areas and noted to pilots. What happens when everywhere is opened to drones? As a private pilot I'm very worried about one of those drones colliding into me.
Yes, and it was captured by technology created by www.keshefoundation.com. Listen to Sterling Allan's interview from this website. You will be amazed. Ask yourself a question: How can a drone be captured while flying at high speed, intact and so that self destruction sequence was not able to start ? I particularly liked the bit where Mr. Keshe said that F16 and F18 are obsolete. They can fly at at Mach 2 or Mach 3 at most and need refueling every two hours. Technology developed by Keshe Foundation can fly Mach 30, 40, 50 and dont need refueling. They develop their own gravity that is always 1G, so pilot don't feel the high speed. They are also undetectable in radar. I could hear Allan gasping when he heard this. This technology will be given to all governments and a demonstration will be held during this month. Iranian's are using 4th generation tech, Keshe Foundation is currently finishing testing with their 6th generation tech. Too good to be true ? Well, a US spy drone was captured while in mid air. Makes one think, yes ?
From a technical standpoint all of this is just bugs to be worked out... Our society and leaders must more importantly ask ourselves not "Could we?" but "Should we?" The U.S. has already placed itself on a very slippery slope in international relations by flying combat missions inside of other countries (yes even an unmanned but armed drone with intent to hunt/kill terrorists is involved in a combat mission) without prior permission. To allow such drones in-country may have severe ramifications for constitutional liberties and for ensuring proper processes are followed that at least maintain a semblance of justice. In many large metropolitan police departments "SWAT" teams are routinely used to "deliver subpoenas" by bashing down doors screaming in the confusion "Warrant!" and shooting anything that doesn't submit. Although the media has been relatively gentle with such news and innumerable "wrong doors" have been destroyed, and several "neighbors" have been shot dead in such erroneous actions, there remains a scary similarity with what the British were doing around 1800 to the American citizenry. What restrictions are placed upon these drones, and how those restrictions are enforced, will determine their place in history.
With respect to doors being smashed in the name of delivering a subpoena, I don't want to sound paranoid or sound like one of those survivalist guys, which I'm not, but given today's political climate, particularly taking into consideration whether or not you live on a neighborhood susceptible to this type of police action (it wouldn't and doesn't happen in affluent communities) one might want to consider installing a reinforced door or even, perhaps, a fake door that is actually a wall, with the real door located elsewhere. This sounds ridiculous, but but it is a fact that the wrong doors have been smashed down and innocent people killed. (Just watch any episode of the TV show Cops (What we now consider as normal and "acceptable" is scary.)) Unless and until Congress and/or the courts do something about this, what I'm describing may be the only practical solution short of moving to another neighborhood. Wayne.
The drones are probably no more dangerous than a typical commercial aircraft. Pilots nowadays are babysitters. Most of what they do is automated. Sometimes when this technology fails they crash because the pilot has not spent enough time actually flying the airplane. This happened a few years ago when an Airbus crashed off the coast of South America. Hopefully the lessons learned from that event will make the sky a safer place for manned and unmanned aircraft.
Air France crash had a similar problem, the plane was flying fine but its instruments went wild...the pilot got lost not knowing which indicators to trust and which not...and probably didn't have enough experience in actually flying the plane without autopilot...Kris
When you talk about high-profile passenger plane incidents you're dealing with issues like "icing over" multiple pitot tubes which louses up all the parameters coming out of the air data system. This is generally a "legacy architecture" issue, I could be wrong but I wouldn't expect to find that technology in a modern drone design when more reliable data comes from navigation data provided by the GPS and/or inertial system. But it does indicate we need to be careful we don't "mandate in" components from older designs to modern drones for collision avoidance reasons simply because these are components we have a "safety record" for from experience on piloted aircraft, awful as it may be, and rushing pell-mell towards a solution tends to increase the risk that bad decisions like this may creep into the specifications.
By downgrading the professional status of engineers, societies wordwide have lost control over who makes what.
With regard to weapons, this is A Bad Thing.
Drones are something that really should not be developed without licensing; but there is no longer any way to rein in the techies who can do this stuff.
A Drone, like an amateur radio set, shouldn't be deployed without licensing, because the potential for nuisance, nay disaster, is hugely greater.
Airspace is a public resource with risks to health and its use needs to be common-sense rationed to trained professionals, just like pharmaceuticals, medicine, guns(except in the US), high voltage electricity, poisons, biohazards (oops, already losing that one).
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.