Politics

FBI director warns that terrorist drones pose an ‘escalating threat’

The director of the FBI has warned of the increasing risk posed by terrorists using commercial drones to carry out attacks. He is concerned that terrorist organisations, criminal groups and drug cartels are progressively looking at drones as a new way of committing an assault. In a senate committee earlier this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray described how “terrorist groups could easily export their battlefield experiences to use weaponised drones.” According to a report by Bloomberg, Wray’s comments are his most forceful to date on the matter. He went on to describe how their retail availability and “lack of verified
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Startupstaging’s ‘drone tracks’ development to make cheap shipping a reality

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Startupstaging has developed ‘drone tracks’ with aim to make one US dollar shipping a reality. The startup, located at East Stroudsburg University Innovation Centre, close to New York, is hoping the idea can eliminate the current risks surrounding the use of drones for delivery. The system uses a hook mechanism to attach the drone to the rail so it cannot disengage during malfunctions or inclement weather. Like roads for cars, the system creates consistent and predictable flight paths allowing for safer and easier organisation. Additionally, the electrified tracks can charge the drones meaning they can stay constantly charged and travel
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British military prepares for battle with use of commercial drones

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The British military is preparing to take on the likes of Russia and ISIS with the deployment of commercial drones. Set to be used in Britain’s biggest war games in 17 years, each individual drone will cost less than £1,000. According to the Times, the war games are being used to prepare British troops for warfare against countries which have much stronger military forces. Known as Said Sareea 3, the war games are held in Oman where around 5,500 British troops have been stationed. The troops are working together with Omani forces to prepare for potential war against enemies with
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US Air Force awards almost £10m UAS contract to AeroVironment

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AeroVironment has announced the US Airforce awarded the company a $13m (£9.95m) unmanned aircraft systems contract. The deal is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for RQ-11B Raven UAS to support Latin American and Caribbean nations. The US Government fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funds of $2.8m were committed at the time of the award. The Raven hand-launched small UAS, will be deployed in the US Southern Command Area of Responsibility, which includes Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business, said: “Raven revolutionised the battlefield with instant eyes
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BREAKING NEWS: Trump to sign drone shoot-down authorisation bill

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President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill which gives the US Government new powers to shoot down drones today. The bill will now authorise the Government to shoot down threatening drones in a bid to give officials and members of the public increased protection. Following the approval of the bill, which was secured in a 93 to 6 vote in the U.S Senate on Wednesday, Departments of Justice and Homeland Security will gain new authority to disable or destroy drones if they pose a threat to government facilities. Previously, the Trump administration had said it did not have
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VIDEO: Ainstein unveils new long range drone detection radar sensors

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Ainstein has announced new customisable ultra-long range drone detection radar sensors. Two variations have been made available, the airborne ULAB-D1 and the ground-based ULGB-D1. Ainstein hopes the new systems will address the need for highly precise and cost-effective tools to minimise disaster risk caused by drones. Both radars are capable of precise detection more than 1,000 meters away and have been designed to help protect high security facilities such as government buildings, airports and critical infrastructure. Watch how the ULGB-D1 works here: https://youtu.be/wAqSZdY7HXE Andrew Boushie, vice president of strategy and partnerships at Ainstein, said: “Customizable long-range radar systems are essential
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New US government rules to authorise UAV take-downs and commercial drone deliveries

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The US government is expected to write up new rules which will authorise commercial drone deliveries and allow the Department of Justice and Homeland Security to shoot down drones. The DFHS will be allowed to disable or shoot down drones they believe to be posing a threat to government buildings. According to a report from Reuters, the Trump Administration said it did not have any authority to take out potential malicious drones prior to the new rules. Last week, Commercial Drone Professional reported on a story which detailed how a security official felt the US was ‘powerless’ against drones. In
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FAA to get tough on rogue drone pilots in the US

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UAV pilots in America are now more likely to face stricter sanctions from the Federal Aviation Administration if they are caught breaking the law. The FAA made it clear that drones interfering with wildfires, law enforcement efforts, or other first responders, such as medical flights, will now face more serious civil penalties. The authority made the announcement in a statement last week and went on to say how it would be just as strict with first time offenders too. In July 2016, Congress authorised the FAA to impose a civil penalty of up to $20,000 for anyone who operates a
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CAA looks to clear up Thames drone flight issue

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The CAA is looking to give clarification on drone flights across the River Thames with regards to the control the Port of London has on pilots. The Civil Aviation Authority was responding to a member of the Drone Safe Register when it offered further clarity on the issue. Presently, according to the DSR, the Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations that apply on a 95 mile stretch of the Thames from Teddington to the North Sea. On its website the PLA have a page specific to the use of drones which sets out a
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Two arrested on suspicion of buying drones to ship to Islamic State

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Authorities in Denmark have arrested two people on suspicion of buying drones bound for Islamic State. Under the anti-terror laws in the country, the two were arrested by Copenhagen Police and the PET, Denmark’s security service. According to a report by Associated Press, police said the suspects were believed to be part of a network working for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. In a brief joint statement, police and PET said a series of raids were also carried out in greater Copenhagen. The suspects are set to face a judge, and prosecutors are expected to demand they be
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