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Browsing the archives for the DRONES category.

Colorado town flooded with applications for drone-hunting permits

2nd Amendment rights, Constitution, DRONES, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: Oh, what fun! — Editor Liz Bowen

http://www.newsdaily.com/article/1c0b2f8cae68eea77e1af1039f9983f2/colorado-town-flooded-with-applications-for-drone-hunting-permits

 

Friday Sep 06, 2013   |    Keith Coffman for Reuters

DENVER (Reuters) – Voters in one small Colorado town won’t decide until next month whether to issue hunting licenses to shoot down drones, but hundreds of marksmen are lining up for permits to fell such aircraft in the unlikely event any appear in local skies.

A resident of the small ranching and farming community of Deer Trail, 55 miles east of Denver, floated the whimsical idea of issuing permits as a way to protest the proliferation of unmanned aircraft used for commercial or government purposes, said town clerk Kim Oldfield.

Town trustees decided last month to put the question to voters, Oldfield said, adding that there are vocal opponents to the idea among the 600 residents of the town, which boasts that it held the world’s first rodeo in 1869.

Oldfield said the town has been inundated with applications for the $25 permits, including from all over the country – and from as far away as Britain and Canada.

“I stopped counting when it hit 985,” she said.

Proponents envision a quirky festival surrounding the notion, with a skeet shooting contest using small model airplanes instead of clay targets. Oldfield said that and other events could attract tourists and infuse cash into town coffers.

“Our intention is really not to allow people to shoot things out of the sky,” she said.

Oldfield said she was setting aside the uncashed checks until voters decide the issue. If the town’s 380 registered voters reject the measure, the town will return the payments.

When the idea made headlines this summer, the Federal Aviation Administration took a dim view of firing at aircraft, even if it was just a publicity stunt.

In a statement, the agency warned against shooting at drones, noting that a downed aircraft could damage property or injure people on the ground, and could cause midair collisions.

“Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane,” the statement said.

But Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel, who proposed the license idea, said he was serious about protesting what he calls “a surveillance society.” He is selling his own mock licenses online and said about 150 people have purchased them.

If residents reject the ballot measure, Steel said he will continue selling his permits.

“They can’t vote me out,” he said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Ken Wills)

Copyright (2013) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

                                            This article was distributed through the NewsCred Smartwire.        
         Original article  © Reuters 2013                                

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Colorado town considers licensing bounty hunters to shoot down drones

DRONES, Federal gov & land grabs

The Daily Caller.com

Greg Campbell

The tiny town of Deer Trail, Colo. — barely more than a wide spot on Interstate 70 about 55 miles east of Denver, population 546 — is considering an ordinance that would authorize licensed bounty hunters to shoot down unmanned aircraft violating its “sovereign airspace.”

A six-page petition circulated by a resident says that the threat of surveillance from drones — regardless of who is piloting them — is a threat to “traditional American ideas of Liberty and Freedom” enjoyed by Deer Trail’s “ranchers, farmers, cowboys and Indians, as well as contemporary citizens.”

Therefore, drone incursions are to be seen as acts of war.

According to the proposed ordinance, which will be considered by the town council at its next meeting on Aug. 6, prospective bounty hunters can get a one-year drone-hunting license for $25.

Proposed bounties will be $25 for those turning in the wings or fuselage of downed aircraft and $100 for mostly intact vehicles. To collect the bounty, the wreckage must have “markings, and configuration … consistent with those used by the United States federal government.”

Such “trophies” then become the property of Deer Trail.

The ordinance spells out the rules of engagement. Shooters must use shotguns, 12-gauge or smaller, firing lead, steel or depleted uranium ammunition and they can’t fire on aircraft flying higher than 1,000 (a determination made using a range finder or a best guess). No weapons with rifled barrels allowed, and no tracer rounds.

An “engagement” is limited to three shots at an aircraft every two hours. Being unable to bring down the drone within those guidelines, the petition notes, “demonstrates a lack of proficiency with the weapon.”

Drones can become targets if the bounty hunter feels the aircraft is stalking them, if they maneuver as if they’re following someone, or if they display any weaponry.

But if anyone accidentally shoots down a remote-controlled toy airplane, the proposed ordinance warns, “the owner of the toy remote control aerial vehicle shall be reimbursed for its full cost by the shooter.”

Unless, that is, the toy aircraft was flying over the shooter’s property.

