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Old August 12th, 2012 #1
Bev
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Quote:
Unmanned spy drones could patrol Britain’s shores looking for illegal immigrants and smugglers after a series of high-level meetings in Brussels, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

The European Commission aims to spend £260 million on its ‘Eurosur’ project, which includes a plan for surveillance drones to patrol the Mediterranean coast.

At the same time, several schemes are under way in Britain, aiming to develop civilian roles for aircraft based on the killer drones hunting Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.



All-seeing: Surveillance planes with military-grade cameras would be more effective at monitoring the coastline than satellites or standard planes

If the high-tech measures against terrorists, illegal immigrants and smugglers in the Mediterranean are successful, there would be pressure on the UK to follow suit.

Surveillance planes with military-grade cameras would be more effective at monitoring the coastline than satellites or standard planes.

British defence firms are testing sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ systems on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the Irish Sea and some experts believe European civilian airspace could soon see drones flying alongside other aircraft.



Meanwhile Kent Police are working on a £3 million project with partners in the UK, France and the Netherlands to explore the use of unmanned aircraft to patrol its coastline and the English Channel.

A spokesman said the likely targets would include ‘organised criminals, such as people-smugglers’.

Eurosur, which is about to go before the European Parliament, involves small drones being deployed along the Mediterranean coastline, and is a response to the large numbers of illegal immigrants crossing from North Africa in small boats.

The umbrella body for EC border agencies, Frontex, which came up with the idea, has hosted demonstrations by defence companies for member states to show them the range of drones available.

One of the craft, the Spanish-built Fulmar, has a 10ft wingspan, cruises at 60mph and can stay up for eight hours. The larger Israeli-manufactured Heron is 26ft long and can fly for 52 hours at 35,000ft.



Eye in the sky: Small drones could be deployed along the Mediterranean coastline to intercept large numbers of illegal immigrants crossing from North Africa in small boats

Both can carry infrared sensors and sophisticated video cameras which send a live feed back to a remote pilot at a ground station.

Frontex spokesman Edgar Beugels said UAVs may be suited to patrolling borders. He added: ‘There has been some interest in these from member states for border-surveillance purposes. At the moment we are holding demonstrations to see if these aircraft are a viable tool for border surveillance.

‘They give advantages as far as the possibility of hanging around in a particular area is concerned, possibly for as long as 12 hours, which is much better than a conventional aircraft.’

The biggest obstacle to the operation of large civilian drones is the risk of collision with other aircraft, but Mr Beugels said: ‘I would imagine that in the not-too-distant future there will be a legal framework in place in Europe to allow these aircraft in unrestricted airspace.’

The EC wants to set up the network, which includes using satellites, by next year, so only small drones will be used at first. Current regulations mean the operator must maintain visual contact with the aircraft and keep it within 1,500ft horizontally and 400ft vertically of himself.

In Brussels earlier this year, defence contractors met EC officials hosted by the European Defence Agency as they tried to forge plans allowing drones and manned aircraft to fly side by side.

Separately, in one of the world’s most advanced trials of UAVs, BAE Systems has teamed up with British firms Cobham, Rolls-Royce and QinetiQ, along with German company Cassidian and French-owned Thales UK, to develop a £62 million part-government-funded project called Astraea. A spokesman for BAE said: ‘It’s important to be able to safely open up UK airspace for these kinds of flights as there are many civilian applications.



On the look out: Drone pilots use a bank of high-resolution screens which play in real time images from the aircraft. (File picture)

‘We are very aware that the idea of “robot planes” flying in the sky can cause people to be alarmed, but the fact is that sense-and-detect technology designed to keep them safely away from other aircraft is currently being proved.’

Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, Astraea’s programme director, said the specially converted Jetstream aircraft being tested over the Irish Sea can detect and avoid other aircraft as easily as a piloted plane.

He was confident regulators would give UAVs the green light sooner rather than later. ‘We might see some experimental uses of UAVs by perhaps 2015, for example on coastguard patrol,’ he said.

Privacy campaigner Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, believes that border surveillance drones may not be far off.

‘Border control is one of the biggest pressure points. We’re seeing an increasing demand to stick a drone in the air because it’s cheaper than a helicopter.

‘The danger is that we all end up being watched, but if something happens there’s no one there to help you because they’re all manning the controls.’
We can lead the world in an aerial revolution if we banish our fear of 'robots running amok', says Michael Brooks

The idea of unmanned drones humming around us, gathering our data, identifying us through photo-recognition and making their own decisions about whether to fire missiles, sounds like a dystopian vision of the future.

In reality, the creation of autonomous robots is still a long way off, if it ever were to happen. The scenario imagined by so many Hollywood films, in which they could become uncontrollable killing machines, is simply the stuff of science fiction.

Yet the potential use of unmanned drones in Britain is growing increasingly likely. It is inevitable that Britain will want to use technology to protect its borders.



Future force: The US Defence Department is investing heavily in unmanned technology such as drone aircraft, similar to the one pictured

Any such plans would undoubtedly be met with hand-wringing from those who worry about breaches of civil liberties. Indeed, human rights lawyers have already warned of litigation against the Government.

But Britain should press ahead with its use of drones in warfare. Indeed, not just in warfare – unmanned technology has many applications, is big business and can only benefit our economy.

In war, there has only ever been the well-equipped and the less well-equipped. Those who refuse to get on board with technology end up on the losing side of any battle. Robots are nothing to fear. This technology is an industry that Britain’s economy could do with leading.

The US Defence Department is putting out billion-dollar purchase orders for unmanned technology. A decade ago, less than five per cent of the US military’s aircraft were unmanned. Now more than 40 per cent fly without pilots on board.

The few small companies selling kits, parts and accessories for private, amateur hobby drones in the UK are doing very well. We need to make sure that British companies profit on the large-scale applications, too.

There will be no shortage of takers because the applications – and thus future markets – are limited only by the imagination. Drones can dust crops with pesticides, monitor atmospheric pollution, patrol for forest fires and carry out aerial land surveys.

Photographers are looking to use drones equipped with cameras to provide them with a whole a new angle on their profession.

Civilian drones have plenty to offer governments, too. In America, US Customs has been flying drones over mountainous or desert regions where human-traffickers and drug-smugglers operate with impunity.


Police-operated drones flying above our cities will enrage those who complain about Britain’s wide CCTV coverage.

But most of us understand that when someone goes missing, it is a benefit to have cameras to capture their last recorded movements.

Drone technology already saves lives. We send drones in to inspect the state of nuclear power stations, and the US military lent drones to search-and-rescue teams looking for survivors after the Haiti earthquake.

But there are hurdles to overcome.

There have been concerns over the high crash rate of military drones and critics warn of a future where drones are dropping from the sky several times a day. But these problems are being ironed out.

The accident rate for drones is already lower than that for small, single-engined private aircraft.

Another problem is the potential for collisions. Before drones fill our skies, they will have to be equipped with avoidance systems to minimise the possibility of accidents.

