A couple of months ago while attending my daughter’s Saturday soccer game, I noticed a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or drone 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
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 hottest 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 outlying 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.
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.
Dr. John J. Woods