(AP)—The growing use of unmanned surveillance “eyes in the sky” aircraft raises a thicket of privacy concerns, but the U.S. Congress is getting mixed advice on what, if anything, to do about it.
A future with domestic drones may be inevitable. While civilian drone use is currently limited to government agencies and some public universities, a law passed by Congress last year requires the Federal Aviation Administration to allow widespread drone flights in the U.S. by 2015. According to FAA estimates, as many as 7,500 civilian drones could be in use within five years. . . . Read Complete Report
New “insect eye” cameras could someday help flying drones see into every corner of a battlefield or give tiny medical scopes an all-around view inside the human body. A team of researchers from the United States has constructed such a camera, which offers an almost 180-degree field of view using hundreds of tiny lenses.
The centimeter-wide digital camera has 180 microlenses—roughly what fire ants or bark beetles have in their compound eyes—placed on a hemispherical array. Researchers hope their design will eventually lead to insect-eye cameras that exceed even nature’s blueprints, according to a report in the 2 May issue of the journal Nature. . . . Read Complete Report
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is testing a wide variety of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) sensor platforms, including one that can determine whether individuals are armed or unarmed, for use by first responders and frontline homeland security professionals.
The testing is taking place at the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems (OTC-UC), a unit of University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), a not-for-profit scientific institution operated for Oklahoma State University (OSU) by Anchor Dynamics, Inc. UML is a “Trusted Agent” for the federal government, technology developers and operators. http://www.wnd.com/wnd_video/dhs-test…
New systems could improve the vision of micro aerial vehicles
By RACHEL COURTLAND / APRIL 2013
Aerial robotics research has brought us flapping hummingbirds, seagulls,bumblebees, and dragonflies. But if these robots are to do anything more than bear a passing resemblance to their animal models, there is one thing they’ll definitely need: better vision.
From Space War by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 20, 2013
Lawmakers and advocates on Wednesday called for safeguards to be placed on the domestic use of drones in order to protect the privacy of Americans.
Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to open up airspace to the unmanned aircraft by October 2015, a decision expected to see thousands of drones criss-crossing the sky within a few years.
Their imminent proliferation has stirred a debate, amid concerns they may be deployed to snoop on law-abiding citizens. . . . Read Complete Report
United States Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is threatening to delay the confirmation of John O. Brennan as head of the CIA until he gets all the answers about the Obama administration’s covert drone program. Sen. Paul has sent two letters to Mr. Brennan since the start of the year, and this week said he has yet to hear a response. Now Sen. Paul says he will put a hold on Pres. Obama’s nomination for CIA director until he hears all the answers about America’s drones, the extrajudicial killings of US citizens and the elusive ‘disposition matrix’ used to identify targets. J.D. Tuccile, managing editor of Reason 24/7, offers us more.