How to down a drone…

February 11, 2010

“If you’ve done nothing wrong… you have nothing to fear.”

This year a UK Home Office backed coalition of regional Police Authorities will embark on a project to extend their national surveillance network by deploying unmanned airborne surveillance drones across the country. It’s planned that in the build up to 2012 the drones will be used to foil potential terrorist attacks, detect illegal immigration planning to cross the channel (by flying over France?), monitor anti-social behaviour and public order situations (demonstrations) and of course to gather intelligence on subversive activities.

The introduction of these drones represents a significant expansion of the surveillance state, planned and delivered by un-democratic consortium of police authorities and loosely regulated by vague and rarely tested laws. With this expansion of the surveillance state should come an equal counter-response probing the legal and practical boundaries of surveillance:

What methods can be used to disrupt or destroy drone technology?


The drones come in a number of flavours; the ‘military derived’ Afghanistan tested fixed wing  HERTI drone from BAE Systems, the much smaller and less serious looking rotor driven Hicam Microdrone and the rumoured Lindstrand Technologies GA22 airship unmanned inflatable drone. the drones are usually equipped with remote cameras but have already been tested to carry loudspeakers, LRAD audio technology and weaponry such as Tasers and Flash-ball guns (as demonstrated by Tecknisolar Seni in France).

BAE HERTI

BAE HERTI Specification

  • Payload: 150 kg
  • Length: 5m
  • Wingspan: 12 m
  • Loaded weight: 750 kg
  • Powerplant: Rotax propeller,
  • Cruise speed: 125 knots
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 ft

The first of the drones to be tested this year (in Liverpool – a strange choice considering the local’s aversion to aerial surveillance) is the ‘Hicam Microdrone MD4-1000‘ essentially an expensive (£30,000) rotor powered radio controlled helicopter equipped with night vision surveillance cameras and loudspeakers. The microdrone can take video images from a 500m distance and can track and follow human movement using movement capture technology. The drone is small; less than 1m diameter and 2lbs in weight, they can fly along a pre-programmed GPS route or be controlled ‘live’ by an individual (mobile) police controller viewing the camera’s output through head mounted lcd goggles.

Hicam Microdrone MD4-1000 technical Specification:

  • Rotor blades: Four 37cm (15ins) carbon fibre blades mounted on ends of lightweight arms
  • Antenna: Picks up signal from remote control handset and transmits images to controller
  • Camera: Operates at up to 500m (1,640ft), with option for infra red images
  • Central drum: Houses GPS system, which can be used to fly drone, a rechargable battery and other key electronics
  • Remote control: Used to fly the drone and operate the camera
  • Video glasses: Allow ‘pilot’ to see what is being filmed and to operate the drone when out of direct sight
  • Weight: Under 900g (2lbs)
  • Size: 70cm (28ins) across
  • Flying time: Over 20 minutes
  • Noise: Less than 65 decibels at 3m
  • Take off: Vertical

Microdrone base station

  • 2.4 GHz 4-fold antenna diversity receiver,
  • Internal power supply, Inputs: 230/115VAC, 12/14.8VDC, LiPo Charger and true single cell balancer,
  • USB video grabber, Video splitter 3x out, Downlink decoder for receiving the complete machine state (Battery, Receiver quality, RC-signals, Attitude, Altitude, GPS-position, Flight time etc.).
  • Base station software “mdCockpit”,
  • 1.4 Megapixel video eyeglasses, LIPO batteries 4s, 14.8V, 2300mAh included (same as flightpacks for md4-200) Peli case (fits into system case), Dimensions 486 x 392 x 192mm

Anti Drone Tactics:

Ballistic

The ‘insurgents’ in Iraq and Afghanistan have had some success in shooting down large fast flying US military drones – similar to the BAU Herti -  using small arms fire; AK47s etc (currently unavailable at Maplins), so the slower moving Microdrones should be easy prey to automatic weapons fire – the obvious problem is that such weapons are illegal (in the UK) and not exactly subtle when used in a ‘public order’ environment.

For taking out Microdrones a (slightly) more legal option might be a paint ball gun which fires large calibre low velocity paint capsules that will blind as well as damage the target. Paint ball guns have the advantage of being legal and commonly available but again, probably not the best choice for riots and demonstrations. For these occasions, the simple hand held catapult firing a range of improvised ammunition should do the job though surreptitiously hitting a moving 1m sized target at a range of, say, 100 metres may require a little target practise…and may take a few shots as the drone can still fly with only two of its four rotors functioning.