Britain would do well to capitalise on the rising interest in drones, not bow to the worrywarts and squander the chance to lead the world in this new aerial revolution.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2187063/Spy-sky-drones-patrol-Britains-shores-terrorist-smugglers-illegal-immigrants.html
safe

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...mmigrants.html
normal

"hand-wringing"? Is that the new synonym for "real and legitimate worries"?

I see "israeli-manufactured" in anything to do with "protecting Britain" and it makes me suspicious....

Who are Frontex?

Quote:
Frontex

address
Rondo ONZ 1
00-124 Warsaw
Poland
http://www.frontex.europa.eu/contact/

Quote:
Frontex promotes, coordinates and develops European border management in line with the EU fundamental rights charter applying the concept of Integrated Border Management.

Frontex helps border authorities from different EU countries work together. Frontex’s full title is the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union. The agency was set up in 2004 to reinforce and streamline cooperation between national border authorities. In pursuit of this goal, Frontex has several operational areas which are defined in the founding Frontex Regulation and a subsequent amendment.
Seems reasonable enough.....

Quote:
The use of risk analysis is not limited to operations only however. It can also be used by decision-makers in setting priorities, developing counter-measures and determining future goals. Such assessments also underpin planning for other activities such as training, or research and development. Frontex also works closely with international organisations like UNHCR, IOM, UNODC, ICMPD, INTERPOL and Europol to identify areas where capabilities could be improved. Frontex’s risk analysis activities fall into two categories: Strategic Analysis and Operational Analysis.
UN refugee agency.
International Office for Migration.
International Centre for Migration Policy Development.

from Electronic Intifada ( http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/...aeli-warplanes )

Quote:
EU border agency shops around for Israeli warplanes
Submitted by david on Mon, 02/13/2012 - 15:09

Israel’s war machine may be recruited to stop impoverished foreigners from reaching the European Union.

A pilotless drone manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently took part in a demonstration exercise organized by Frontex, the EU’s border management agency, in Greece. A statement issued by IAI indicates that the drone (or unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV) in question belonged to the Heron range, which was used extensively during Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. Frontex has put out a call for tenders on drones that can help it identify boats carrying migrants en route to Europe.
Is Britain or Europe not capable of building these drones, if they're needed?
Quote:
Europe’s leading drone manufacturers have joined forces in yet another EU-funded R&D project on the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’. The OPARUS project brings together Sagem, BAE Systems, Finmeccanica, Thales, EADS, Dassault Aviation, ISDEFE, Israel Aircraft Industries and others to “elaborate an open architecture for the operation of unmanned air-to-ground wide area land and sea border surveillance platforms in Europe”. The consortium has received €11.8 million in EU funding.

Meanwhile IPS reports that FRONTEX has invited expressions of interest in a tender to demonstrate ”Small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and Fixed systems for Land border surveillance”.

Another article, by Dave Cronin, reports that the European Defence Agency (EDA) has now launched the SIGAT project (Study on the Insertion of UAS in the General Air Traffic), featuring EADS, Sagem, BAE and Dassault (see also previous post on the EDA’s drone programme).

Finally, Cronin’s article also notes that Sagem has entered into a “joint venture” with Elbit, the Israeli company which manufactured some of the most lethal weaponry ever used in Gaza.
http://neoconopticon.wordpress.com/2...ontex-and-eda/
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Old August 12th, 2012 #2
Dawn Cannon
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Ah, Frontex eh?

And:

Quote:
Eye in the sky: Small drones could be deployed along the Mediterranean coastline to intercept large numbers of illegal immigrants crossing from North Africa in small boats
I can just imagine gangs of kike lawyers and Progressives using the footage to sue (what's left of) the Navy and all other shipping for not aiding the bloody things in their (already paid to people smugglers) passage to Angleterre and everywhere else.


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Last edited by Dawn Cannon; August 12th, 2012 at 05:59 AM.
 
Old August 12th, 2012 #3
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Frontex belongs to Sarkozy (jewish ex-ruler of France) and employs a lot of Poles.

Libya disaster feeds Sarkozy's dreams of EU glory
http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/201...-eu-glory.html
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Old August 12th, 2012 #4
Bev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn Cannon View Post
Frontex belongs to Sarkozy (jewish ex-ruler of France) and employs a lot of Poles.

Libya disaster feeds Sarkozy's dreams of EU glory
http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/201...-eu-glory.html

Excellent find! There's the missing "why Israeli-made" link I was puzzling over.
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Old August 12th, 2012 #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bev View Post
Excellent find! There's the missing "why Israeli-made" link I was puzzling over.
This thread you just created really explains a lot - there have long been plans to put THOUSANDS of drones up there. I wouldn't be suprised if there are already the airship blimp variety, watching the evil taxpayers of "united" kingdom... paid for by taxpayers.




More info:
http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/
British parliamentarians condemn US drone strikes as its revealed that RAF pilots controlled US drones over Libya
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Last edited by Dawn Cannon; August 12th, 2012 at 06:19 AM.
 
Old August 12th, 2012 #6
Bev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn Cannon View Post
This thread you just created really explains a lot - there have long been plans to put THOUSANDS of drones up there. I wouldn't be suprised if there are already the airship blimp variety, watching the evil taxpayers of "united" kingdom... paid for by taxpayers.




More info:
http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/
British parliamentarians condemn US drone strikes as its revealed that RAF pilots controlled US drones over Libya

The more I read about this caper, the more things of interest I find. For example, this blog is obviously written from a leftwing, "poor asylum seekers", "need affirmative employment" and "action to prevent islampohpbia because Islam is European" POV but nonetheless:
Quote:
In 2004, the EU formulated the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) to avoid “the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and our neighbours and instead strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all.” The more a country complies with the EU’s Action Plan — which mandates adherence to ENP conditions related to the rule of law, mutual accountability, and a shared commitment to the universal values of human rights and democracy — the more willing the EU will be to engage in deeper economic integration with that country.

Thus far, the ENP has been extended to Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Tunisia. However, Syria, Algeria, Belarus, and Libya have not fully accepted the most recent draft of the Action Plan. The policy of the ENP was intended from its creation—before the Arab Spring even occurred—to address the problems existing in many MENA countries. It has since been updated in the aftermath of the Arab Spring to encourage MENA nations to pursue democratic reform, thereby lending greater stability to their situation and ultimately enabling their citizens to remain in their homes.
Hang on, wasn't the world going mad at Israel not so long ago because of their treatment of asylum seekers?


http://www.czymjestfrontex.com/2012/...-and-arab.html
Quote:
EU firms have joined the gold rush on military and civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). But ethical and legal questions dog the technology.

The global UAV market is worth $6 billion (€4.6bn) a year and will hit $12 billion by 2018, according to US forecaster Teal Group.

It is not a real market. Currently, military-industrial complexes in China, Israel, the EU, Russia and the US make drones for their armed forces and sell them to close allies only. Almost half the spending is government research.

But with big money at stake, some analysts predict rapid proliferation.

