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26 February 2017


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The Twisted Genius

Another drone employment method is to consider them like falcon hunting. Reconnaissance and deep reconnaissance units will augment their capabilities with the smaller drones, some hand launched and some flying off the back of "technicals." The idea of augmenting current reconnaissance capabilities rather than replacing them is important. Imagine how a scout platoon could screen a battalion's flank with the aid of a fleet of small drones.

William R. Cumming

Ground support?


I will be studying some of the latest military drone technology at an international trade display on Thursday and I may report back to SST if there is anything memorable.

What I think may appear shortly is a military grade "anti drone drone" of the fire and forget variety because the current generation of drones capable of use by ISIS are not very stealthy and they fly low and slow so it should not be too difficult to program something with an optical tracker to take out visible enemy drones.

SST readers may not be aware that a New Zealand gentleman, Bruce Simpson, started a DIY cruise missile project 13 years ago using then available model aircraft parts. His project was "aggressively shut down" by the government. One can only imagine what is now possible.


The Twisted Genius

How serendipitous. Read an article in my local paper about a 16 year old girl who developed an app for an Intel Edison mini-computer board that uses a drone to locate people by their smartphone signals. "She was honoured Jan 7 in Las Vegas for developing Bluejay, a smartphone app that helps emergency responders find people stranded in natural disaster areas. Rescuers can fly a drone that collects data, such as GPS, from the smartphones of those missing and create a map." Here's the article in another paper.


With so many damned idiots carrying smartphones on the battlefield, just think how valuable this could be as a reconnaissance sensor. Then pass that location/homing data to a larger drone carrying guided sub-munitions.

Old Microbiologist

Don't underestimate the small ones. I have a DJI Phantom 4 which becomes invisible 100 meters out and has fantastic imagery and it can easily carry another 1.5 kg at the expense of range. I can fly it up to 10,000 feet no problem and people have flown them 5 Miiles out and back. The smaller racing drones can be had for under $100 and can be used as small guided missiles and can fly over 100 mph. This is a growing industry and it doesn't take much imagination to scale them up. Aerial refueling is unnecessary if fuel cells are used which can extend the flight time to hours.

ex-PFC Chuck

Off Topic, but committee members will be interested in this, I'm sure:
"Open Letter Concerning Wikipedia Suppression of SouthFront Information"



Convection (and other upwinds) combined with solar cells give unlimited range during day-time for small, low speed winged drones. They would be a kind of plastic vultures. Sentry quadcopters can be run by being wired to the ground. Battery is probably heavier than 200m of wire and beaming energy by micro wave works even though it is not exactly healthy and energy wise very inefficient. Flying up a battery or refueling with liquid fuel is possible but seems to me to complicated



Noting the use of manually applied toxins against Kim Jong-Un's 1/2 brother in Malaysia, it's time to add medieval poison-craft to our list of active threats. Deploying B/C agents from drones has surely been on the minds of attackers and defenders. Probably a question of when, not if. Racing drones are amazingly maneuverable in tight indoor spaces, vertical and horizontal, thus adding another dimension to portal defense. I'm guessing DARPA's all over this.

Old Microbiologist

You are correct. There are apps available such as Litchi which allow you to program the entire flight so it is completely autonomous. I do this regularly for mine and have had zero problems. There are plenty of hacks to over ride the limits for speed and altitude. It is easy enough to fly and out and back with focued targeting from a relatively high altitude. There are also a number of excellent lenses for these that improve magnification a great deal at distance. I doubt anyone could successfully shoot a quadcopter flying at 50 iPhone at an altitude of 1000 meters and flying in a semi erratic pattern. These things are already small and when I fly mine I can't see it after 100 meters. It is ludicrous for the idiot legislators to demand pilots maintain visual contact or to not bust altitudes. The only way they can regulate at all is by convincing other drone pilots to rat out the pilots or to base investigations on YouTube videos. Otherwise there is no possible way anyone can tell who is flying what where. They are simply too small for radar or visual observation.

