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DrQuine
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CEO
Privacy, Property, Safety, and Aviation
DrQuine   6/6/2014 5:52:01 PM
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It seems that the drones intersect four issues: Privacy, Property, Safety, and Aviation. I think that most people would consider it and unreasonable invasion of their privacy for a drone to hover outside their window and record activity inside the house. The problem becomes more complicated if the drone maintains a distance and is outside the owner's three dimensional property ... but uses a telephoto lens to record activity in the house. Obviously there is also a safety concern - especially since the drones might suffer a failure, run out of fuel, or hit a wire. Finally aviation needs to be protected from the random movements of drones. It will be interesting to see how privacy, property, safety, and aviation get resolved. 

Stargzer
User Rank
CEO
12-gauge
Stargzer   6/2/2014 12:30:34 PM
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@jnissen

Actually, rather than sending up FLAK (Jay Carney just resigned), I think it would be more fun to send up an R/C P-51D Mustang with 6 BB guns or maybe a couple of scaled-down HVARs (High Velocity Aircraft Rocket).

jnissen
User Rank
Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
jnissen   6/2/2014 12:22:48 PM
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LOL yes lots of practice. I'm an R/C hobbiest so I really do like the concept of drones and all. As with any newer technology, in the wrong hands they could be a lot of trouble.

Stargzer
User Rank
CEO
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Stargzer   6/2/2014 12:13:31 PM
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@jnissen: "Luckily a 12 gauge with 00-Buckshot will easily dispatch a drone over my "garden". I would have no hesitation doing that."

Unless you're really way out in the boondocks, you've been listening to Vice President Biden too much.  In most suburbs the neighbors, and especially the police, frown on the discharging of a firearm. It's also frowned on in cities, but in some neighborhoods if it's only one shot no one will pay much attention unless it hits them, their house, or an innocent bystander.

I would recommend a full choke and some practice with clay pigeons first.

 

salbayeng
User Rank
Rookie
Measuring drone altitude
salbayeng   6/1/2014 4:32:32 AM
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Airliners use a "radio altimeter" to measure height AGL.  (Note that the word "height" implicitly means above "natural ground level")

An altimeter measures "altitude" as pressure and converting this atmospheric pressure to distance above mean sea level (=AMSL) , an aircraft altimeter has a zero-ing knob, so you can use it measure "altitude above field elevation"  rather than "altitude as natural height" These two methods are labelled "QFE" and "QNH" , so for example consider you take off from an airport in the mountains that is 5000' AMSL ,  before takeoff you twist the knob so the altimeter reads zero. When you get to 1000' above the airstrip the altimeter reads 1000'QFE  , now you want to fly to the coast,  if you then spin the knob so that 1013mB appears in the window, the altimeter will read 6000'QNH. I.e. 6000'QNH = 5000'Elevation + 1000'QFE

Most camera equipped drones will have a barometric sensor (and GPS) and an on screen display (OSD) ,  so they can zero the measured altitude at power up, then after that it will display height above ground (i.e. QFE altitude). So the operator can see the height at any time on his monitor, many of the drones include primitive autopilots that can operate in altitude hold or heading hold modes. 

Cheaper drones without a camera, like model aircraft, look so small at 500' that it is difficult to visually control them.

There is an inherent assumption in QFE that you are operating in a relatively flat area , so operating at 500' above Field Elevation won't stop you crashing you into the side of a nearby mountain (You really need a radar altimeter to stop that)

Low flying survey aircraft can fly 500' above undulating terrain, provided they pre-calculate a "drape" from a terrain map. (Cruise missiles do this too) 

salbayeng
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
salbayeng   6/1/2014 3:56:19 AM
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@Wilbur_Xbox

Regulations vary from country to country (And I'm in Oz)

But typically unlicensed model aircraft are allowed to operate from SFC to 500'AGL

(i.e. from the SurFaCe=ground level to 500' Above Ground Level)

(In the US unlicensed ultralight can also operate here?)

From 500' to 1000' AGL is where helicopters usually operate

Pilots with low flying endorsements can operate as low as possible

Fixed wing aircraft are required to be more than 500' above man made objects, and radio/cell masts are usually 300' , and mounted on small hills, this means typically 1000' above ground. 

Fixed wing aircraft flying a circuit near an aerodrome will be at 1000' 

Cruising aircraft will be 1500' or more AGL (to avoid conflict with airport traffic) 

If you are a licensed UAV operator (i.e. professional drone driver or miltary) and have VHF radio / transponder etc, then you can pretty much operate anywhere. 

wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
wilber_xbox   5/31/2014 11:29:02 PM
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In some sense, government has already defined what is your skylimit when it said in its regulations that hobbist can only fly upto 150m only. What is not clear to me whether this is from the ground or from the topmost level of your house. Anyways!

wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
wilber_xbox   5/31/2014 11:29:02 PM
NO RATINGS
In some sense, government has already defined what is your skylimit when it said in its regulations that hobbist can only fly upto 150m only. What is not clear to me whether this is from the ground or from the topmost level of your house. Anyways!

wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
wilber_xbox   5/31/2014 11:25:52 PM
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@Jnissen, really clever idea to keep hobbist and otherwise to keep away from your private property. But i agree with you that today's drone are so advanced that there should be strict regulations.

docdivakar
User Rank
CEO
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
docdivakar   5/30/2014 12:11:42 PM
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@jnissen: I agree with what you wrote! How ever, before I "dispatch" the drone with a 12 gauge, I will do some honors to it by flipping a birdie (in case some one is watching real time!), may be a bit of controlled 'mooning!" before I pull the trigger!

MP Divakar

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