"China has made a copy of the predator - the pterodactyl. It's identified a hole in the market for attack UAVs and it plans to sell more widely. This will force everyone to sell more widely ... I've traced 51 countries which are interested in acquiring this kind of technology, but I'm sure there are more out there," Noel Sharkey - a British robotics professor who advises the military - told EUobserver.

The predator is notorious for CIA officers who sit in Langley, Virginia and launch rockets at people in Pakistan with no judicial or congressional oversight.

The next step on the military side is combat drones (Ucavs) which can fly in "dirty" theatres of conflict - places with decent anti-aircraft defences. Another step is autonomy - drones which fire weapons based on algorithms because the human operator is too slow or cut off by electronic jamming.

One future Ucav is the Darpa Falcon - the US says it will fly at 21,000 km-per-hour and hit a target anywhere on the planet within 30 minutes of take off. Israel's Harpy already works by hovering in the air and sniffing out radar signals. If it senses one, it cross-checks a database of friendly radars then fires autonomously - even if the enemy radar is sitting on a school or hospital.

On the civilian side, British police will use UAVs to observe crowds in the 2012 Olympics, while EU border control agency, Frontex, on 9 February test-flew an Israeli-made surveillance drone in Greece, the main entry-point for asylum seekers.

Gunnar Holmberg, a researcher at Swedish arms firm Saab, noted that microchips are getting so light police could one day fly nano-drones inside buildings. "It's free for the imagination," he said, in terms of UAV markets.

Sarkozy's euro-drone

Teal Group notes that US companies last year built about 1,800 drones out of the 2,600 made worldwide. European firms made 200. But almost all the big EU arms companies are building prototypes to meet future demand.

The Neuron - a "euro-Ucav" being made by France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland - will in April do its first test drive on the tarmac. France's Nicolas Sarkozy and the UK's David Cameron in Paris on Friday (17 February) will, among other things, reveal details on Telemos, their joint effort to make a next-generation predator, designed to fly in 2018.

The main problem holding back civilian sales is how to make sure UAVs do not bump into normal planes.

As things stand, nobody from the European Defence Agency or from the European Commission, which have been tasked with drafting laws on how to share civilian airspace, can give a ball-park date for when they will be ready.

Another problem is that people care about their privacy.

Tony Henley, an industry consultant, told this website: "One minute a UAV is taking pictures of crops. But what if your wife is sunbathing topless in her garden close by? Who will protect her?" The head of research at Frontex, Edgar Beugels, said he is unsure if UAVs will patrol the sky in his lifetime. "But if they do, you probably won't see them," he added.

The military questions are more acute.

Sharkey has attracted ridicule for saying autonomous attack drones should be regulated by an international treaty - like chemical weapons or cluster bombs - because they kill people indiscriminately.

The Pope and the crossbow

Industrialists, such as Yves Robbins, in charge of marketing the Neuron on behalf of French firm Dassault, puts the concerns down to fear of novelty. "When they invented the crossbow, the Pope said he would excommunicate any warrior that uses it because it's too barbaric. You get this when a new weapon comes along," he told EUobserver.

When asked what he thinks of Sharkey's idea, Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe - whose firm is making Neuron's autonomous systems or "brains" - wrote back: "The MTCR regime already exists (The Missile Technology Control Regime), which is an association of countries that share the goals of non-proliferation on unmanned delivery systems consisting of 34 countries."

The MTCR is not legally binding and only covers UAVs which carry 500kg or more of munitions - a class which excludes anything on sale today.

Speaking privately, some people working on Neuron do have mixed emotions.

"I would say thank God that intelligence services in Europe don't have enough money to run their own weapons programmes," an industry contact said, referring to the CIA's targeted assassinations. "I don't think our politicians will let us build drones that fire by themselves," he added.
http://euobserver.com/defence/115283
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Old August 12th, 2012 #7
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France's Nicolas Sarkozy and the UK's David Cameron in Paris on Friday (17 February) will, among other things, reveal details on Telemos, their joint effort to make a next-generation predator, designed to fly in 2018.


Quote:
In Greek mythology, Telemos was the prophetic son of Eurymos, known for having the vision and foresight to warn Polyphemus about an attack by Odysseus.

The two companies will jointly present the capabilities that underpin the Telemos programme at the Paris Air Show from June 20th – 26th.

Following the signing of an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two companies earlier this year, the Telemos programme will ensure that the considerable end-to-end systems capabilities of both BAE Systems and Dassault are successfully brought together to deliver a joint proposal to the UK and French Ministries of Defence for the design, development, production and support of a MALE UAS that will help safeguard the sovereign capability of the UK and France in the future.

Eric Trappier, Executive Vice President International at Dassault Aviation commented:

“We believe that Dassault Aviation and BAE Systems are the only companies with the experience, skills and capabilities to meet the requirements of our two Governments and the strong Telemos team will ensure that we provide the capability they are looking for, whilst assisting the sustainment of sovereign industrial capabilities which both governments have invested in developing. The key thing we need now is the political decision to transform this process into the first firm activity under the franco-british treaty on defense co-operation.”

Peter Richardson, Strategy and Technology Director for BAE Systems Military Air and Information said:

“Since the signing of the MOU earlier this year we have continued to work together to ensure that, as soon as the two governments formally launch their requirement, we are well placed to develop the future frontline capability they require. We have already set up a joint team and will look to strengthen this with other leading industry players to ensure that the Telemos programme will develop a cost-effective autonomous system in the required timescales.”

After steadfastly refusing to see the benefits of UAV’s the RAF has joined the party late with the UOR purchase of a small number of General Atomics Reaper’s, operated by 39 Squadron. These have proven to be very useful and numbers have been recently increased, or at least ordered. Reaper is a high performance system with a similar type of sensor fit (EO/SAR) to Watchkeeper but encased in a larger airframe. It can fly for longer, faster and at a greater altitude. Its satellite communication system means that it is not reliant on in theatre communication resources so can be operated at distance. Finally, its party piece is a large weapon fit. This combination means the predator has value as both a strategic and tactical system.

Because we are using the Reapers on US infrastructure this is a situation that cannot endure if we are to have any sovereign autonomy even though the recent announcement of a move to the UK of some of the infrastructure is a step in the right direction.

The MoD has been ‘looking’ at the requirement for a while now and working with industry on a number of projects like JEUP and various demonstrators. The Herti system had a useful deployment to Afghanistan in 2007 under the joint BAe/RAF Project Morrigan to demonstrate its autonomous flight control and image collection systems. When the RAF’s Future Offensive Air System (FOAS) was cancelled it was replaced with the strategic unmanned air vehicle (experiment) SUAV(E) programme in 2005, this is a more combat UCAV oriented programme with the Taranis being part of its output and a joint collaboration with the US on a UCAS system.

Scavenger is part of the wider DABINETT/SOLOMON programme and the requirement is described this;

Inaccessible loitering intelligence collection from difficult and distant locations. SCAVENGER will fill significant gaps in the UK’s strategic and theatre collection capabilities, using a mix of UAVs, standalone sensors and potentially Low Earth Orbit satellites.

