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Link Logger
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
reply to mbeckman

Re: San Fransisco police getting drones

Our drones have a much bigger range of 'visual' then humans as our sensors can see things that no human eye can, toss in we have a better range of view both in terms of distance and coverage around the drone (how many mid air collisions were caused by planes colliding on the vertical (particularly around airports) as pilot vision above and below their planes is limited at best). I'm more worried about human pilots then drones anymore.

Blake
Hey for you next party, want some pyrotechnicals that are better then your neighbor's last party, no problem we are now renting MQ-9 Reapers for parties as nothing beats the pyrotechnical show of 14 hell fire missiles hitting your neighbors house. Finally Shock and Awe for the average Joe who is just trying to keep up with (and maybe eliminate) those pesky Jones.
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
said by Link Logger:

Our drones have a much bigger range of 'visual' then humans as our sensors can see things that no human eye can, toss in we have a better range of view both in terms of distance and coverage around the drone (how many mid air collisions were caused by planes colliding on the vertical (particularly around airports) as pilot vision above and below their planes is limited at best). I'm more worried about human pilots then drones anymore. ...

Most police drones will be significantly smaller than a light airplane... which means the visual cross-section they present will be far harder for others to detect. It's much like the problem of motorcycles on roadways... most cycle-car collisions occur because a motorcycle subtends a much smaller visual angle than a car at the same distance and approach speed, and this is tremendously significant when a car driver is looking down a road for oncoming traffic before he pulls out. Too often, he simply cannot discern the changing motion angle of the cycle... that is, it appears either invisible or as a fixed object to his glances.

In piloted aircraft, this phenomenon gets magnified many-fold, since the velocities of the objects involved can typically be anywhere from 10 to 50 times greater than the scenario with automobiles and motorcycles. The ability to visually detect a moving object against a background depends on the ability to discern the changing position of that object against the relatively slow-moving background. Doing this repeatedly or continuously produces a sense of object velocity and direction. But if the object is small and moving fast, there will usually be great difficulty in picking up the object as it moves - that is, at best it will seem to pop in and out of view as it moves across various background contrasts. This robs the brain of its necessary data updates for detection and decision-making, which causes impairment of its ability to even sense movement, let alone determine direction and velocity. All of this occurs against a backdrop of potentially very high-speed closing velocities where increased detection and faster reaction is actually demanded.

Frankly, there's little concern about the low-probability case of two drones hitting each other... other than the small area affected by the debris field, it's not likely to be a big deal. But one should care a great deal if they're in a conventional aircraft (commercial or general aviation) that gets mid-air'd by a drone that was too small to see and avoid. Moreover, the pilot of a police drone is not going to be staring at 15 different, omni-directed sensors on the craft looking for airplanes - he's going to be staring at the primary down-looking sensor output that shows what ground objects are beneath and directly ahead of his flight path. These drones are not going to be equipped with effective collision-avoidance systems that somehow magically alert the operator to incoming traffic or automatically cause the drone to take effective evasive action... the former would be false-alarm prone and the loop-time too slow to be of any use, while the latter would cost far too much money to install and maintain for the drones to be economically feasible.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville


Link Logger
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
I have to disagree with you as the reason why motorcycle are involved in more accidents has to do with the speed at which they travel relative to the speed of cars, as they tend to travel faster which means they are constantly moving into and out of blind spots and hence statically spend more time in blind spots then cars. If you and me are driving cars down the freeway, typically we will travel at the same speed (likely over the posted limit), but we will setup such that we can see each other (ie you won't sit in my blind spot). Now motorbikes tend to drive faster then cars means they are passing more cars when means they are passing through more blind spots, hence the majority of the problem (one of the reasons for speed limits).

Now flying in and around major cities (and hence airports) is always fun as typically there are paths/areas you are required to avoid because of commercial air traffic and if there is a reason for police helicopters etc to be in those areas everyone and their dog gets the messages or they might even re-route air traffic as required (remember Pink Floyd's Pig and the fun it cause over Heathrow). The fun part about drones is being smaller its easier for them to operate lower if needed (or for really small drones lower is the only option), so its easier for them to avoid air traffic.

The other thing is if my drone is going down, I don't mind going vertical if it means I miss everything, ie my drone doesn't even register on the importance scale (ie I'm not trying to save it) unless of course it has ordinance onboard in which case a nice big bay is always a good place to lose the boom to (reason why the English Channel is full of all sorts of goodies).