“Throughout its history, the Town of Deer Trail has maintained its independence from all other political entities,” the ordinance reads. “Therefore, the Town of Deer Trail declares its supremacy over its territorial boundaries and, with respect to this ordinance, the supremacy and sovereignty of its airspace and its citizen’s right to defend the airspace of the town, their homes, businesses and related properties from unwanted incursions by unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Phillip Steel, the citizen who circulated the petition, did not return an email from The Daily Caller News Foundation seeking comment, but in an article in the local I-70 Scout newspaper (posted on a town history Facebook page), he says he was motivated by recent revelations about domestic spying by the National Security Agency.

Read more:  http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/16/colorado-town-considers-licensing-bounty-hunters-to-shoot-down-drones/#ixzz2ZKJHhvMQ

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Tiny Device Will Detect Domestic Drones

Constitution, DRONES

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/05/01/tiny-device-will-detect-domestic-drones

Worried about an unmanned plane looking into your window? This small detector could alert you when robot planes buzz past

By Jason Koebler

May 1, 2013

Worried about drones spying on you? Soon, a device might be able to send you text and email alerts that let you know when a drone is nearby.

[ALSO: Domestic Drone Arrest Database Being Built by Defense Lawyers Group]

A Washington, D.C.-based engineer is working on the “Drone Shield,” a small, Wi-Fi-connected device that uses a microphone to detect a drone’s “acoustic signatures” (sound frequency and spectrum) when it’s within range.

The company’s founder, John Franklin, who has been working in aerospace engineering for seven years, says he hopes to start selling the device sometime this year. He is using the Kickstarter-like IndieGoGo to finance the project.

The device will cost $69 and will be about the size of a USB thumb drive. It will use Raspberry Pi – a tiny, $25 computer – and commercially available microphones to detect drones. He says he imagines that people will attach the Drone Shield to their fences or roofs to protect their home from surveillance.

“People will get the alert and then close their blinds,” Franklin says.

He is currently working on an open-source database of drone sounds that the detector will check what it’s hearing against. Other devices with motors, such as lawn mowers and weed-whackers, will also be included to reduce false positives. Drone owners will be asked to record the sound of their drones to be included in the database. When the Drone Shield identifies a drone, it’ll flash and send an email and text message alert to a homeowner.

Franklin says that most commercially available drones have to come relatively close to a home in order to spy. More sophisticated drones, such as Predators, would fly too high to detect.

He got the idea for the device after getting into a bit of hot water with his neighbor, which Franklin says alerted him to the reality of people’s concerns about drones.

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Drones Hit New Turf: U.S. Farmland

Agriculture, DRONES
  • May 1, 2013, 7:02 p.m. ET

Wall Street Journal

Agricultural Groups Experiment With Unmanned Vehicles to Monitor Crops and Spray Pesticides

By RACHAEL KING

Ken Giles/UC Davis

An unmanned aircraft able to spray insecticides flies over an experimental vineyard owned by the University of California, Davis in Oakville, Calif.

Farmers are starting to investigate the use of drones for a decidedly nonmilitary purpose: monitoring crops and spraying pesticides.

As the spring growing season unfolds, universities already are working with agricultural groups to experiment with different types of unmanned aircraft outfitted with sensors and other technologies to measure and protect crop health.

Oregon State University plans to use the unmanned vehicles to monitor the school’s potato crop and those of a commercial potato grower. Both crops, located near Hermiston, Ore., are expected to sprout in coming weeks. The university last month ran its first test-flight.

Oregon State is one of several universities that have begun research projects to investigate the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture. Drones are the latest development in a movement known as precision agriculture, which uses technology such as global positioning systems, sensors and iPads to more accurately monitor fields.

Growers can run analytics on data generated by sensors and drones to quickly find problems such as specific plants not getting enough water. Flown by a pilot on the ground, aircraft equipped with infrared cameras can take a close look at the health of plants to help growers determine whether they need water, are suffering from insect infestation or need additional fertilizer.

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to establish guidelines for using such aircraft by September 2015. Once that happens, the industry is expected to generate more than 21,000 jobs during the following 12 months, according to a March report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Until then farmers in the U.S. can only use these drones if they are participating in research with a university.

Today, this type of monitoring is done by manned planes and sometimes satellites. “The biggest problem in the past with aerial imagery in agriculture is that everything is time-sensitive, and with unmanned aerial vehicles we’d be able to process that data much more quickly,” said Steve Cubbage, president of Prime Meridian, a company that sells precision agriculture data services to growers. Instead of scheduling a plane, which could take longer owing to the time required to make arrangements with the local airport, drones would be lower-cost and able to operate even if there was cloud cover, he said.

The drones, some as small as eight pounds, can be put into the air on-demand, but because of the complexity of flying them, farmers will likely hire a company to provide the service.

