Monthly Archives: April 2014
A small drone has been handed in to Ollerton police after being found in a garden. The remote control-operated aircraft was thought by police to have been lost in December after the person using it lost sight of it somewhere above Ollerton. The owner of the lost aircraft is believed to live in Edwinstowe, the force says. “If you know of anyone losing such an item please pass this information on and ask them to contact the reception staff at Ollerton Police Station,” said PCSO Laura Bowditch. “Proof of ownership will be required.” If you are the owner of the drone, you can call Ollerton police on 101 or visit the station on Forest Road in Ollerton. Read more: http://www.retfordtimes.co.uk/drone-landed-Ollerton-garden/story-21020357-detail/story.html#ixzz30BRXIOgx
Law enforcement agencies around the world have used thermal imaging cameras for a long time to locate illegal cannabis farms or growhouses. That’s because the hydroponic lights used for indoor growing operations give off lost of heat, making them vulnerable to detection by thermal cameras. When they come across a growhouse, they raid it. A criminal in the UK is doing the opposite. By attaching a thermal imaging core to a drone, he seeks out illegal cannabis farms and steals their produce, or compel them to pay “tax”, a fancy word for extortion. Halesowen News interviewed the tech-savvy criminal who initially brought the drone so that he could look into people’s windows. When he noticed that police helicopters used thermal imaging cameras to find indoor marijuana growing operations, he bought a heat seeking camera online and hooked it up to the drone. When he locates a property he and “his crew” burgle the place. Contrary to what most people would think, apparently in places like Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury “the people growing it are not gangsters,” says the crook. Apparently they don’t even need to use violence half the time when they hit up a growhouse. Obviously in the criminal’s eyes this isn’t a blatant violation of peoples’ privacy, let alone a complete disregard for the law. “I am just after drugs to steal and sell, if you break the law then you enter me and my drone’s world,” he says.
Thermal images captured by an small drone allowed archaeologists to peer under the surface of the New Mexican desert floor, revealing never-before-seen structures in an ancient Native American settlement. Called Blue J, this 1,000-year-old village was first identified by archaeologists in the 1970s. It sits about 43 miles (70 kilometers) south of the famed Chaco Canyon site in northwestern New Mexico and contains nearly 60 ancestral Puebloan houses around what was once a large spring. Now, the ruins of Blue J are obscured by vegetation and buried in eroded sandstone blown in from nearby cliffs. The ancient structures have been only partially studied through excavations. Last June, a team of archaeologists flew a small camera-equipped drone over the site to find out what infrared images might reveal under the surface. "I was really pleased with the results," said Jesse Casana, an archaeologist from the University of Arkansas. "This work illustrates the very important role that UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have for scientific research." Casana said his co-author, John Kantner of the University of North Florida, had previously excavated at the site and the drone images showed stone compounds Kantner had already identified and ones that he didn't know about. For example, the thermal images revealed a dark circle just inside the wall of a plaza area, which could represent wetter, cooler soil filling a kiva, or a huge, underground structure circular that would have been used for public gatherings and ceremonies. Finding a kiva at Blue J would be significant; the site has been considered unusual among its neighbors because it lacks the monumental great houses and subterranean kivas that are the hallmark of Chaco-era Pueblo sites, the authors wrote in the May issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. The images also could guide archaeologists' trowels before they ever break ground. "Now that we know what household compounds look like in thermal imaging, we could use it to prospect for structures at other sites," Casana told Live Science. Read more.... RTF Drones sell thermal imaging cores, contact for more info
A TV-repair shop owner who has become the first person convicted in the UK for "dangerously" flying a drone says the fine and legal costs will bankrupt him. Robert Knowles, 46, of Barrow-in-Furness, was fined £800 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 at the Furness and District Magistrate court on Tuesday after being prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). He pleaded guilty to flying a small unmanned surveillance aircraft within 50 metres of a structure – the Jubilee Bridge on the Walney channel – and flying over a nuclear installation, the BAE System submarine-testing facility. The CAA said that the case raised important safety issues concerning recreational flying of unmanned aircraft, which is legal as long as it is done away from built-up areas and structures. "The Jubilee Bridge is used by vehicles – this could have hit a car and caused an accident," said a CAA spokesperson. "People have to understand that they are subject to air safety rules and that there are potentially serious safety concerns." But Knowles told the Guardian that the conviction was "ridiculous". He said that he had been flying his £1,000 drone in a field a mile and a half away from the base on the morning of Sunday 25 August 2013 when the 4 ft, kit-built drone – with a camera on board – suddenly lost radio contact during its seventh flight. "The radio failed and it flew away down the Walney channel," Knowles told the Guardian. "I couldn't have controlled it. I don't know why the radio failed. It landed in the sea channel, and the salt water ruined it." Read more....