Blake
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool

mbeckman
Premium
join:2004-09-06
Ventura, CA
reply to Link Logger
Link Logger,

You simply don't know what you're talking about. The sensors in drones give operators nowhere near the visual acuity and collision avoidance capability of human pilots. The idea that a drone pilot has anything approaching a panoramic view with the slew rates of human eyes is a total fantasy. You're falling for the "CSI" effect: believing science fiction represents today's technical capability.

mbeckman
Premium
join:2004-09-06
Ventura, CA
reply to Link Logger
"Now flying in and around major cities (and hence airports) is always fun as typically there are paths/areas you are required to avoid because of commercial air traffic and if there is a reason for police helicopters etc to be in those areas everyone and their dog gets the messages or they might even re-route air traffic as required (remember Pink Floyd's Pig and the fun it cause over Heathrow). The fun part about drones is being smaller its easier for them to operate lower if needed (or for really small drones lower is the only option), so its easier for them to avoid air traffic."

Link Logger,

I'm a helicopter pilot. We fly at 500 feet AGL, out of the flow of fixed wing traffic, which fly enroute only at 1000' AGL and above. By law. Drones will be operating at both high and low altitudes, breaking the existing physical separation between fast fixed wing and slower rotary wing aircraft. That's an unacceptable increase in risk and a recipe for catastrophe.

You should do some study about how aviation actually works before reeling off fantastical theories.


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to Link Logger
said by Link Logger:

I have to disagree with you as the reason why motorcycle are involved in more accidents has to do with the speed at which they travel relative to the speed of cars, as they tend to travel faster which means they are constantly moving into and out of blind spots and hence statically spend more time in blind spots then cars. If you and me are driving cars down the freeway, typically we will travel at the same speed (likely over the posted limit), but we will setup such that we can see each other (ie you won't sit in my blind spot). Now motorbikes tend to drive faster then cars means they are passing more cars when means they are passing through more blind spots, hence the majority of the problem (one of the reasons for speed limits)....

The problem is that most motorcycle-automobile accidents occur as simple failure-to-yield types (a car pulling out of a side-street, turning right-on-red, turning across traffic into a side-street/entrance, etc), where subsequently the auto driver states he "didn't see" the moving cycle that he hit. While in some cases, the cycles may have been going abnormally fast, in most cases they were not. Of the six or seven motorcycle accidents involving friends, of which I have some close personal knowledge, every one involved a car pulling onto or across the road directly in front of a legally-operated and legal-speed motorcycle. This is the key reason that (at least at one era in time and in most places) motorcycles were required to run with their headlight on: to at least increase their visual detectability. Unfortunately a single headlight, while it does increase visual detectability under low-light conditions, does little to reveal the nearness or velocity of the cycle. Those perceptions require the light source or object be physically wide enough in the visual field for the eye to discern the rate of increase in size, which is the apparent increase in separation distance between multiple lights or apparent edges of the approaching object. That necessarily requires at least two discernable headlights spaced far enough apart to resolve both at distance. A single headlight or the unilluminated edges of a small profile simply will not provide the visual information in a timely manner.

All of this becomes far more acute in an airborne setting where the closing velocities and the potential directions of approach between objects are much greater (existing in 3 dimensions instead of 2).
said by Link Logger:

Now flying in and around major cities (and hence airports) is always fun as typically there are paths/areas you are required to avoid because of commercial air traffic and if there is a reason for police helicopters etc to be in those areas everyone and their dog gets the messages or they might even re-route air traffic as required (remember Pink Floyd's Pig and the fun it cause over Heathrow). The fun part about drones is being smaller its easier for them to operate lower if needed (or for really small drones lower is the only option), so its easier for them to avoid air traffic....

The problem here is that many, if not most, aircraft don't fly in nicely marked-out corridors at set altitudes, evenly spaced out in-between. Only those under ATC and using transponders can be made to obey such restrictions, and then really only in regions of airport approach. The further problem is that most drone missions require at least part of the flight profile to be at multiple thousands of feet to view an adequate coverage area, only after broad survey lowering their altitude to multiple hundreds of feet or less if needed. The lower the drone, the greater the risk of its detection and some kind of counteraction being taken (if only destroying the "stuff"), as well as increasing the risks of it colliding with birds or being buffeted by the increased air turbulence above local landforms. Unless the drones are required at all times to operate below aircraft altitude minimums (which in most areas are far lower than you might imagine), the potential for air disaster with the increasing use of small drones will only increase until the unthinkable does, in fact, occur.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville


Link Logger
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
reply to mbeckman
said by mbeckman:

"Now flying in and around major cities (and hence airports) is always fun as typically there are paths/areas you are required to avoid because of commercial air traffic and if there is a reason for police helicopters etc to be in those areas everyone and their dog gets the messages or they might even re-route air traffic as required (remember Pink Floyd's Pig and the fun it cause over Heathrow). The fun part about drones is being smaller its easier for them to operate lower if needed (or for really small drones lower is the only option), so its easier for them to avoid air traffic."