UK has collection gaps which need to be filled if we are to gather all the intelligence we need.

It is thought that a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV in the Reaper class will form a key component of Scavenger.

Scavenger is intended to provide sovereign capability but it has also been reported that we are considering the Reaper and its stealthy follow on, the Avenger, which has also been proposed as a maritime variant, the Sea Avenger. The Avenger will also have the same electro optical system as the F35, the much vaunted EOTS which dispenses with turrets and distributes the sensor throughout the airframe.

The BAe Mantis demonstrator recently completed a successful Spiral 1 flight test programme in Australia. Spiral 2 will likely integrate a range of Selex sensors and UK weapons. The Mantis air vehicle is relatively large, 22m wingspan, powered by a pair of Rolls Royce RB250B-17 engines (better for resilience) developing 450shp each which compares well with the 900shp single engine in the Reaper. Performance targets for a production version include a 24-36 hour duration, high operating altitude and a weapons payload of approximately 3,000kg or 12 Brimstone/6 Paveway IV on 6 wing hard points. Other payloads might include ECM, SIGINT, comms relay or even the RAPTOR pod.

With the recent Anglo/French defence cooperation agreement the Scavenger requirement is looking like it aligns perfectly with the similar French requirement, although the French may obtain a small number of Reapers as gap fillers. In a recent report from the French National Assembly the desire for increased funding for MALE UAS was laid out including a commitment to the technology and the classification of it as a strategic capability that should not be obtained from outside the EU.

The report acknowledges that because of funding issues the programme will have to be a collaborative one and suggests that the BAe Mantis might be the sensible choice with Thales and Dassault providing the payload and integration respectively, this is building on the greater collaboration on ISR announced in November 2009. Italy, Germany and Spain would likely be interested in joining any collaborative venture but only if EADS could be involved and therein lies the problem. EADS has a competing development called Talarion but this is at a much less advanced stage than Mantis and would no doubt be a riskier proposition i.e. more costly, however much snootily dismissive of Mantis EADS appear.

What started out as a possible joint venture could easily get wrapped up in European defence politics and likely morph into a multinational programme like the Typhoon or A400. No doubt it would be a fine system but it would be 10 years late, several billions over budget and not likely to be exportable because the Israelis and Americans had dominated the market.

From a late start it is interesting to note the rapid progress the MoD and BAe have made in unmanned systems development and contrast that with other European nations. The MoD and BAe have created a number of de risking programmes, getting on with the job quietly and competently. Mantis is the culmination of these to date and has cost very little in comparison, a limited set of deliverables, moderate aspirations and a low risk technology approach yielding significant results.

The MoD and BAe have valuable experience and a tangible lead over our European competitors in this area now.

We must not squander it and concentrate on fielding Mantis to provide the UK with a system that is independent of US infrastructure and easily exported, meeting the Scavenger requirement. There is a large future market for MALE UAS so let’s make sure the UK gets back into the weapons exporting business by not farting around for the next ten years deciding who is going to make the wings.

Scavenger envisions an in service date between 2015 and 2018.

Today’s announcement from BAe and Dassault would seem to indicate progress towards the common requirement, if we can avoid adding any more partner nations we might just avoid some of the industrial politics that so blights these type of projects.

Two’s company and three’s a crowd.
http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/06/telemos-uav/

DABINETT/SOLOMON programme?


Quote:
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded Lockheed Martin UK a £22 million contract to deliver an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) Information Integration and Management (I3M) capability in support of its Solomon ISTAR programme.

Originally conceived under the name Dabinett to address a capability gap in the provision of deep and persistent ISTAR capability, the programme – renamed Solomon in 2010 – has subsequently been re-cast to provide an overarching architecture for the execution of the complete end-to-end information and intelligence process.

....and round we go again.

http://home.janes.com/events/exhibit...-i3m-con.shtml
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Old August 13th, 2012 #8
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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Robust Robotics Group has developed a plane that can navigate itself without GPS.

For decades, researchers have been working on creating helicopters that can pilot themselves without human guidance.

But MIT’s team has now come up a fixed-wing plane that can travel at high speeds while dodging obstacles and manoeuvring through tight spaces.




Using only on-board sensors, a laser, and a basic Intel Atom processor, the aircraft is able to power itself.

‘The reason that we switched from the helicopter to the fixed-wing vehicle is that the fixed-wing vehicle is a more complicated and interesting problem, but also that it has a much longer flight time,’ says Nick Roy, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and head of the Robust Robotics Group.



‘The helicopter is working very hard just to keep itself in the air, and we wanted to be able to fly longer distances for longer periods of time.’

MIT’s autonomous plane, which has a two-meter wingspan and weighs two kilograms, was able to complete a seven-minute flight at 22 miles per hour.
Using only on-board sensors, a laser, and a basic Intel Atom processor, the aircraft is able to power itself.

It covered three miles of distance and managed to avoid obstacles despite coming a few centimetres within them.

Currently, the plane's lasers can only see a two-dimensional picture of the environment. Therefore, MIT researches have provided the plane with an accurate digital map of its environment.

For it to truly be autonomous, and work in the real world, researchers need to equip the plane with the ability to map its own environment.

Nonetheless, internet users were impressed by the research university’s creation. ‘Innovation at its finest,’ one YouTube user posted. ‘What will be left for humans to do?’ added another.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2187426/MITs-robot-plane-fly-avoiding-obstacles.html
safe

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...obstacles.html normal

Also:
Quote:
Boeing engineers have successfully demonstrated new technology that enables drones to function like a 'swarm of insects' where they can communicate and carry out tasks in mid-air.

In June, engineers and researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested their technology on two ScanEagle drones in Oregon, Boeing revealed.

The drone development could lead to lower costs and less risk in military welfare, Boeing said in a statement.


Using just a military radio and a laptop, an operator on the ground was able to connect with the autonomous drones instructing them to carry out a mission simultaneously.

'This swarm technology may one day enable warfighters in battle to request and receive time-critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information directly from airborne (unmanned aerial vehicles) much sooner than they can from ground control stations today,' Gabriel Santander, Boeing’s program director of advanced autonomous networks, said.

'Swarm network technology has the potential to offer more missions at less risk and lower operating costs,' the statement continues.


Boeing revealed the 'swarm' technology at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International trade show, where robot makers gather to show off their wares.

The University of Pennsylvania GRASP Lab have also tested drone 'swarm' technology recently, showing off a network of 20 nano quadrotors flying in synchronized formations.

The SWARMS goal is to combine swarm technology with bio-inspired drones to operate 'with little or no direct human supervision' in 'dynamic, resource-constrained, adversarial environments,' the university said.


Indeed, it is most likely the future of hard-to-detect drone surveillance will mimic nature.

Research suggests that the mechanics of insects can be reverse-engineered to design midget machines to scout battlefields and search for victims trapped in rubble.

Scientists have taken their inspiration from animals which have evolved over millennia to the perfect conditions for flight.

