cormorant1 e1350305761744 Drone Roundup: Occupy, The Muslim Drone, Civilian Drones and More

Occupy Eyes the Drones
“Occupy Wall Street activists claim they are being tracked, whether they were arrested at a protest or not, just for showing up at an OWS activity. A combination of overhead drones picking up cell-phone pings and GPS tracking software included in every Apple and Android phone is able to create a government database of everyone and anyone who ever went near an Occupy protest.”

Meet Ayoub: The Muslim drone
“Though The Jerusalem Post has proclaimed Ayoub’s voyage evidence of Israel’s “increasingly brazen and confrontational enemies”, rational observers might see it instead as part of an effort to deter a brazen and confrontational neighbour presiding over a cycle of murderous violence in Lebanon. Given the preponderance of the Israeli state lexicon, however, according to which self-defence against Israel is provocative terrorism and Israeli military slaughter is self-defence, the cycle is far from over.”

Iran: Israel can expect 100s more UAV infiltrations
“He added that the infiltration reflected only a small part of Hezbollah’s capability, and that it had dealt a significant blow to Israel, according to Fars. A number of senior Iranian officials have already remarked that the move proved Israel’s air defense systems were inadequate. Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said last week that the drone infiltration has “shown the weakness of the Zionist regime’s Iron Dome,” while the deputy coordinator for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Jamaluddin Aberoumand said the incident indicated that the Iron Dome system “does not work and lacks the necessary capacity.” The Iron Dome system, jointly funded with the United States, is designed to shoot down short-range guerrilla rockets, not slow-flying aircraft. Former Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora claimed that the UAV that flew over Israel was sent at Iran’s behest, and that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did not consult with the Lebanese government before sending the drone. Last week, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said that Hezbollah’s decision to send the UAV into Israeli airspace could risk stability in Lebanon by prompting Israeli retaliation.”

UK to double number of drones in Afghanistan
The UK is to double the number of armed RAF “drones” flying combat and surveillance operations in Afghanistan and, for the first time, the aircraft will be controlled from terminals and screens in Britain. In the new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), five Reaper drones will be sent to Afghanistan, the Guardian can reveal. It is expected they will begin operations within six weeks. Pilots based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire will fly the recently bought American-made UAVs at a hi-tech hub built on the site in the past 18 months.

How Russia and Georgia’s ‘little war’ started a drone arms race
“Meanwhile, the fate of the drone deals between Georgia and Israel played a major factor in the quick deterioration of what Caucasus expert Michael Cecire described as a “love affair” turned “messy divorce.” Pre-2008, Israel enjoyed arguably its strongest ties in the region with the pro-Western government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Israel sold Georgia 40 drones, anti-aircraft equipment, and trained Georgian infantry through private defense firms. In the run-up to the war, however, Russia put heavy pressure on Israel to cancel its arms deals with Georgia, and publicly implied it would consider selling advanced equipment to Israel’s enemies if it did not give in. Israel acquiesced two days before the start of the conflict, a move that Georgian Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili, now ambassador to the US, slammed as “a disgrace.”

Alameda County Sheriff plans to buy a surveillance drone
“The units can be outfitted with high-powered cameras, thermal imaging devices, license plate readers and laser radar. Police and sheriffs already use some of those tools. However, combined with a hard-to-detect drone, they offer authorities unprecedented capabilities for mass surveillance using militarized equipment.”The law hasn’t caught up with the technology,” said Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group. “There are no rules of the road for how they operate these things.”

This Eagle-Eyed Heron UAV Can See From Tel Aviv to Cyprus
“The Heron 1 (Shoval) is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone, capable of staying aloft for up to 52 hours with an operational ceiling of 35,000 feet. Developed by the Malat (UAV) division of Israel Aerospace Industries, the Heron 1 measures 79 feet long with an 86-foot wingspan and weighs 8,800 pounds. A single Pratt & Whitney PT6A 1,200-hp engine propels the drone along at a brisk 130 MPH. The Heron is capable of flying completely autonomously in all weather conditions—including takeoff and landing—over a pre-programmed flight path using its internal GPS receiver, or can be flown manually by a remote operator. “I can say we are flying above Gaza to the south, the West Bank to the east, in the north [possibly over Lebanon and Syria] and in the west [over the Mediterranean] without being detected,” said Maj. G, an executive officer of the IAF’s 200 Sqdn, told Aviation Week. “It is not stealthy, but it is silent and very discrete.”

Meet the SQ-4 Recon UAV, a $32K Remote-Control Surveillance Drone
“British-company BCB International yesterday unveiled its SQ-4 Recon UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), a miniature aerial surveillance drone that’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The company says the UAV can fly up to 30 minutes on a full charge, and it is capable of operating at a distance of more than 1.5 miles away from its remote control.”

Drones may soon buzz through local skies
“Peverill and Woodworth’s start-up, Rotary Robotics, is just one of several local groups working to demilitarize drone aircraft. While the armed forces have deployed unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya that cost millions and are sometimes armed with Hellfire missiles, this new fleet will be small, cheap, and geared to tasks like evaluating farm crops, finding missing children, or inspecting bridges. Many expect that the domestic UAV industry is about to take off, and the Federal Aviation Administration has estimated that 30,000 drones could be aloft by 2020. “We’re in a rapid spool-up phase now, where we’re thinking about going from producing tens of aircraft per month to a thousand or more,” says Tom Vaneck, vice president of space technologies at Physical Sciences Inc. in Andover.”


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