Jamming

Jamming the control and navigation signals should be an effective way of disabling the drones – jammers work within a fixed range radius rather than having to be targeted and have the added benefit of being non-destructive – allowing the capture and re-use of the confused drone…

Radio Control Frequency

The Microdrone uses the same radio control method as model RC aircraft to direct it’s flighpath. The exact frequency used by the police probably falls within the UK frequency regulations for RC aircraft otherwise RC frequencies can easily be scanned and jammed using RF jammers for selected frequencies or more crudely saturate the whole spectrum.

Build your own RF Jammer:

http://www.instructables.com/id/RF-Jammer/

“If you want to saturate the bandwidth, you use an analog device with simple FM modulation. Eight 2.4Ghz wireless video transmitters of sufficient power would do it.”

GPS

The Hicam Microdrones navigate using standard GPS, which is particularly sensitive to jamming. There are a number of portable GPS jammers on the market or for a few quid you can build your own…

http://www.navigadget.com/index.php/2007/01/29/homemade-gps-jammer

Signal Hacking

US authorities were alarmed when they discovered that the Taliban have been using Russian authored Sky Grabber software to intercept drone video signals:

“SkyGrabber is a hobby for person who accepting free to air satellite data by digital satellite TV tuner card  from satellite provider. SkyGrabber is for fun.”

http://www.skygrabber.com/en/

http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/us-drones-hacked-via-skygrabber/

An important aspect of intercepting drone signals will be to use the footage against the police or is support of legal defence.

Other Anti-Drone ideas – please add your own!:

Focussed microwave beam

A standard domestic microwave could be focussed using a parabolic dish to direct the beam on a single source capable of destroying and disrupting circuity in cameras and motors. Downside is, mistakes could be dangerous or fatal…

Antidrone drones

Equip a common-or-garden toy RC helicopter with an attachable line that locks to a target drone. Once attached, pull the police drone down by hand…

———————————————————————————

Sources and Links:

Microdrones: http://www.microdrones.com/en_home.php

http://www.uavp.de/

RF Jammer instructions: http://www.instructables.com/id/RF-Jammer/

RF Jammer devices : http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHKB1&P=0

‘Idrone’  a French UAV http://www.idrone.fr/

‘Technisolar’ French solar powered drone technology: http://www.tecknisolar.com/2/7/military-and-civil-security/drone-research-and-development.html

Wired magazine review of UAVs

hacking via Sky grabber http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/us-drones-hacked-via-skygrabber/

58 Responses to “How to down a drone…”

  1. sarah said

    a trained eagle?

  2. mike said

    perhaps Raptors would do? Dive bombed by nature, YES!

  3. ur8up said

    are you people crazy?

  4. we must think clearly in the face of existing problems and do not need to use violence

    • Manny Stupetra said

      You’re a moron.

      • David said

        What is violent about bringing down a drone they are invadeing not only my privacy but anyone privacy they are useing it on.

    • Gman said

      You mean like just walking up behind the guy concentrating on flying it wearing VR goggles and hitting him in with a 28oz framing hammer in the brain stem? lol

      • Drone Killer said

        If a drone comes anywhere near me, it’s DONE. I don’t have anything to hide, but what I do is my business. I’m sick of this surveillance state where innocent people are being harassed.

  5. RC Models said

    yeah, i like the draganfly hexacopter. It looks like a great aerial photography platform. Nice post!

  6. Underminer said

    -Mono-filament webs suspended below balloons or between stationary objects to ensnare rotors. Mist nets used for bird trapping would work as well.

    -Catapult/sling shot missiles with long streamers to tangle rotors. (Dog toy tennis ball launcher might work well)

    -Anti-drone-drones with autonomous flight capability programmed to track and disable or destroy drones, immune to jamming countermeasures.

    -Take various measures to prevent photography of license plates, faces, other identifying details.