Yeah, Right

Thinking outside the box, but if you want to defend against small drones then why not two "defensive drones" with a Kevlar net strung between them?

You could even have them tethered to a ground vehicle, in which case you can supply power to them indefinitely.

So long as you know the altitude of the enemy drones you want to bring down that net would do the job nicely.

I have no idea how easy it would be to estimate the altitude of an enemy drone, but that would seem to me to be the only technical difficulty to using the drone-equivalent of a butterfly net.

Old Microbiologist

That would be a typical response. Build a million+ dollar machine to kill a $100 dollar drone. But, keep in mind that swarming is the next big threat . It makes for very pretty light shows at night but imagine 1000 of these, each carrying a small explosive shrapnel charge attacking a large group of people. Say, a million man march in Washington. Flying in from the Potomac at an altitude of 1 foot en masse and you can imagine the destruction possible.

Babak Makkinejad

From the BBC:



For reference, this is the kind of force multiplier I was talking about.




Speaking of falcons:

The French Air Force has trained eagles to take down quadcopters. I understand they are mainly used to guard against drones over nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure.


The Dutch may be doing something similar.


They are not to small for radar but below 30 meters or so you have to much building, trees etc. in the way. Also optical finding drones isn't hard but just an issue of a lot of camera's pointing up and a slight rewrite for software already written for astronomy(would drones at light on the underside to fool that system?). Echo location is also a way to find them with a directional microphone as they are noisy or you could even find them with sonar (probably called differently in air?)

Maximum speed of a bullet is around 3000km/h so if a drone is 1000m up it takes at least 1.2 seconds to get there. Random movement certainly works at that distance for something that is less than a 1/2 meter big.


It is probably the wifi signal. It gives of a "unique" handshake signal IIRC which can be detected by any other wifi apparatus like the Intel Edison or Raspberry Pi.

There were rumors that Hezbollah did that in 2006 with the phone signal of Israeli soldiers so using the enemies phones as reconnaissance isn't exactly new.



There are many, many applications for this. Imagine the police application of finding the agitators within a protest march. (or some other variation thereof)


Report of an arrest in Young (Australian country town): Haisem Zahab allegedly coordinating with IS to produce some sort of cruise missile, and other tech weapons.

Some time back a relative Hicham Zahab was arrested for arms smuggling, including SAMS.



Old idea: barrage balloons (for low winds) and barrage kites (for windy days) were used to damage aircraft. They were flown on steel wire, which itself could be a hazard to aircraft, but also had a small explosive device attached to the wire at ground level along with a release mechanism that would allow the explosive to fly upwards when a sufficiently strong tug was detected on the flying line.

Other things I've seen to fight against drones are giant laser turrets; preferred by US Navy because although the equipment is expensive, ammo is very cheap and plentiful so you don't have to be worried about how often to fire the thing.


Do you think there's a market for a small Faraday cage box, just a good size to drop your phone into?

Still allows people to pull the phone out and use it (with conscious risk of discovery) when they need to, but the rest of the time it's screened and invisible.

There would of course be a software equivalent, instead of a physical clunky metal box, but who would trust software in this day and age?



Already happening for some years now, I'm afraid!


You can already buy them but Faraday cage --> no signal --> a phone is useless without signal


Stingray gives off a signal. Useful but would be fat target for the enemy as it is more a man in the middle attack. In an army against army situation i think you would only listen.


Iraqi CTS commander on western Mosul front says 73 ISIS drone attacks on first day of offensive, 40 on second. Now much better.

Old Microbiologist

That is easily defeated by installing a fine wire mesh and running 1 million volts at 0.1 amps. Animals don't like pain. If you 3D print your own airframe it is easy enough to add this to the outer layer. A simple ionizer transformer is sufficient for these high voltages or one out of a TENS unit and can be driven with a 9 volt battery.

But should a bird get whacked by the rotors then both the bird and the drone are dead.

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