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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Apr 10th, 2018)

The Trump administration wants the ability to tap into electronic communications between drones and their pilots. The administration has also asked Congress to grant more power to the Homeland Security and Justice departments to reroute, track and destroy drones, according to the Washington Post. The proposal is meant to address the growing threat of terrorists possibly using drones for weapons and surveillance. Officials argue that current laws banning intercepting electronic communications impede their efforts to protect sensitive facilities in the U.S. - WAPO

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A California police department has acquired an anti-drone device that can knock rogue UAVs out of the air during emergencies. According to the LA Times, the need for a Drone Killer emerged after someone illegally flew a drone during San Diego County's Lilac fire last year, halting firefighting operations for more than an hour. California-based IXI Technology recently donated the $30,000 device to the Oceanside Police Department. The anti-drone gun uses jamming and other systems to force rogue drones to either hover or land right away or return to their home base. "It's pretty much for a life-or-death situation, to save lives," Oceanside police Lt. Aaron Doyle said. - LATIMES

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Aquabotix released its SwarmDiver, an underwater drone that can aid in military defense. The drones work in groups, or "swarms," and an entire fleet can be controlled by a single operator. They can dive to depths of 164 feet and are equipped to measure pressure and temperature. Besides defense, the system can be used in underwater research, harbor management environmental monitoring, and plume tracking. - NEWSWEEK

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DJI received FCC approval for a drone controller and an RTK (Real-Time Kinematic). As Drone DJ reported this week, the controller appears to be a newer or different version of the one for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, V2.0. The Phantom 4 RTK enables the drone to map out areas with very high accuracy - up to two inches - using satellite positioning. The Chinese drone manufacturer asked for a 45-day secrecy cycle to stop any sensitive information from leaking out about the products. - DRONEDJ

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A drone reportedly came within 200 feet of a helicopter approaching an Air Force base in New Zealand. The Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter saw the drone on Monday morning as it was flying above Brown's Bay in Auckland. Operations at the air base were halted for 30 minutes. There have been two other drone incidents in Auckland recently, including one that delayed 20 aircraft from landing and forced one plane to divert to another airport. - NEWSHUB

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