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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Feb 2nd, 2018)

Special drones will be equipped to catch any suspicious drones flying over Olympic sites later this month. According to Quartz, the security-led UAVs can cast a net over any potentially dangerous drones flying near Olympics grounds in Pyeongchang. This could include bomb-carrying drones, reports said. South Korean officials have also undergone training to learn how to shoot suspicious drones out of the sky. The Winter Olympics start on February 9. - AD

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The city of Louisville, Kentucky has proposed a drone pilot program that would send camera-equipped drones to gunshot sites. The drones would record and send back live footage of scenes where gunfire was recently detected, improving tactical awareness for police officers, said Grace Simrall, the city's chief of civic innovation and technology. Louisville law enforcement is able to detect the gunshot noise with a sensor technology called ShotSpotter. Simrall said the drones could potentially capture suspects or vehicles fleeing crime scenes, locate evidence and victims and provide medical attention. To test the concept, Louisville applied for the Federal Aviation Administration's drone innovation pilot program. More than 300 local governments applied with the program before the Jan. 4 deadline, and the FAA said it will approve at least five applicants. - CNET

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Police are using a new technology to detect illegal drones over a golf tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. Officers are working with the aerial surveillance companies Dedrone and Aerial Armor to detect unauthorized drones in the airspace above the Waste Management Phoenix Open. A boxed device with antennas can detect the drones and trigger alarms to security staff. Police can send alerts to people in the area to help track down the drone operator. "Drones at an event like this could hurt or injure people, if it were to crash or cause panic to a large crowd," Police Sgt Ben Hoster said. It is also illegal to fly drones over the golf course because of its proximity to a local airport. - FOX10

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A man who flew his drone near helicopters battling a fire in New Zealand appeared in court this week. During last month's incident in Wanaka, the helicopters had to be grounded for 15 minutes. Jorge Eduardo Riquelme Cruz, 34, has admitted to flying the Mavic drone near eight helicopters fighting the Central Otago wildfire. On Friday, he entered a guilty plea before a judge under the charge of operating an unmanned drone in a manner that caused unnecessary danger to firefighting pilots and their helicopters. He asked to be discharged without conviction and have his drone returned. If convicted, Riquelme Cruz faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to four months in prison. - NZHERALD

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Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment was awarded a $954,000 grant to research military uses with drones. Specifically, researchers will use the funds to investigate how drones can tackle storm damages and monitor forest fires along coasts. The project will help the U.S. Defense Department, which awarded the grant, employ drones to manage fires and coastal zones, according to David W. Johnston, director of the Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab. - COASTALREVIEW

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