There are drones all over the place already in the USA. This genie has been out of the bottle for years now.
But let's pretend drones are not already being used a lot in the USA.
NPR sort of did just that this morning. In their broadcast, called Seeking A 'Field Of Dreams' For A Rising Drone Industry, I think many listeners might just think drones aren't already in our skies.
I will prove this is not true below.
But first, I made a little video presentation to accompany the NPR drone report. Enjoy, but
KEEP IN MIND, NPR is talking about *PRIVATIZED DRONE TESTING sites. Privatized!
Do you want to apply for one of the FAA sites mentioned in the NPR piece? Here's the FAA link for application, which was posted on 2/14/2013. The deadline is 05/06/2013 / 02:00 PM (local). That's not a lot of time. In this FAA doc it is clearly stated:
*One parameter of note is that all Test Site Operators (the awardees) MUST BE NON-FEDERAL PUBLIC ENTITIES.But first you have to register with SAM. Which, btw, is a searchable database as well. So I searched for drone and uav. Click on the links below to read about who has active drone/uav applications registered with SAM. If you enjoy research, after you open one of the entities, look for the list of items on the left. You can learn a great deal about each entity.
Again, the drone testing site FAA information can be found here; however, there are many links within the links. The FED never makes things all that easy to traverse.
An NPR guest states that drones are in the same stage of development as the computer was in the earyly 1980s. That is a ludicrous statement. See the pics in the video above. NPR will lose credibility if it doesn't challenge its guests, imo.
The NPR broadcast mentions there might be 10,000 drones by 2020.
In October, 2012 ZeroHedge.com reported: Uncle Sam Prepares To Unleash Up To 30,000 Drones Over America For "Public Safety"
NPR mentions that air space opens in 2015 for drones.
In April, 2012 The Atlantic reported: Who Has the Right to Fly a Drone Above Your Head? Finally, There's a List
In the Atlantic report there is a link to FAA Releases Lists of Drone Certificates—Many Questions Left Unanswered
You will also find a link of other entities authorized to fly drones: FAA List of Certificates of Authorizations (COAs)
So, what's really true about USA drones careening our skies?
Just like weapons, there is now an online Buy/Sell Drones business. The prices aren't included, you have to request a price. Who is monitoring this? Anyone?
You can drop in to www.uavdronesforsale.com for a look see.
It appears that Texas and Florida police are opening using spy drones.
March, 2011 - Miami police buy military drone that can see into houses
Other states are using drones, too. You can search and find links for your area.
The first court case, a test case per se, ruled in favor of using drones to catch a crook in 2011.
A North Dakota court has preliminarily upheld the first-ever use of an unmanned drone to assist in the arrest of an American citizen.Keep in mind, many of the drone programs could be in private hands. There are many questions that must addressed.
District Judge Joel Medd wrote that "there was no improper use of an unmanned aerial vehicle" and that the drone "appears to have had no bearing on these charges being contested here," according to the documents.
I found this video of a Brunswick, Maine town meeting. Brunswick Naval Air Station is being privatized. A pilot asks some very important questions at minute 5:13. I recommend listening to him if you are facing a drone testing site:
I hope NPR will make efforts to tell the whole US drone story.
Here's a 2009 drone story: Dugway Proving Ground dedicates new drone facility
A 2010 drone story: Drones silently patrol U.S. borders
2011 drone video: MQ-9 Predator Drones patrol US Mexico Border
I won't drone on with any more supporting data. But I would like to add:
The NPR piece included glowing reports of job creation around the drone industry. No doubt new jobs will appear. However, if drones can be used to deliver tacos, overnight mail, police and spying services, how many jobs will drones replace?
And sure, there are many wonderful things drones can do like
I will end with this. Drones come in all sizes and DARPA hopes to have insect sized drones. Here's the Hummingbird
And whatever drones might not be able to do, bots can.
I think I like the Horsebot the best.
Last year I wrote More Evil Than Drones: Cyborg & Robotic Insects, Some Nuclear Powered
"Air force scientists are looking for robotic bombs that look - and act - like swarms of bugs and birds". He went on to quote Colonel Kirk Kloeppel, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory's munitions directorate, who announced the lab's interest in "bio-inspired munitions", in "small, autonomous" machines that would "provide close-in [surveillance] information, in addition to killing intended targets".What can possibly go wrong?
Privacy is so last century!