Nano-biomimicry MAV design has long been studied by the Department of Defence, and in 2008 the U.S. government's military research agency - DARPA - conducted a symposium discussing 'bugs, bots, borgs and bio-weapons.'

The same year, the US Air Force unveiled insect-sized spies 'as tiny as bumblebees' that could not be detected and would be able to fly into buildings to 'photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists.'

Around the same time the Air Force also unveiled what it called 'lethal mini-drones' based on Leonardo da Vinci's blueprints for his Ornithopter flying machine, and claimed they would be ready for roll out by 2015.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2187411/Boeing-showcase-drones-behave-like-swarm-insects.html safe

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...m-insects.html normal
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Old October 1st, 2012 #9
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Default Drones should be ‘like any other piece of cops kit

Quote:
UNMANNED drones could become a more common sight over our skies - after police minister Damian Green said cops should treat them "like any other piece of kit".

However, Mr Green warned that the multi-million pound flying machines should only be used if "appropriate and proportionate".

Mr Green wants the remote control drones to become top crime-fighting weapons.

He said: "Drones are like any other piece of kit - where it’s appropriate or proportionate to use them then we will look at using them.

“But they need to be treated the same as any other piece of police equipment or police activity.

“They should only be used when it’s appropriate and proportionate to do so.”

Mr Green was speaking at the launch of the new National Police Air Service (NPAS) - which he hopes will provide a cheaper method of air support to officers.
Cops ... minister Damian Green said drones should be used 'if appropriate'
The national service will replace current local systems which have been criticised as costly and impractical.

Mr Green added: "You’ve got one national service where the deployment will be more efficient and more rational and where the aircraft can be pointed at incidents where they’re needed to be faster than they are now."

Chief Constable Alex Marshall, who is leading the NPAS scheme for the Association of Chief Police Officers, has said the service should start looking towards drones that can stay in the air longer and would be cheaper than running manned aircraft.

He said: "We don’t use them in mainstream policing at the moment but they may well offer something for the future,



“They can stay up longer, they’re cheaper, they can do things that you can’t do having people in the air.

“But the Civil Aviation Authority for example, doesn’t allow the use of drones out of line of sight, and there are other restrictions on using them.

“Plus the debate that still needs to be had, it might be cost effective, you might be able to keep it up longer, but is it acceptable to the citizens of the UK to have them in the air?"
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4565781/Drones-should-be-like-any-other-piece-of-cops-kit.html

 
Old October 1st, 2012 #10
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Default Introducing Drones to Sun Readers

Harmless little remote controlled toys that G4S and SERCO, ooops I mean The Police might use to help and protect you in the Fight Against Crime.

Shelling Out: New Reports Shows UK Has Spent £2bn on Drones


Drone Wars UK is today publishing a report that shows the UK Government has already spent over £2 billion purchasing, developing and researching drones and unmanned systems since 2007.

The report, Shelling Out: UK Government Spending on Unmanned drones, finds that the UK has spent £872m on five different drones that are currently in service with British forces, including £506m on the armed MQ-9 Reaper drone. The UK has committed a further £1,031m to developing new drones such as the Watchkeeper UAV and BAE Systems Taranis drone. Finally the UK has funded £120m of research within UK universities and British defence companies looking at unmanned systems. This included £30m funding for the ASTRAEA programme to open up UK civil airspace to autonomous drones.

In addition to the £2bn already spent, in 2013 the UK is likely to begin committing funds to the Scavenger programme to develop a new armed medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) drone. The UK MoD estimates the Scavenger programme will cost £2bn over its lifetime.

Chris Cole, co-ordinator of Drone Wars UK and author of the new report said

“UN experts, legal scholars and civil liberties campaigners are all expressing serious concerns about the rising use of unmanned drones. At a time of tough spending cuts it cannot be right that the UK is continuing to pour billions of pounds into developing new drones without proper parliamentary scrutiny or debate of the serious legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of this technology.

http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/201...2bn-on-drones/
 
Old October 1st, 2012 #11
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When they see me cutting the lawn, for the neighbor,, does it go into The Good Deeds Database, TGDD?
Assholes. More than a few Bayonettings are in order.
 
Old October 2nd, 2012 #12
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As expected....

Quote:
The police have been given the green light to use unmanned military-style drones.

But civil liberties groups have called for tighter regulation amid fears the skies could become ‘littered with flying cameras’.

Police minister Damian Green said the aircraft, which carry CCTV cameras, could be used in ‘appropriate’ circumstances.



A step too far? The Home Office has given police permission to use military-style drones like the one above which traditionally carry missiles as a crime-fighting tool over the skies of Britain

Senior police officers want to extend the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, which are seen as a cheaper alternative to manned helicopters.

Currently the only drones approved for use are small radio-controlled devices which can only go up to 400ft in the air and up to 1,600ft away from the on-ground ‘pilot’.


Military hardware companies are developing civilian versions of the remote-controlled drones which carry missiles in Afghanistan.

Speaking at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey yesterday, Mr Green said: ‘Drones are like any other piece of kit – where it’s appropriate or proportionate to use them then we will look at using them.’



Chopper flop: Merseyside Police spent £13,000 on this CCTV-carrying drone to much publicity five years ago, but after helping to make just one arrest, it crashed and was never replaced

But Emma Carr, deputy director of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘We need clear rules that establish what drones can be used and why, before we see our skies littered with flying cameras.’

Five years ago Merseyside Police bought a £13,000 remote-controlled craft. But last year, soon after helping in its one and only arrest, it crashed into the Mersey.

In August it was reported Kent Police is working on a £3 million project to use unmanned aircraft to patrol its coastline.

The Civil Aviation Authority has also licensed the testing of larger drones at ParcAberporth in West Wales.

Mr Green’s comments came at the launch of a new National Police Air Service which will use 26 helicopters operating from 23 bases across the country, saving £15million.



Spy in the sky: This reconnaissance drone is among the latest gadgets that could also be employed by police forces in the future

In future, these could be licenced for use above populated areas, once the technology has developed so they can automatically avoid civilian aircraft.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall from the Association of Chief Police Officers called for greater use of drones, which can stay in the air longer and are cheaper than running manned aircraft.

He said: ‘We don’t use them in mainstream policing at the moment but they may well offer something for the future. They can stay up longer, they’re cheaper, they can do things that you can’t do having people in the air.



Green light: Police minister Damian Green said the unmanned aircraft, which carry high grade CCTV cameras, could be used in 'appropriate' circumstances

‘The debate that still needs to be had - it might be cost- effective, you might be able to keep it up longer, but is it acceptable to the citizens of the UK to have them in the air?

He added: ‘We should be looking at different ways of providing air support in the future that don’t involve putting humans up in the air, but the public need to find it acceptable and it needs to be within the law.’

But Emma Carr, deputy director of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘The regulation of drones appears dangerously lax where they do not weigh enough to be covered by the main air rules, something it appears those selling drones are keen to exploit.

