Drones For Security

A couple of months ago while attending my daughter’s Saturday soccer game, I noticed a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or Survivaldrone conducting a grid pattern over the field.  It was silent and I don’t think anybody else for the most part even noticed it.   They are that quiet and unobtrusive.  The drone’s altitude was probably around 100 feet.  I immediately looked around the field to find the “pilot” or controller and he was standing not twenty yards behind me sort of back in the shadows of a building.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The Use of Drones For Perimeter Security

I got out of my chair and approached him to ask out of sheer curiosity what he was doing.  He “said” he was filming the game.   I thought, hmmm.  About that time he brought the craft into a landing at his feet just as an official from the city parks and recreation department and a policeman in tow came around the corner.  Basically they told him to pack up his gear and leave.  I don’t know the legals, but I overheard the conversation and he was told that flying a drone was not legal over city property.  Like I say, I am not sure about what is legal in that regard.  The man packed up and left.

Drones Going Public

Right now one of the hottest career-technology training programs at the community college where I work for real is one of the best drone for preppershottest programs going.  The school has full classes and propriety arrangements with the State’s Army National Guard to train UAV pilots at a base in the state.  Graduates from the college program are getting starting salaries in the neighborhood of $90,000.  The jobs are coming from a highly diverse field of sources both government and private industries.

Then I get a call from an old high school buddy that sells insurance to farmers in Missouri to tell me about one of his customers that just bought his own personal drone.  He learned to fly it on his own and uses it to fly over his crops to inspect them and presumably to collect photos or some kind of data.

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Likewise several state wildlife agencies are now using drones to monitor wildlife species such as wild hogs in Louisiana.  Other states are using them to count deer and for other research purposes.  The use of drones is ever increasing all the time.  It is apparent to me in just conducting a minimum amount of research that the private individual use of UAVs or drones is increasing as one might well imagine.  They seem to be used mostly for photography or simple observation from overhead.
You can judge for yourself the potential for intrusive behavior using one of these.  Had I had one in college, I am sure I could have found a good use by flying over the sororities on campus if you get my drift.  Of course, we just heard recently that some dude crash landed his personal drone on the grounds of the White House.  Not good….

Accordingly you can find current information on the control of airspace use by the FAA for drones and know that new laws, rules, and measures of conduct will be forthcoming for sure.  Just Google drones and you will have more reading materials that you have time to study.

I was rather amazed as well after checking into the commercial marketplace for drones and they are readily available in cost ranges from $49.94 on up to $779 or more.  I am sure there are bigger, better, and more costly units to buy with more technological capabilities than my initial investigation revealed.  As with anything these days, there are VW Bugs and there are Corvettes and Mercedes.  Shop accordingly.

SHTF Use of Drones

So, where am I going with all this?  It occurs to me that potentially drones could have uses for survival security, observing Best Drone for Preppersoutlying spaces, watching crowds or vehicles, filming various things around either the Bug In neighborhood, or a Bug Out property.  As I understand from my very limited delving into private drone use, the restriction currently seems to be that the wireless flight controls can only maintain contact out to about 1000 feet in a line of sight mode.  If those perimeters are useful or not, I am not entirely sure. I can bet one thing for sure that these capabilities will increase over time, likely very quickly.

So in theory, one could sit on their back porch and fly a drone down the street to see if anybody is also snooping around.  Preppers could monitor their immediate areas without running the risks of sending people out on patrols or sneaking around the neighborhood.  I can bet also soon enough that private drones will have the ability to “see” at night with both night vision cameras as well as thermal imaging capabilities.  These features would obviously be useful for keeping track of things around the Bug In at night.  Then, of course, one would expect uses to be similar for Bug Out locations.  Once the control dynamics get worked out to fly a drone outside of a line of sight mode, meaning a wireless signal or whatever the technology will be, then preppers can inspect their immediate area zones during the day or night.

Also Read: Defending Your Elysium

Imagine how empowering that could be to have the element of surprise to know when potential threats loom or actual outside advances could be made on your hide out location.  Dream on I guess, which in essence is what technology allows us to do.  I am sure there will be issues in the practical use of drones of which I have not touched on here, such as recharging drone batteries, though solar panels come to mind.

For me, such technologies fly way over my head (ok, pun intended).  Many of us are still trying to stock 1500-2000 calorie meals per day for each in our survival group, or amassing enough other supplies to make a reasonable go of it during any SHTF event.  However, you have to expand your horizons to at least consider what “could be” coming down the road.  If you have a drone, then you’ll see it coming.

Photos By:
Dr. John J. Woods
Jordi Cayuela

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17 comments… add one
  • irishdutchuncle May 22, 2015, 6:18 am

    the cops should have followed “drone guy” home. he’s probably some kind of pervert.
    before drones, there were “model airplanes”. “Digital Proportional Radio Control”, arrived in the mid 1960’s, making our “toys” true miniature aircraft. radio controlled helicopters followed. There was a steep learning curve, and all responsible hobbyists carried liability insurance. the safety rules prohibited flying over, or even near people.
    Drones are a whole new, and different ballgame. they would be seriously dangerous, except for their light weight. their low price tag makes them accessible to more types of people than ever before. some of these new people are going to be irresponsible…

    Yeh, add drones to your tool kit. Practice with them, while you can still get spare parts. after SHTF, it won’t be too easy.

    • Anonymous May 28, 2015, 2:45 pm

      It takes one to know one?

  • sirlancelot May 22, 2015, 6:21 am

    Funny thing is these used to be called model planes or remote controlled toys.

    Maybe with the new quiet motors and better electronics they have taken on a more “sinister” role, but still can’t see what the fuss is all about.