Link Logger,

I'm a helicopter pilot. We fly at 500 feet AGL, out of the flow of fixed wing traffic, which fly enroute only at 1000' AGL and above. By law. Drones will be operating at both high and low altitudes, breaking the existing physical separation between fast fixed wing and slower rotary wing aircraft. That's an unacceptable increase in risk and a recipe for catastrophe.

You should do some study about how aviation actually works before reeling off fantastical theories.

Lets say your in San Fran and you and your police helicopter get a call to check out a possible shooter in Walnut Park, but that is on the approach to San Fran International which is pretty much on the other side of the freeway, now what happens? The point I was making was in pretty much every major city there is a major airport or airports where you might not have the vertical separation needed to wander around as you please no matter what your flying. Put up a RQ-4 and who cares about commercial air traffic.

And who says that a drone has to be fixed wing, maybe they are looking at a MQ-8 as drones come in all shapes and sizes and capabilities anymore. Maybe they want to deploy a situational drone like a Wasp that the officer pulled out of the trunk of his cruiser and deployed to get an overview of a situation before the helicopter could get there.

The reality is drones are the future, and the transition has begun, for example the 138th FS switched from F16s to MQ-9 Reapers so of course anyone that uses aircraft (be it fixed or rotary wing) will be considering drones as a possible replacement.

Blake
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool


Link Logger
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
reply to Blackbird
said by Blackbird:

The problem is that most motorcycle-automobile accidents occur as simple failure-to-yield types (a car pulling out of a side-street, turning right-on-red, turning across traffic into a side-street/entrance, etc), where subsequently the auto driver states he "didn't see" the moving cycle that he hit.

Shoots to hell their argument for requiring LOUD motorbikes for safety reasons.

To pay for these drones they will likely cover then in neon billboards (think Blade Runner), so visibility shouldn't be a problem.

Blake
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool

mbeckman
Premium
join:2004-09-06
Ventura, CA
reply to Link Logger
Link logger,

The reality is that drones safely operating in US civil airspace are FAR in the future - a decade at least - given the state of technology. I dearly hope by then you have given at least a cursory glance at the plentiful documentation explaining how aircraft separation actually works today. You would know that your "SanFran" scenario is impossible.

Surrounding every large airport in the US, and the majority of mid-sized ones, is a complex layer cake of airspace that all aircraft require specific clearance and unique radar transponder code tracking in order to enter. In this environment, under the visual flight rules which drones must operate, many instructions are given that require visually identifying and responding to nearby aircraft. For example, a controller might instruct "Learjet N314A, traffic is a Cessna at 10 o'clock and five miles. When you pass him, enter downwind for runway 13R." This requires immediately acquiring and identifying the called traffic and responding to the controller with precise, responsive, close-in maneuvering. No drone pilot could accomplish this safely with today's camera slew rates and visibility sphere.

That you don't know this indicates you should learn the fundamentals of aviation in-flight operations before positing anything about drones working in the civilian world.  


Link Logger
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
The FAA was to have picked 6 cities to host UAVs last month from a rumored list of 30 interested cities, but delayed their decision based on privacy concerns, not technology concerns.

»wnewsj.com/main.asp?SectionID=49···D=202984

Interestingly there are people who think the sensors are an invasion of privacy and others who think they are inadequate for flight.

Blake
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
said by Link Logger:

Our drones have a much bigger range of 'visual' then humans as our sensors can see things that no human eye can...

and related:
said by Link Logger:

Interestingly there are people who think the sensors are an invasion of privacy and others who think they are inadequate for flight.

One thing is to watch a remote target from a distance (potentially violating their privacy) and another is to correctly access safety of surrounding 3D-area full with flying objects within. If it's not obvious yet, next time try to drive your car looking ahead only through x12 binoculars...

said by Link Logger:

The FAA was to have picked 6 cities to host UAVs last month from a rumored list of 30 interested cities, but delayed their decision based on privacy concerns, not technology concerns.

It's good to know that there are some people who still value privacy of others... not trying to monetize on selling snooping devices and related technologies.

said by Link Logger:

The other thing is if my drone is going down, I don't mind going vertical if it means I miss everything, ie my drone doesn't even register on the importance scale (ie I'm not trying to save it) unless of course it has ordinance onboard in which case a nice big bay is always a good place to lose the boom to (reason why the English Channel is full of all sorts of goodies).

I don't care about your ordinance (which could make things even worse) or cost of your lost equipment at all. But what if your home is right beneath? Or may be mine, or may be someone else's? I know that you, trying to sell the drones, don't care. But ask the rest of the people. Do they want to see your drone to go vertical right above their heads?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...