‘We need clear rules that establish what drones can be used and why, before we see our skies littered with flying cameras.’

She added: ‘It was only a matter of time before we saw military hardware re-designed to be used in civilian environments when there is no clear pressing reason to do so, other than the profits of the companies involved.’

Mr Green’s comments came at the launch of a new National Police Air Service (NPAS) which replaces helicopters used by individual or groups of forces with a national system covering the whole country.

NPAS will use 26 helicopters running from 23 bases across the country, saving £15million.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2211333/Attack-drones-Britains-skies-Home-Office-allows-police-use-military-style-unmanned-aircraft.html

Surprised they didn't invoke the now Gold Card phrase "terrorism prevention".

What appropriate circumstances might these be, then?
 
Old October 2nd, 2012 #13
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(merged these two threads because the bolded line in the last post reminded me of this thread)
 
Old October 21st, 2012 #14
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Default CIA chiefs face arrest over horrific evidence of bloody 'video-game' sorties by drone pilots

Quote:
The Mail on Sunday today reveals shocking new evidence of the full horrific impact of US drone attacks in Pakistan.



A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into the strikes’ targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones’ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.

The dossier has been assembled by human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who works for Pakistan’s Foundation for Fundamental Rights and the British human rights charity Reprieve.

Filed in two separate court cases, it is set to trigger a formal murder investigation by police into the roles of two US officials said to have ordered the strikes. They are Jonathan Banks, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Islamabad station, and John A. Rizzo, the CIA’s former chief lawyer. Mr Akbar and his staff have already gathered further testimony which has yet to be filed.

How the attacks unfolded...
It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones¿ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.



‘We have statements from a further 82 victims’ families relating to more than 30 drone strikes,’ he said. ‘This is their only hope of justice.’

In the first case, which has already been heard by a court in Islamabad, judgment is expected imminently. If the judge grants Mr Akbar’s petition, an international arrest warrant will be issued via Interpol against the two Americans.


The second case is being heard in the city of Peshawar. In it, Mr Akbar and the families of drone victims who are civilians are seeking a ruling that further strikes in Pakistani airspace should be viewed as ‘acts of war’.

They argue that means the Pakistan Air Force should try to shoot down the drones and that the government should sever diplomatic relations with the US and launch murder inquiries against those responsible.

According to a report last month by academics at Stanford and New York universities, between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed since the strikes in Pakistan began in 2004.

The report said of those, up to 881 were civilians, including 176 children. Only 41 people who had died had been confirmed as ‘high-value’ terrorist targets.

Getting at the truth is difficult because the tribal regions along the frontier are closed to journalists. US security officials continue to claim that almost all those killed are militants who use bases in Pakistan to launch attacks on Western forces across the border in Afghanistan.

In his only acknowledgement that the US has ever launched such attacks at all, President Barack Obama said in January: ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans.’

But behind the dry legal papers seen by The Mail on Sunday lies the most detailed investigation into individual strikes that has yet been carried out. It suggests that the US President was mistaken.


The plaintiff in the Islamabad case is Karim Khan, 45, a journalist and translator with two masters’ degrees, whose family comes from the village of Machi Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan.

His eldest son, Zahinullah, 18, and his brother, Asif Iqbal, 35, were killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone that struck the family’s guest dining room at about 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve, 2009.

Asif had changed his surname because he loved to recite Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet, and Mr Khan said: ‘We are an educated family. My uncle is a hospital doctor in Islamabad, and we all work in professions such as teaching.

‘We have never had anything to do with militants or terrorists, and for that reason I always assumed we would be safe.’

Mr Khan said: ‘Zahinullah, who had been studying in Islamabad, had returned to the village to work his way through college, taking a part-time job as a school caretaker.

‘He was a quiet boy and studious – always in the top group of his class.’ Zahinullah also liked football, cricket and hunting partridges.

Asif, he added, was an English teacher and had spent several years taking further courses to improve his qualifications while already in work.

Mr Khan said: ‘He was my kid brother. We used to have a laugh, tell jokes.’ His first child was less than a year old when Asif was killed.

Included in the legal dossier are documents that corroborate Asif and Zahinulla’s educational and employment records, as well as their death certificates. Killed alongside them was Khaliq Dad, a stonemason who was staying with the family while he worked on a local mosque.

Mr Khan, who had been working for a TV station in Islamabad, said he was given the news of their deaths in a 2am phone call from a cousin.

‘I called a friend who had a car and we started driving through the night to get back to the village,’ he said. ‘It was a terrible journey. I was shocked, grieving, angry, like anyone who had lost their loved ones.’

He got home soon after dawn and describes his return ‘like entering a village of the dead – it was so quiet. There was a crowd gathered outside the compound but nowhere for them to sit because the guest rooms had been destroyed’.

Zahinullah, Mr Khan discovered, had been killed instantly, but despite his horrific injuries, Asif had survived long enough to be taken to a nearby hospital. However, he died during the night.

‘We always bury people quickly in our culture. The funeral was at three o’clock that afternoon, and more than 1,000 people came,’ Mr Khan said. ‘Zahinullah had a wound on the side of his face and his body was crushed and charred. I am told the people who push the buttons to fire the missiles call these strikes “bug-splats”.

‘It is beyond my imagination how they can lack all mercy and compassion, and carry on doing this for years. They are not human beings.’

Mr Khan found Mr Akbar through a friend who had attended lectures he gave at an Islamabad university. In 2010, he filed a criminal complaint – known as a first information report – to police naming Mr Banks. However, they took no action, therefore triggering the lawsuit – a judicial review of that failure to act.

If the judge finds in favour of Mr Khan, his decision cannot be appealed, thus making the full criminal inquiry and Interpol warrants inevitable.

According to the legal claim, someone from the Pakistan CIA network led by Mr Banks – who left Pakistan in 2010 – targeted the Khan family and guided the Hellfire missile by throwing a GPS homing device into their compound.
A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or allegations against specific individuals.'

Mr Rizzo is named because of an interview he gave to a US reporter after he retired as CIA General Counsel last year. In it, he boasted that he had personally authorised every drone strike in which America’s enemies were ‘hunted down and blown to bits’.

He added: ‘It’s basically a hit-list .  .  . The Predator is the weapon of choice, but it could also be someone putting a bullet in your head.’

Last night a senior Pakistani security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Pakistan’s own intelligence agency, the ISI, has always been excluded by the CIA from choosing drone targets.

‘They insist on using their own networks, paying their own informants. Dollars can be very persuasive,’ said the official.

He claimed the intelligence behind drone strikes was often seriously flawed. As a result, ‘they are causing the loss of innocent lives’.

But even this, he added, was not as objectionable as the so-called ‘signature strikes’ – when a drone operator, sitting at a computer screen thousands of miles away in Nevada, selects a target because he thinks the drone camera has spotted something suspicious.

He said: ‘It could be a vehicle containing armed men heading towards the border, and the operator thinks, “Let’s get them before they get there,” without any idea of who they are.

