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Microdrones

Continuing on the WaPo story about demonstrators at the Sept 15 antiwar march and rally in D.C. seeing unusual flying objects, an entomologist was quoted saying they could have been the “large, spectacularly adorned dragonflies” common to the area, but could not explain independent reports that the objects had spheres on their tails and flew in unison.

I saw them too, they had flapping wings and indeed were spectacular. While flapping wing technology may seem difficult to do, it in fact does exist.

insectothopter. CIA, circa 1970’s

CIA Insectothopter, late 19070′s. It flew, but couldn’t handle crosswinds.

Delfly I

Delfly I, 2005. Developed by students at Delft University. It has a video camera and video transmitter. If students can do this, imagine what well-funded governmental entities could develop.

Variants on these include the entomopter, a flapping, four-winged robotic flier and crawler and the ornithopter, available on hobbyist sites.

Microdrone

This microdrone is commercially available from a German firm, is specifically made to do video surveillance, and is being used by British law enforcement. (Tip: John Couzin)

The ANSWER Coalition has filed FOIA requests to see if such surveillance was done on Sept. 15. Law enforcement routinely has video squads filming during protests both on the ground and from rooftops, something which apparently is quite legal, so these creepy spy-in-the-sky drones (if used) might be too. But, it’s certainly worth a court challenge to see if peaceful antiwar protesters are routinely being surveilled.

Hmmm. Hackers, start your engines. Perhaps we need to develop our own drones to monitor protests, looking for and recording instances of governmental drones. Maybe drones could be developed to seek-and-destroy other drones, raising the exciting possibility of micro warfare in the skies above the next mass antiwar protest.

  • http://nether-world.blogspot.com/ Davide Siminetti

    We have something similar in the UK although I haven’t yet seen it at any London protests yet. Our drone seems to be a bit more cumbersome than yours.

  • Dragon Fly

    The so-called “entomologist” in Washington DC is quite “F.O.S.”! Dragonflies DO swarm together during feeding frenzies on mosquitoes. However, they like to hangout near wetlands. They only hover at 10 feet if the weather is overcast. They will change their hover vertical attitude based on relative humidity. The more humidity the lower they are. What was the weather like that day? Washington DC dragonflies are no bigger than any other ones in USA. 7th Ave in NYC is not near any wetlands and their are no mosquitoes to speak of either. Have you ever been bit by a mosquito in NYC? The CIA insectothopter MicroUAV has been been perfected just like the acoustic kitty scenario of the early 1960′s. Also the r/c cockroach-spy is active too. I once watched a big MicroUAV dragonfly follow an unknown woman in a late model Mercedes Benz convertible into a highway gas station in CT. It hovered in the lot until it was too conspicuous and darted away in a flash. This was post-9/11/2001. This is the state that manufactures them. CT makes saucers UAVs and their components too (Sikorsky, P&WA, and Kaman).

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