“This technology should provide an opportunity to see parts of the field even down to the leaf level,” said Phil Hamm, director of the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Oregon State University.

At Oregon State, the potato crop at the university was chosen because it is a highly valued product and expensive to raise. Farmers in the area spend about $4,000 or more per acre to raise the crop, or about $500,000 for the average-size field. Growers in the area have been quick to adopt technology that will help them lower costs and improve yields. “We’re the most technologically advanced growing area in the world,” said Mr. Hamm.

Oregon State will use two types of unmanned aerial vehicles that will be equipped with cameras. The HawkEye from Tetracam Inc. of Chatsworth, Calif., is a rectangular frame with a specialized video camera, a motor and propeller that weighs eight pounds and is attached to a large parachute. The other aircraft, called Unicorn from Lockheed Martin Corp.’s LMT +1.43%Procerus Technologies, looks like a glider. Mr. Hamm doesn’t think these should be called drones because farmers will use them solely for monitoring their own crops and not for military or law-enforcement purposes.

Yet, companies like Bosh Precision Agriculture LLC, of Newport News, Va., are actually repurposing drones built for the military and equipping them with a camera that can take images of crops outside the visible spectrum, showing infrared light. The infrared light that is reflected by a plant shows how efficiently photosynthesis occurs in that plant and can provide insight into its general health. By 2050, there will be an estimated nine billion people on the planet, and farmers will need to produce larger yields, said Young Kim, general manager of Bosh Precision Agriculture. “There are very few young people that go into farming and we have an aging farming population,” he said. Technology can be an answer to both those problems, he said.

Meantime, Oregon State and other universities are putting unmanned aircraft to the test. The University of California, Davis is testing small helicopter-like vehicles for the targeted spraying of pesticides in hard-to-reach hillsides in vineyards. Researchers at Kansas State University are creating precise maps of nitrogen deficiencies in soil to help farmers apply fertilizer where it is needed most. A team at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is using the aircraft to detect microbes in the atmosphere that may cause plant diseases.

In Oregon, researchers will look at research plots of potatoes that are artificially under-watered and under-fertilized to see how quickly the aircraft can pick up those details. “We want to know whether the cameras associated with these vehicles are more sensitive than the naked eye,” said Mr. Hamm.

Eventually, farmers will likely depend on third parties to analyze the data and images received by drones. These services may send growers real-time updates about specific problems drones find in the field such as new insect infestations or dry patches, said Mr. Hamm.

“Any way that growers can potentially maximize yields and quality, that is money in their pockets,” said Mr. Hamm.

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News from Liberty and Property Rights Coalition 4-17-13

Agriculture, Air, Climate & Weather, CA. Congressman Tom McClintock, DRONES

U.S. Claims Court To Hear Case Involving Unlawful Seizure of Livestock by U.S. Forest Service

In a published decision handed down April 4, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied a U.S. Forest Service motion to dismiss in a case brought by Arizona rancher Daniel Gabino Martinez asserting a Constitution Fifth Amendment taking of property in the nature of cattle.   The cattle were grazing both on patented lands, and utilizing vested water sources on rangelands appurtenant to the ranch in the area at issue.  The Martinez complaint alleges a taking of property without a either a court order or a warrant, and the denial of Constitutional and statutory due process of law.

Mr. Martinez is one the many victims of the longstanding policy of the federal agencies to extinguish property interests on federally managed lands such as vested water rights, improvements, forage rights and rights of ways without compensation to further their conservation agenda.  Mr. Martinez purchased his rights from his predecessors-in-interest on a ranch that was established in 1882.  The property interests he acquired had vested under the “local laws, customs and court decisions of the times” when the ranch was founded and were acknowledged by Congress in the Mining Act of July 26, 1866.  The property rights had vested in Mr. Martinez by purchase through an exhaustive chain of title through a series of contracts, parol sales and wills dating back to 1882.

Even though Mr. Martinez offered to sign a grazing permit for those areas beyond his vested property rights, the Forest Service denied the permit because Gabino’s  father, Abe Martinez, would not waive his property rights to the agency by signing a “Waiver of Permit”.   The confiscation of the Martinez cattle and source of income for the ranch was part of a thinly veiled attempt by the Forest Service to drive Mr. Martinez out of business and destroy the value of his ranch.  Attorney for the case is Mark Pollot of Boise, Idaho.

(Court House New Service)

PETA Plans to Fly Drones That Would ‘Stalk Hunters’

PETA says it’s actively shopping for a drone to monitor hunters

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is actively shopping for a drone that would “stalk hunters,” the organization said Monday.