    • Gman said

      Cheap Harbor Freight $69 RC airplanes to just Kamikaze them out of the sky! lol That would be fun too and they would have no idea where it was being piloted from. 10 gauge shotguns with 4 shot would work pretty efficiently too but that’s not very stealthy! What I want to see is someone hand out 30cc syringes full of Dollar store crazy glue for when the Darth Vader cops start pepper spraying unarmed people! I’d love to see their reaction when their eyeballs get fused instantly in their sockets then the reflex to wipe it off adheres their hands to their faces! I was thinking 98% sulfuric acid in the syringes at first but that’s way too permanent and sadistic. Even the crazy glue is a little but at least children wouldn’t be traumatized seeing face bloodily sloshing off the sub dermis accompanied by blood curdling screams. It’s going to get to the point where the peaceful protesters are going to start bringing pitchforks and hunting rifles shifting the odds in their favor. Then see how many pigs are willing to dress up in their gay costumes and harass the public When they know there’s a dozen stationed on the roofs with AR15s and 30.06′s. Every time I see the videos of cops doing that I fantasize about seeing their heads start to explode one by one and see the fear in their eyes as they realize what’s happening to them as they try to escape with their lives! The situation is getting way out of control with all the Zionist dual Israeli/US citizens in office and in control of the media. People are waking up by the 1000′s every day and the zionists are getting scared. That’s why they are trying to disarm. Even if they take the guns that will just make it worse. Then they will have to deal with improvised explosives and firebombings. You would think they would rather just get shot then have their whole family take their punishment with them. A home mede anti tank mine in their backyard doesn’t know the difference between the intended target or their 10yr old playing jump rope. They don’t realize all their laws just make more crime and also make the regular citizens mad at them too when they get robbed and raped not being able to defend themselves. Police only arrive after the crime is already over! Then they give you tickets for whatever they find in your house searching for “Evidence”! Then the cops complain when the see 93% of the people cheering on the “Cop gets shot dead” videos! And yes, I counted the first 200 comments on one and averaged it. 186 of them where cheering. The other 14 were just yelling at the ones thinking it was cool or they were cops saying how they can’t wait to see them get killed with no cops to help them! Cops are all disfunctional people anyway. The only people that go into that profession are slow people that got picked on in school and can’t get respect without a badge and a gun. That plan really backfired on them!lol Now instead of just being a loser they are a loser that society wants to see get slaughtered on youtube so they can comment how they screamed like a little girl or how their gargled last words were awesome! Anyway, It’s sad all over the world thanks to The house of Rothschild Zionist overlords. I can’t wait to see them when the sh@it hits the fan! All the elite will be the first targeted now that everyone knows who was behind it all. Anyway, I feel better I vented. Hope you had a laugh or two… Take care

      • Bazooka Joe said

        Well said Gman.As far as taking down a drone (besides using firepower) I’m sure it can be done on at least the smaller spy ones with a bow and arrow (just make sure there’s a net or rags tied to the arrows to fuck up the propellers) and down it goes!

      • Richard said

        I loved your post. You are so right in everything you said. The shit will soon hit the fan, and when it does, there will be Hell to pay.

      • popeter said

        Hear! Hear! We outnumber them by FAR… all it takes is for the masses to become educated so they are no longer sheeple. Can’t wait!

  7. Nice to learn of more of independencey technology, we heard about this but you most likely already heard of it. Go to http://www.freeenergynews.com and http://www.magnets4energy.com also http://www.magnet-power.com/MG1/index.html. It would be excellent if we could see more free energy stuff on this sight. We heard about the concept of simply placeing jammers in areas where privacy rights violations were being carried out. Super jammers eliminate illegal intrudeing of most types. Some weird guy said that they could be burried, hidden, and even placed in ponds and lakes, is this true? That same strange man said that some super smart guy had built something called a satalite buster that was a remote controlled device that could be launched and attach to the satalites in orbit and jam all there signals from even reaching the earth, to us it all sounded like a bunch of science fiction stuff. Still this strange looking man had a fire in his eye when he spoke, and we guess it could be possible. What do you think? Anyway it seems that inorder to reasonably break away from an unfair system you have to supply a better alturnative to what you would love to get rid of. So if all you guys just started building free energy magnetic generators and you started converting your vechicles to run by compressed air engines powered by zero point energy….. hmmm we wonder what would happen???? Hey mabey if you started a group up who supplied the exploited masses with freedom replacement free energy technology then mabey you could really be a hero, or more annoying to the corporate slave masters perhaps? Oh yeah! From AVATAR DREAMBENDER

  8. ninukab said

    Kites (non-avian)–and plenty of ‘em? Cheap and simple!

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  10. Bechika said

    Thats cool hi-tech….

  11. wolfen said

    i’d build homemade drones to fight goverment ones.
    by using an average RC plane equiped with camera, on board guns,
    a radar, or other microdrone detection device should be used to.
    the technology is available
    check out DIYDRONE

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  14. Vincent said

    You could easely disrupt drones and planes with a special device called Project Phantom Ultra Mk1 by Qlabs,…

  15. MicroWar said

    Welcome to Micro World War I

  16. teeater said

    germany starting with this topic. there is no regulation for domestic surveillance drones usage in GER, not to speak about any legal basis. police starts playing with a toy just because it’s available.