‘It could also just be people sitting together. In the frontier region, every male is armed but it doesn’t mean they are militants.’

One such signature strike killed more than 40 people in Datta Khel in North Waziristan on March 17 last year. The victims, Mr Akbar’s dossier makes clear, had gathered for a jirga – a tribal meeting – in order to discuss a dispute between two clans over the division of royalties from a chromite mine.

Some of the most horrifying testimony comes from Khalil Khan, the son of Malik Haji Babat, a tribal leader and police officer. ‘My father was not a terrorist. He was not an enemy of the United States,’ Khalil’s legal statement says. ‘He was a hard-working and upstanding citizen, the type of person others looked up to and aspired to be like.’

Khalil, 32, last saw his father three hours before his death, when he left for a business meeting in a nearby town. Informed his father had been killed, Khalil hurried to the scene.

‘What I saw when I got off the bus at Datta Khel was horrible,’ he said. ‘I immediately saw flames and women and children were saying there had been a drone strike. The fires spread after the strike.

‘I went to the location where the jirga had been held. The situation was really very bad. There were still people lying around injured.

‘The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.’

Khalil said that as a police officer, his father had earned a good salary, on which he supported his family. Khalil has considered returning to the Gulf, where he worked for 14 years, but ‘because of the frequency of drones I am concerned to leave my family’.

He added that schools in the area were empty because ‘parents are afraid their children will be hit by a missile’.

In another statement – one of 13 taken by Mr Akbar concerning the Datta Khel strike – driver Ahmed Jan, 52, describes the moment the missile hit: ‘We were in the middle of our discussion and I was thrown about 24ft from where I was sitting. I was knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I saw many individuals who were injured or dead.

‘I have lost the use of one of my feet and have a rod inserted because of the injuries. It is so painful for me to walk. There are scars on my face because I had to have an operation on my nose when it would not stop bleeding.’

Mr Jan says he has spent £3,600 on medical treatment but ‘I have never been offered compensation of any kind .  .  . I do not know why this jirga was targeted. I am a malik [elder] of my tribe and therefore a government servant. We were not doing anything wrong or illegal.’

Another survivor was Mohammed Noor, 27, a stonemason, who attended the jirga with his uncle and his cousin, both of whom were killed. ‘The parts of their bodies had to be collected first. These parts were all we had of them,’ he said.

Mr Akbar said that fighting back through the courts was the only way ‘to solve the larger problem’ of the ongoing terrorist conflict.

‘It is the only way to break the cycle of violence,’ he said. ‘If we want to change the people of Waziristan, we first have to show them that we respect the rule of law.’

A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or allegations against specific individuals.’ A White House source last night declined to comment.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220828/US-drone-attacks-CIA-chiefs-face-arrest-horrific-evidence-bloody-video-game-sorties.html
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Old October 21st, 2012 #15
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Went to the Cafe for a little 'Spot the Drone Pilot'
A few interesting hints displayed by the patrons present including suspect body language, but nothing concrete.
Today its to the Mall for a little 'Spot the CIA and Mossad'
 
Old November 23rd, 2012 #16
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Default Minority Report set to become reality

Quote:
An artificial intelligence system that connects to surveillance cameras to predict when people are about to commit a crime is under development, funded by the U.S. military.

The software, dubbed Mind's Eye, recognises human activities seen on CCTV and uses algorithms to predict what the targets might do next - then notify the authorities.

The technology has echoes of the Hollywood film Minority Report, where people are punished for crimes they are predicted to commit, rather than after committing a crime.

Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have presented a paper demonstrating how such so-called 'activity forecasting' would work.

Their study, funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, focuses on the 'automatic detection of anomalous and threatening behaviour' by simulating the ways humans filter and generalise information from the senses.

The system works using a high-level artificial intelligence infrastructure the researchers call a 'cognitive engine' that can learn to link relevant signals with background knowledge and tie it together.

The signals the AI can recognise - characterised by verbs including ‘walk’, ‘run’, ‘carry’, ‘pick-up’, ‘haul’, ‘follow’, and ‘chase’, among others - cover basic action types which are then set in context to see whether they constitute suspicious behaviour.

The device is expected to be used at airports, bus and train stations, as well as in military contexts where differentiating between suspicious and non-suspicious behaviour is important, like when trying to differentiate between civilians and militants in places like Afghanistan.

'Activity forecasting': This graphic from the paper in which the researchers present their system explains how it would work to identify suspicious behaviour
KILLER ROBOTS 'IN 20 YEARS'

Fully autonomous robots that decide for themselves when to kill could be developed within 20 to 30 years, or 'even sooner', a report has warned.

Militaries across the world are said to be 'very excited' about machines that could deployed alone in battle, sparing human troops from dangerous situations.

The U.S. is leading development in such 'killer robots', notably unmanned drones often used to attack suspected militants in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

While these are remotely controlled by human operators, autonomous robots would be left to make highly nuanced decisions on their own, the most fraught being distinguishing between civilians and combatants in a war zone.

The warnings come from a report by Human Rights Watch, which insists that such Terminator-style robots are banned before governments start deploying them.

The paper describes an example in a civilian context where it might flag up a person dragging a heavy bag then leaving it abandoned for more than a few minutes.

According to Phys.org, this automated approach to surveillance could one day tempt authorities to replace humans with computers as CCTV camera operators.

Human operators are expensive to maintain and also fallible: distracted or drowsy operators pose a risk to safety if they miss danger signs, while ever-vigilant computers, once installed, are cheaper to employ.

Also, cameras that do nothing but record what they are seeing can only provide information after a crime has occurred, while the latest research hopes to use unmanned cameras to prevent crimes or dangerous behaviour happening at all.

Alessandro Oltramari, a postdoctoral researcher and Christian Lebiere, both from the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon, a just one team of a number working on automatic video surveillance for the U.S. military.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2237302/Minority-Report-reality-New-software-predicts-laws-broken.html
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Old November 23rd, 2012 #17
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They have had the same shit in use in England for donkeys.They can link it with facial recognition and flag up people just like they do with car number plates.This is a report from ten years ago. CCTV cameras that can predict behaviour could play a vital role in the fight against crime.

Camera software, dubbed Cromatica, is being developed at London's Kingston University to help improve security on public transport systems but it could be used on a wider scale. "It could detect unattended bags, people who are loitering or even predict if someone is going to commit suicide by throwing themselves on the track," said its inventor Dr Sergio Velastin.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1953770.stm
 
Old November 23rd, 2012 #18
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Hmm. The article talks down the capabilities of humans, but the fact is that trained, alert human brains are still the best pattern recognition machines available. And presumably will continue to be so well into the future.
 
Old January 27th, 2013 #19
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Default Set for take-off: Britain's deadly superdrone that picks its own targets

Quote:
It is named after the Celtic god of thunder, can fly faster than the speed of sound and evades enemy radar with its single-wing stealth design.

This is Taranis, Britain’s latest pilotless combat aircraft, which is even capable of selecting its own targets.