The group says it will “soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves” and that it is “shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds.”

The group says it will not weaponize the drones, but will use them to film potentially illegal hunting activity and turn it over to law enforcement.

(U.S. News)

 

Top Ten Crazy Global Warming Solutions

Here’s the top ten list from the California Chapter of American’s for Prosperity.
#10 Wrap Greenland in a Blanket
#9 Make More Clouds
#8 Giant Space Mirrors
#7 Make Us All Vegans
#6 Live in Trash with Heat from Sewers
#5 Algae Covered Buildings
#4 Mechanical Soda Trees
#3 Skyscraper Farms
#2 Less Humans
# 1 Craziest idea to solve global warming — A World of Midgets with Catlike Eyes Who Don’t Eat Meat.

(You Tube)

 

Congressman McClintock’s Letter to Park Service Takes Issue with Attempts to Block Public Access In Yosemite

In a letter to Park Service Superintendant Don Nuebacher, Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) criticizes the National Park Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding Yosemite National Park and the Merced River which runs through it.  In particular, McClintock takes issue with the DEIS proposals which eliminate the public’s access within the park and river contrary to the intent of Congress when it created Yosemite.

(Sierra Sun Times)

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There is a defense to drone technology

Constitution, DRONES

http://www.usnews.com:80/news/articles/2013/03/15/oregon-company-to-sell-drone-defense-technology-to-public

Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public

The company says it won’t knock drones down, but will stop them from ‘completing their mission’

By Jason Koebler

March 15, 2013 RSS Feed Print

Do you want to keep drones out of your backyard?

An Oregon company says that it has developed and will soon start selling technology that disables unmanned aircraft.

The company, called Domestic Drone Countermeasures, was founded in late February because some of its engineers see unmanned aerial vehicles—which are already being flown by law enforcement in some areas and could see wider commercial integration into American airspace by 2015—as unwanted eyes in the sky.

[READ: Maine Police Buy $300 ‘Toy’ Drone That’s Illegal to Use]

“I was personally concerned and I think there’s a lot of other people worried about this,” says Timothy Faucett, a lead engineer on the project. “We’ve already had many inquiries, a lot of people saying ‘Hey, I don’t want these drones looking at me.'”

Domestic Drones Countermeasures was formed as a spin-off company from Aplus Mobile, which sells rugged computer processors to defense contractors—though the company won’t discuss its specific technology because it is still applying for several patents. Faucett says that work has helped inform its anti-drone technology.

The company will sell land-based boxes that are “non-offensive, non-combative and not destructive.” According to the company, “drones will not fall from the sky, but they will be unable to complete their missions.”

Though Faucett wouldn’t discuss specifics, he says the boxes do not interfere with a drone’s navigation system and that it doesn’t involve “jamming of any kind.” He says their technology is “an adaptation of something that could be used for military application” with the “combat element replaced with a nondestructive element.”

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Predator drones customized for at-home surveillance

Constitution, DRONES

PNP comment: A small two-foot round-like object, AKA a drone, flew over an peaceful demonstration at Anselmo Vineyards in Shasta County last week. Hum, wonder how placid they really are? There were about 100 people rallying in support of Anselmo, who has sued the County of Shasta over a building permit. Anselmo has paid over $58,000 in permit fees to the county, but the county continues to not sign the permit for a private chapel on his property. — Editor Liz Bowen

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57572207-38/dhs-built-domestic-surveillance-tech-into-predator-drones/

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.

The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained a partially redacted copy of Homeland Security’s requirements for its drone fleet through the Freedom of Information Act and published it this week. CNET unearthed an unredacted copy of the requirements that provides additional information about the aircraft’s surveillance capabilities.

More at link above. Note that heat detectors will be able to identify humans and animals.  Imagine the rest. – V.

__

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Cal Fire used drone in Shasta County for firefighting efforts

DRONES, State gov

By Damon Arthur

Redding.com

  • Posted February 16, 2013 at 10 p.m.

A California-based privacy rights organization says it has uncovered the use of drones in Shasta County.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation this month released a list of local, state and federal agencies that have received Federal Aviation Administration licenses to fly drones in the United States. The list included a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection permit to fly a drone over Shasta County in 2008 during the lightning-sparked fires that burned thousands of acres in the north state.

A spokeswoman for the foundation said using drones to fight fires seemed like a good idea, but she suggested agencies such as Cal Fire need to develop privacy policies surrounding the use of drones.

READ it:

http://www.redding.com/news/2013/feb/16/cal-fire-used-drone-in-shasta-county/?partner=newsletter_headlines

 

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