White House and Air borne threats: Drones & Secret Service response

Okay, here is a shorter piece this time.

It looks as if it might be time for the Secret Service (USSS) to make some additions to the White House roof (to cover 360 degrees) and other sensitive buildings in the federal space.

— Something like a roof top laser weapon system to respond to small to large drones. i.e. drones carrying cameras or weapons – chemical, biological, radiological or kinetic (nuclear, bullets, missiles).

Since no one wants a uniformed/plain clothes secret service agent taking shots (no matter how good they believe they are) at a drone with the bullets falling to ground, likely killing someone by mistake.

And the roof top missile system may be too bulky to deal with drones of most sizes…

The laser system would be one that has:

a) A computer automated radar tracking system – since human aim/shooting at night, in the dark, may not be good enough or fast enough

b) A radar powerful and fast enough to track & target in milliseconds (if not microseconds)

c) Low power to fry the drone’s circuitry and bring it down, likely with a range for under 1/2 a mile or something like that – we don’t want the laser blinding someone a mile away

d) Power enough to destroy it if the drone is weaponized (why we need it computerized, to detect weapons – of multiple varieties)

e) Or, what about a microwave weapon on the White House, with a limited range, specifically for drones

f) Or at the very least, a frequency jammer that kicks in for any object that crosses specified borders/fence layouts

— DARPA might have something up their sleeves to help with this – a place I would give my left AND right arms to work at doing creative work…

And as to a target being too small, all they would need to do is tune or ensure they have radar capable of a small aperture to target and acquire the very small targets – hard plastic or metallic. We have the tech to target small items in a rapid fashion and take it down.

Then too, this is the one we know about. What about the ones we do not know about…

At any rate, who in the un-privileged world knows who else was playing around with drones, around the White House, where it is illegal to fly drones anyway – it would not be publically announced…

And who in their right mind ‘tests’ drones, at night, at 3am – around the White House? A simpleton? A foreign adversary? In doing some critical thinking, as far as I can determine, either way, we have a choice of:

  1. Stupid or
  2. Spy…

That is enough food for thought for now… Besides, would the Secret Service deign to listen to any of us in the public sphere (even if some of us do work in Intelligence) unless we are a security threat to the President that is!  And you would have to be off your rocker to make threats of any kind publically, in the age of digital technology, such as datamining…

 

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Drones. Really?

Need for Drones 

So, we are going to see the commercialization of drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), throughout the country in a couple of years.

Do we really need UAV for everything? Have we come to the point of civilization where we are becoming ever lazier?

Is it truly “All about Me” in our, or I should say for many of our citizens and of inhabitants of other countries around the world…?

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely see the need for drones – but there is a time and a place AND a need for them.

 

Noise

Has anyone considered how noisy these devices are going to be? They are not quiet, they are like lawn/leaf blowers – humming, whining and sending angry chills down your spine because of the noise. Those whirring and whirling copter blades are not silent.

Imagine, sitting out on your balcony, patio, poolside, wherever and lo and behold, a drone comes zipping along, blowing your tranquility to hell and back. And here you were, thinking you had the afternoon off and just wanted to zone out while everyone else is at work.

Then, imagine that picture magnified several dozen times as multiple UAVs flit across the sky, back and forth making deliveries to multiple locations – obliterating the afternoon quietude.

Drones are not quiet buggers at all…

 

Privacy

Now, think about the actual delivery made by UAVs. Is it being driven remotely by a human or by GPS?

If it is driven by a human, it will need, in addition to GPS, a camera. Now, suppose you or your partner or children are running around in your underwear or are going through your place in the buff – butt naked. And the delivery drone is bringing a package to your place or delivering a package to another place nearby – is that human looking through your windows, into your home as it flies by? Is it pausing ever so slightly to get a good look at something interesting inside…?

If it is being driven by computer and GPS, it still needs to record (for legal reasons) where it is delivering the package and to whom (??) it is delivering the package. What if the onboard camera inadvertently catches and records some of your private space (and private activities) in the process.

 

 

Criminal Hi-jinx

Next, what about the unsavory criminal element – you think they are going to stand idly by and not enjoy this manna from joy-joy land (or heaven if you’re of the religious slant)? Criminals are going to exploit the heck out of drone delivery, using their own drones in the mix as well, covertly disguised as USPS, FedEx, Amazon, etc., etc., etc.

Suppose criminals use the ‘new’ methods of delivery to deliver drugs throughout the neighborhood but something goes haywire and the drone drops its drug payload in your backyard or balcony?  And those low lives come looking for the drugs.

What about mischievous kids (or adults) knocking UAVs out of the sky with shoes, bricks, bats or whatever – just to empty the payload from that drone.

What about malicious individuals with the wherewithal to target UAVs and query the onboard computer as to what is in the payload and to where it is going?  And then show up at the destination to steal the payload…

Or worse, to hack in and overwrite the computer instructions, rerouting the drone to a new delivery location.

 

Liabilities

Then there are going to be the intermittent (hopefully intermittent) drone crashes, which may or may not harm (or kill) bystanders or folks walking along below the falling drone.

There had best be multiple redundant / backup systems to account for failures.

 

The Need

Definitely do not get me wrong. The need for commercial UAVs is here, I can see them being put to legitimate use for:

  • Delivering emergency medication to the sick and elderly
  • Law Enforcement purposes, with the correct and explicit warrants and oversight
  • EMS
  • Border Patrol
  • Aiding in forest fire fighting
  • Park Rangers looking for lost, stranded or missing hikers/vacationers
  • Local and National news?  I’m not quite sure on this one because of the paparazzi experience and the NEED to get that extra special shot or ADDITIONAL coverage – the use of drones could run amuck by overzealous UAV operators…

So, do we really need drones delivering everything?  Beer and bourbon to the neighborhood drunks; pizza to the massively overweight (I am not judging, just stating a point) or the high cholesterol person in danger of a heart attack; and on and on and on…