    “UFO above dresden”: http://wp.me/psdI6-Wo

    it was used for surveillance of (!) antinazi-demonstration protestants.

    re the “how to” tip sampler: we were told – what seems to be missing here on this page is the hint how to build a simple but effective slingshot. ppl should use sth that can become entangled in the rotors.

    an other reading tip:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/22/AR2011012204111.html (domestic use of drones like to cause privacy debate)

    and finally back to GER: it should be noted here even cams on 2 feet very sharply regulated, police is not allowed to film and photograph on demonstrations without actual and proven reason, just because they feel like that. now the police force bahaves as if there was no problem with playing with a toy while there is no regulation for it, not to speak about any legal ground for this.

    on feb 13th 2011 in dresden, as noted, against antinazi-demonstrators.

  17. Vance said

    Most software-flown technologies utilize some sort of SIFT optical pattern recognition to determine horizon line, obstacles and areas of interest. Almost all camera optics are susceptible to direct laser contact because the lenses refract so much light internally. I’m fairly certain you could use an array of laser pointers or float disco-balls or disco-ball patterned laser pointer arrays on helium balloons or mounted on the ground. You would want to use broad-spectrum lasers in the case of thermal or ultraviolet vision. You could get sophisticated and use your own optical/thermal tracking technology to target them directly with lasers.

  18. David said

    22 short very quiet and at 300 feet very effective

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  20. lordnelga said

    Reblogged this on Lordnelga's Weblog – Psiberrealm and commented:
    Well worth looking at.

    • David said

      You must live in a world where the government is warm and cuddly and wants to be your friend and not know your business. 2 yr ago the ACLU protected my right to privacy by sueing because if the government had it’s way they would drive by your house and listen to your conversations. Listen to your phone conversations as a matter of the terrorist act.These drones they can spy on you and even listen to conversations. When the local govenments start having the right to do as they please well we thought comunism was going away think again. I will shoot the damn thing down and already consulted a lawyer concerning that and filing a $ 25 million lawsuit within days of the shooting for invadeing my privacy. My lawyer also made contact with a civil rights attorney in Washington DC who is already on board. I am just waiting to get rich and sue this county and the federal government. I have nothing to hide but I will defend my right to privacy at all cost. If you know anything about history when a government gets to big and nosey you will learn the word control. Guns are a great example I have never seen a gun kill anybody. People kill people not a gun. Someone had to load and pull the trigger and this government is scared to death of them. The same will happen when that drone crosses my property line.

      • lordnelga said

        No as a matter of fact the City of Richmond, VA. and I have been at war for them invading my house telling me I had no right to the first amendment and I’m a press photographer. Had the police in my house without a warrant, with the damn CPS. and had a crazy wank head kill my best friend in my front yard after the police laughed at him. It’s on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/user/nelga/videos
        I was refering to the article being worth looking at. learning about what the hell ever. I didn’t get to sue anybody instead they trampled my rights again and again and I have to hear from someone that I live in cuddle land. Give me a break.

      • lordnelga said

        Their also censoring my email and my facebook was deleted. so how again is that cuddle land.

      • David said

        Have you consulted a civil rights attorney. I was referring to you saying if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to wory about. I myself am a privacy advocate and the signs at the beginning of my driveway well take them serious or die only 2 options. In a city you don’t have that luxary. As a reporter you must have struck a nerve. Why don’t you let your readers know what is going on.

      • lordnelga said

        No body wants to listen here they are to busy stealing elections and playing games. But it’s all coming out soon.

  21. lordnelga said

    WHAT ISSUES MATTER MOST FOR AMERICA?

    Get government out of our houses. Stop the take over of our country by the banks. Keep our rights and freedom. Get back to the constitution. Repeal the illegal bills and acts like the patriot act, cispa, and any bill that limits the constitutional rights. Get back to common law and natural law instead of the treaties of the sea and such maritime law. Help make Amerika America again. WE THE PEOPLE. Not we the government. End tyranny, get out of over sea wars. Feed the poor and hungry here. Bring back those things called jobs. Impeach Obama and try any one who has committed treason in the government, Eric holder and such to name a few. Stop the drones in our country. Stop spying on US citizens. Hold people accountable. These things matter. There are a few more but you get the idea and hold to your word. That is very important to remember ..

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  25. Bazooka Joe said

    If you don’t have a good firearm handy, you can take down a small spy drone with a bow and arrow. Make sure you have a net or rags tied to the arrows. They’ll get caught in the propellers and down it goes. Actually a lot of U.S. helicopters were taken down in the Viet Nam war using this simple method by the V.C. As a side note, when confronted by pigs at a demonstration a lot of people used mirrors reflecting the sun to “blind” them. I’m not a lefty but have learned some of their tactics. Cheers!

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  28. Femonymous said

    Thanks for the post – things are getting out of hand.

  29. lordnelga said

    Some good information on this link. Going to look into it more.
    http://www.cyberwarzone.com/how-kill-drone-dummies

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