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1 ThomasLite  Thu, Jun 20, 2013 9:33:38am

unmanned craft to stay aloft for ever-longer periods of time, for example through solar power, ground-based laser recharging, or the use of blimps.

solar power on a multirotor drone? funny man :) not going to happen - power draw for payload weight so far exceeds power supplied by solar panels even under ideal circumstances that this will only shorten, not lengthen, flight times. and that won’t ever change. Blimps? well if those were useful they’d be around by now; the technology to do that has been around for *years*. ground based laser recharging is fun ‘n all but it’s going to eliminate much of the cheapness benefit for years to come, besides probably requiring skilled maintenance (aside from having to maintain that constant ground presence, which will take a tonne of manpower).

I agree there can be privacy implications which have with police helicopters been limited to rare exceptions; however, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. sorry, I generally like ACLU publications but this contains a wee bit to much in the way of unfounded fear mongering to take a word of it seriously anymore.

2 Decatur Deb  Thu, Jun 20, 2013 9:39:02am

Unmanned blimps (aerostats) have been watching the Mexican border from Ft. Huachuca for at least 20 years. Deployable versions have been moved to various locations.

Image: army.mil-62615-2010-01-26-140100.jpg

3 DesertDenizen  Thu, Jun 20, 2013 10:37:31am

I can see the aerostat on Fort Huachuca from my front yard, and often see and hear unarmed Predator Drones belonging to CBP. I’ve never felt that they are watching me. Welcome to life on the border.

4 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Jun 20, 2013 10:05:59pm

re: #1 ThomasLite

unmanned craft to stay aloft for ever-longer periods of time, for example through solar power, ground-based laser recharging, or the use of blimps.

solar power on a multirotor drone? funny man :) not going to happen - power draw for payload weight so far exceeds power supplied by solar panels even under ideal circumstances that this will only shorten, not lengthen, flight times. and that won’t ever change. Blimps? well if those were useful they’d be around by now; the technology to do that has been around for *years*. ground based laser recharging is fun ‘n all but it’s going to eliminate much of the cheapness benefit for years to come, besides probably requiring skilled maintenance (aside from having to maintain that constant ground presence, which will take a tonne of manpower).

I agree there can be privacy implications which have with police helicopters been limited to rare exceptions; however, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. sorry, I generally like ACLU publications but this contains a wee bit to much in the way of unfounded fear mongering to take a word of it seriously anymore.

Indeed. This piece isn’t hysterical in tone, but its objections are still irrational.


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