    One moron used a drone to fly over a sportsman’s club to spy on private property and was promptly shot down so guessing a drone’s surveillance life in in SHTF might be short lived, but if it gave the owner a heads up to hostile forces in the area it then it would have done it’s job ( at least once)

    Better get two :-)

    • irishdutchuncle May 22, 2015, 7:13 am

      back in the day, a radio controlled model may have weighed in at five pounds. (or more)
      getting hit with one, likely would spoil your day.
      (there have been a number of fatalities)
      people outside of the hobby may regard them as toys, and they put themselves in danger, because of that attitude. A friend of mine that flew “control line”, models had to crash one once, because some guy was jumping up, trying to knock down his plane, with a baseball glove. (he couldn’t wait a few minutes for the fuel to run out)
      a fist fight nearly ensued, but the Numbskull had no clue he could have been killed, by the propeller.

    • lance July 4, 2015, 4:52 pm

      Hey my sea cadet division drilled at the coast guard station a while ago and we saw a drone (illegal to fly over government property) flying over the main building,

      we acted like we were shooting it down lol but we barely noticed it for the most part.

      Problem I see with it from that experience is once one member of the hostile group sees the drone he WILL tell everyone.

      even if you have it hidden once one notices it it’s done for but as has been said it would have done it’s job.

  • Anonymous May 22, 2015, 5:18 pm

    I imagine the more savvy marauders would also employ drones to scout targets and run recon on compounds and peek over walls.

    Might cause a resurgence in the 10 gauge shotgun. Or even the flock cannons of the 20’s.

  • Pineslayer May 22, 2015, 5:54 pm

    I sure do like the idea of having one to scout the property without showing myself. I have not yet spent any time researching these because I think they may still be pricey. Drone or Flir Scout or… the list is endless.

  • Shootit May 24, 2015, 1:33 pm

    I could see it being a useful tool in a hunting situation or just taking a peak to see if the gutters need cleaning. Lots of legitimate uses come to mind.

  • late2theParty May 26, 2015, 3:21 pm

    I believe the line-of-sight problem has been solved. One of the more expensive ones I looked at has a GPS in it the records where the controller was when the ‘bird’ last saw it – if it loses the control signal, it finds ‘it’s way home’ via the GPS on board. Also this same machine was fully programmable in flight patterns – run a perimeter, map out specific coordinates, fly in figure 8’s descending and/or ascending patterns. Could be stepped like: fly North 100′, drop to 10′ above ground, turn due East and fly for 100′, drop payload, reverse the pattern. If you can think it and had the memory, it could do it. At least until the battery died.

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere that depending on the severity, if I I’m with a large enough group, I plan on running still and moving dirigibles about the Bug In area; a couple as decoys (big huge targets), a couple as air/ground defense (chaff anyone? wide area heat dispersal for infra-red cover? clouds of pepper dust for deterrence?) Maybe even use a couple for fire fighting if really needed. And yes, I know that metal will get picked up by radar, but you don’t always need engines to lift.

    I’m torn on the strange person using the drone – he could have been a creep or someone just recording generic footage. Without more info we can’t know. So I guess it is a good thing that ‘it’s illegal to fly those over city property.’

  • irishdutchuncle May 30, 2015, 3:00 pm

    LOS, line of sight operation, is a physical restriction as much as a legal limitation. VHF and higher radio frequencies only propagate to the horizon, regardless of transmit power. that’s why broadcast TV didn’t work, up in the mountains…
    but that’s why we now have “CABLE”.
    cell phones only work, because of cell phone towers. the right autopilot makes the drone.

    If you don’t need to make “VERTOL”, VERtical TakeOffs and Landings, a fixed wing drone will do the job more efficiently.
    Maynard Hill “flew” a 10cc gas powered model, 1883 miles on a gallon of fuel. (with a tailwind)

    • late2theParty June 1, 2015, 12:55 pm

      Sorry, I applied the wrong name to the problem. I guess it should have been something like “operating view”. :) Basically most drones rely on the operator to control the flight 100%. The one I was looking at solved the problem of losing sight and/or connection to the drone by using localized GPS. You are more than correct about actual LOS; I got lazy and used the wrong words.

      • irishdutchuncle June 1, 2015, 5:11 pm

        You said it just fine, late.

        eyes on, is a traditional safety rule for model flying.
        Some drone enthusiasts seem to be from the Ron Popiel school: “set it and forget it”…
        the capabilities are about there, in some autopilots.
        The end user is responsible if something doesn’t go right.
        Until I renew my model flying insurance, I will only be flying rubber powered models, or a kite…

        • late2theParty June 1, 2015, 5:49 pm

          Ronco is great! Pocket Fisherman! I had to grow up a little bit to get that joke(-O-Matic)!

  • irishdutchuncle July 15, 2015, 2:08 am

    for model flying insurance, and the official rules:
    http://www. model aircraft.org

    to see video of guys having too much fun with model airplanes,
    you could look at:
    I don’t completely agree with some of the things they’re doing, but hey, they’re doing.
    I’m mostly just another wanna be…
    then there’s
    they may give everyone some more concrete ideas about homebuilt “unmanned” vehicles.

  • irishdutchuncle July 17, 2015, 9:54 pm

    … and just because you have the tech savvy to do something, it doesn’t mean you should do it. (and especially don’t post video of it)

    Today, there is a video of a pistol mounted on a “quad copter”,
    and it is shown firing a number of rounds. it’s from Connecticut,
    MAYBE it was meant to intimidate the anti-gunners:
    we will not comply with your “laws” anymore. I doubt any good will come to the pro 2A cause, from this. (or was that the idea?)
    it also doesn’t make any friends for the miniature aircraft hobby.

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