The revolutionary superdrone is due to make its maiden flight in the next few weeks and could spearhead the fight against terrorism in Africa.


Revolutionary: Taranis, Britain's latest pilotless combat aircraft, will make is maiden flight in the next few weeks

Military chiefs believe Taranis’s ground-breaking technology will allow a powerful new generation of drones equipped with deadly payloads to fly from British bases to attack targets worldwide.

But the new developments in pilotless aircraft are controversial as they allow the possibility of autonomous computers targeting and killing enemy combatants outside human control.




Experts even warned last night that the new technology raised the nightmare spectre of out-of-control robots waging war on humans – and called for a global ban on autonomous technology.

Britain’s armed drones are currently piloted remotely by aircrews on the ground. But Taranis will follow a set flightpath using on-board computers to perform manoeuvres, avoid threats and identify targets. Only when it needs to attack a target will it seek authorisation from a human controller.

Professor Noel Sharkey, a robotics engineer specialising in autonomous military systems at Sheffield University, said last night: ‘This is a very dangerous move. Once it has been developed, who knows what new governments who inherit the technology will do with it.’

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron warned that the fight against terrorism in North Africa could last decades, meaning futuristic drones could dominate counter-terrorism strategy in the region.


The controversy surrounding their use was highlighted last week when the United Nations launched an investigation into the deaths caused by conventional drone attacks.

British Forces currently operate armed drones only in Afghanistan, where they target Taliban insurgents. However, a proliferation in mainly US military technology has sparked a drone arms race. To compete, the UK Government has committed itself to a new generation of pilotless aircraft which can fly distances of more than 2,000 miles.

A defence source said that Taranis’s long-anticipated maiden test flight has been delayed by technological setbacks as well as UK aviation safety laws which restrict the flight of drones in this country.

But the source added that the aircraft, which weighs eight tons and is about the size of an RAF Hawk jet, will make its first flight in Australia in the next few weeks, where its progress will be closely monitored by Ministry of Defence chiefs.

Prof Sharkey said: ‘Taranis is a concept prototype – so it is really the beta version of an intercontinental attack plane. With the proliferation of pilotless combat aircraft that is certainly going to happen, it wasn’t going to be long before the person was taken out of the loop.


‘It would be very difficult for a human to keep control of teams of these moving at such speed. It could put ours at a disadvantage to others that did not have a human supervisor. This is why we need a global ban on autonomous drones before proliferation begins in earnest.’

But the MoD says the programme is designed so that a human will make the final decision on the firing of weapons and that as a ‘demonstrator’ it was far too early to say what role Taranis would have in future combat missions.

The superdrone, manufactured by BAE, is the product of a 2006 MoD decision to develop and fly an uncrewed aircraft that goes one better than current US systems by using a customised Rolls-Royce jet engine rather than a propeller.

When its sleek design was first unveiled in 2010 at an airfield in Warton, Lancashire, it was accompanied by boasts from its designers that Taranis could strike at the heart of Britain’s enemies without risking British lives.

BAE chiefs said Taranis would be an ‘autonomous stealthy Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle [UCAV] ultimately capable of precisely striking targets at long range, even in another continent’.

An MoD spokesman said: ‘Taranis is a trailblazing project that reflects the very best of our nation’s advanced design and technology skills and is a leading programme on the global stage.

‘Unmanned Air Vehicles play an important role in operations, helping reduce the risks faced by military personnel on the front line.

‘Forthcoming Taranis trials will provide further information about the potential capabilities of Unmanned Combat Air Systems.’

A spokesman for BAE said: ‘Taranis is a joint BAE-MoD programme and we are not at liberty to confirm any details of the forthcoming flight, including the location, timing or who may be present.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268909/Taranis-Britains-deadly-superdrone-picks-targets.html


Not hard to see the headlines in a couple of years, is it?

"Drone to controller: "May I attack this target?"
Hacker to drone: "
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Old February 3rd, 2013 #20
Bev
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It fits easily into the palm of your hand and looks to the world like a child’s toy helicopter.

But this tiny, remote-controlled aircraft is, in fact, British forces’ latest weapon against the Taliban.

Codenamed Black Hornet, the eight-inch long plastic moulded drone has three cameras hidden inside its nose, yet weighs just 15 grams, or just over half an ounce.

Black Hornet, which has a smooth grey body and twin black rotors, stays airborne thanks to a small rechargeable battery.



Like a child's toy helicopter: The tiny, remote-controlled aircraft codenamed Black Hornet is, in fact, British forces' latest weapon against the Taliban

Soldiers can either pilot it directly or program it to fly to a given set of co-ordinates on the battlefield using GPS, then return to base after spying on enemy positions.

The Mail on Sunday was last week given an exclusive demonstration of Black Hornet in Camp Bastion by soldiers from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF).


The ‘recce’ soldiers, who operate the tiny drone from a safe distance, and their commander, Major Adam Foden, explained how they had used Black Hornet with great success on recent missions into Taliban territory.


Major Foden, 34, said: ‘Black Hornet is a game-changing piece of kit. Previously we would have sent soldiers forward to see if there were any enemy fighters hiding inside a set of buildings.

‘Now we are deploying Black Hornet to look inside compounds and to clear a route through enemy-held spaces.

‘It has worked very well and the pictures it delivers back to the monitor are really clear. And Black Hornet is so small and quiet that the locals can’t see or hear it.’

On most operations the Black Hornet ‘nanocopter’ is controlled by a soldier using a computer game-style joystick. As the drone hovers near an enemy position, pictures are beamed back to a monitoring station. It delivers high-resolution still and moving images.

Pressing a button, a soldier can zoom silently on to a target and the hum from Black Hornet’s rotors is scarcely audible even from a distance of a few yards.

When Black Hornet is flown inside Taliban compounds it can barely be heard and is difficult to see against the grey mud walls of village compounds.

Enemy fighters, hiding among civilian populations in villages, would be unaware that the drone was watching them.

One BRF soldier said: ‘It’s a cool piece of kit. The pictures are amazingly clear and we can see who is a local civilian and who is a Taliban fighter and whether any weapons are being stored there. We can then make our plans accordingly. It saves a lot of time and a lot of mistakes. It can zoom right up to somebody’s face and hold that frame for as long as is required without them even knowing it’s there. It makes it possible to identify a high-value target.’
SPECIFICATIONS

LENGTH: 8 inches

WEIGHT: 0.5 ounce

SPEED: 22mph

MAXIMUM FLIGHT: 30 minutes

While Black Hornet is a priceless tool in Afghanistan, it is unlikely it could be used on Britain’s streets because of civil liberty concerns.

Before soldiers are allowed to use Black Hornet they are required to go on a training course which teaches them not just the drone’s capabilities but also how it should be deployed.

The whole package, the helicopter, monitor and stick, fit into a pocket-sized case.

The Black Hornet – properly called a Proxdynamics PD-100 Personal Reconnaissance System – is a joint UK-Norwegian venture and was passed fit for service in Afghanistan after extensive field trials in Cyprus last year.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-way-home.html
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