Commercial Drones Now Legal in US Airspace

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by OutThere, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #1
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/t...ye-on-the-public-cleared-to-fly.html?_r=1&hpw

    Quite creepy to me. Particularly as drones are becoming increasingly miniaturized. That dragonfly sitting on the windowsill? Just making sure you're not committing any crimes.
     
  2. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #2
    Well, you don't have anything to hide, do you?
     
  3. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    #3
  4. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    Ever read the 4th admendment ?
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    No, I stopped putting up English signage in Québec. :p
     
  6. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #6
    Oh, I forgot the sarcasm tags.
     
  7. 184550 Guest

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    #7
    While I see the usefulness in letting emergency and law enforcement agencies use their own fleet of drones, I fail to see the usefulness in allowing non-government agencies to operate drones.

    This opens Pandora's box, IMO. Hopefully the operating costs/ licensing/ fees will be too great for the vast majority.
     
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #8

    I can actually see a great many valid commercial applications for this technology. Agriculture and forestry are at the top of the list. Being able to spot leaking irrigation lines or weed patches or dying trees or whatever would be invaluable and there's very little technology today that could be used in place of a drone. Selling real estate would be another application.

    It's the perennial problem with any new and potentially valuable technology. Do you allow it to be used commercially and have society potentially benefit with the possibility of misuse or do you simply ban it and all potential benefits?

    Limits need to be placed on its use and the founding fathers could never have predicted such technology so that means an overhaul of what privacy means in a 24/7, see all, hear all, society.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #9
    Emergency I can see, as in finding a lost child, but law enforcement agencies are subject to political meddling, and have to be watched very closely.
     

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  10. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

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  11. 184550 Guest

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    #11
    Is that something that technology we have now can't do? Using satellites or helicopters or small planes for example?

    I never said the use of drones ought to be banned for everyone; just that I didn't and don't see the usefulness for everyone. However, I think that like any new tech, the price/ operating costs ought to be cost prohibitive initially so that the 'kinks' in the systems can be worked out before being used en masse.

     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    For a farmer looking for an irrigation leak, something that might cost him tens of thousand of dollars a day, waiting a week for the satellite to fly over probably doesn't make sense. Also, small planes are expensive. Isn't the ultimate goal of technology to provide better service at a lower cost?

    The point is is that the cost prohibitiveness factor has already been dealt with in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the cost has been born by the US taxpayer. Now, manufacturers have a product, have employees and have a reasonably priced product to sell and many, many business people are interested in it. Should we turn back the clock? Unemploy all the people and have the drone makers shut down simply because there are unknown kinks?

    I don't want to be spied upon any more than anyone else. However, being proactive is preferable to missing the boat.
     
  13. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #13
    My drone is watching your drone...

    Are drones a force for good or evil, or are they just a force to be reckoned with? At this point, who can say for certain? A couple of recent new stories come to mind:

    A Dallas drone hobbyist was flying his rig around one bright Texan afternoon, scouting the skies, when he hovered across something perturbing: an enormous, oozing river of blood behind a meatpacking plant.

    http://gizmodo.com/5878612/www.suas...ter-drone-images-reveal-pollution/meatplant1/

    Occupy Wall Street protesters are fighting back with their own surveillance drone. Tim Pool, an Occupy Wall Street protester, recently acquired a Parrot AR drone he amusingly calls the "occucopter", a new toy to help them expose potentially dubious actions of the New York police department.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis...dec/21/occupy-wall-street-occucopter-tim-pool
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    Now you've done it.

    This is how air warfare started, when tactical observers in biplanes started shooting rifles at each other.

    ;)
     
  15. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #16
    Sea Shepherd are making use of a donated drone ($10,000 ) to track Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.:)
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #17
    Instead of putting a man airplane/helicopter in the air, over say a forest fire etc, for scouting ahead etc?
     
  17. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #18
    So far the argument has always revolved around actual useful application of personal aerial drones. My problem is that they could just as easily be used by perverts to spy on someone in a home. Most of these things are electric and comparatively quiet.
     
  18. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #20
    I could see quiet, loitering platforms as a boon for conservation efforts (herd counts for example), geology, urban planning, and journalism.

    Privacy will become a huge issue, but at least ti will make the issue clear to people who have otherwise been content to limit the technology to military and police uses (where it's ironically capable of doing the most damage to privacy).

    Helicopters are very expensive to fly and maintain and satellites aren't omnipresent enough to fulfill the roles that drones could. You can also have drones to loiter over an area for a long period of time, capturing something that can't be covered by other platforms.

    The kinds of drones that will need FAA clearance aren't the worrisome ones, it's going to be small homebuilt platforms, which people are already building for less than a grand in parts.
    Even high-end helicopters capable of carrying a DSLR aren't that expensive and they'll be at the forefront of major privacy issues. Celebrities thought that paparazzi chase-cars were bad...
     
  20. OutThere thread starter macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #21
    Exactly... there are already drones that are small, reasonably inexpensive, straightforward to operate and can take excellent high res photos from where they hover anywhere in the air. Private investigators and paparazzi must be popping champagne.
     
  21. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #22
    The paparazzi will deploy them, but the celebrities will find a way to counter them —*umbrella and canvas salesmen in the LA-area take note. The important aspect is balancing the privacy concerns with law (does your yard have airspace?) and making people aware of this reality.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #23
    Only for hanging around maybe. Already their are remote helicopters and plans that can and do take some great high res photos. They do not require faa clearance as they are flying toys.
     

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