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Dutch Hackers Create Wi-Fi Sniffing Drone

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the junior-birdman dept.

Hardware Hacking 81

An anonymous reader writes "The WASP, or Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform, has been built out of a hobby-grade airframe and open source Ardupilot autopilot, reports sUASnews. In the words of the Rabbit-Hole website, it's a 'Small Scale, Open Source UAV using off the shelf components. Designed to provide a vehicle to project cyber-offensive and defensive capabilities, and visual / electronic surveillance over distance cheaply and with little risk.'" Want a drone of your own? The makers have some pointers to helpful resources.

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81 comments

Did it actually fly? Broken wing. (5, Interesting)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261732)

The photoslides end with a mere broken wing on the takeoff strip. Did it actually fly?

Re:Did it actually fly? Broken wing. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261812)

The makers of the WASP give an interview in the s7e25 episode of Hak5 [hak5.org], where they explain that the platform currently has a very tight flight envelope. It's almost always on the brink of crashing. Quote: "It flies much like a wounded harbor seal would. [...] It's a real juggling act to keep it in the air."

Re:Did it actually fly? Broken wing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262864)

The photoslides end with a mere broken wing on the takeoff strip. Did it actually fly?

Take these broken wings

    and learn to fly again.

The article made no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263028)

Were they Dutch or were they White Anglo Saxon Protestants?

Anonymous Coward (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261736)

If you can't work out how to do this yourself without this article, it's going to be of no use to you anyway.

Yes but... (2, Interesting)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261748)

Aren't all remote control aircraft (hobbyist planes in particular) UAV's?

Re:Yes but... (1)

Buggz (1187173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261788)

Indeed it is an unmanned aerial vehicle, but something tells me Infinity Ward has skewed the meaning of the acronym for quite a number of people.

Re:Yes but... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261830)

The meaning of "unmanned" extends to the pilot on the ground. UAVs don't have people on board and can fly more than a straight line in a controlled manner without immediate control input from a pilot on the ground. It's technically illegal to fly UAVs without visual contact in visual flight rules air space.

Re:Yes but... (4, Insightful)

asynchronous13 (615600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262426)

It's technically illegal to fly UAVs without visual contact in visual flight rules air space.

Not quite.

The FAA controls the national airspace with a white-list approach. Everything is illegal unless a specific category of safe flight has been defined. AC 91-57 [faa.gov] defines the Model Aircraft Operating Standards and creates a specific legal exemption for vehicles flown for recreational purposes. This exemption also applies to UAVs, provided they are flown for recreational purposes. However, there is no exemption for operating a UAV for commercial purposes. Even flying an R/C aircraft is illegal if the operator attaches a camera and attempts to sell the resulting aerial imagery!

The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers might be flying UAS with the mistaken understanding that they are legally operating under the authority of AC 91–57. AC 91–57 only applies to modelers, and thus specifically excludes its use by persons or companies for business purposes.
-- from FAA–2006–25714, Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System; Notice of Policy; Opportunity for Feedback (FAA link to pdf is down right now)

Technically, you or I could fly a 1:1 scale F-22 Raptor, but only if it were for recreational purposes.

Re:Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262550)

Not quite. A buddy of mine used to sell & fly large sized model aircraft decked out with all sorts of imaging equipment, intended for use in search & rescue. His main customers were Law enforcement and EMS agencies, so I'm pretty sure what he was doing was legal. //I know, cool story bro

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262564)

That's a separate issue. You describe the rules which govern the type of aircraft that a pilot can fly for what purpose. Visual flight rules define how an aircraft can be flown. VFR demand "see and avoid". If you can't see, you can't avoid. You must therefore maintain visual contact with your UAV in VFR air space.

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33275396)

...The FAA controls the national airspace

In Holland?

I want one (1, Offtopic)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261750)

With lasers attached to it's head.

Re:I want one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261776)

With lasers attached to it's head.

It's its head.

Moron ...

Re:I want one (1, Offtopic)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262038)

The parent post can serve as a good example of WHY you'd need a laser attached to it's head.

Making sure grammar nazi's are so thoroughly removed from the gene pool that DNA itself starts to contain misspellings.

Re:I want one (2, Informative)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262324)

I don't know if you were simply using it's to spite the troll or not but I'm fairly sure its is correct. Unlike most words the apostrophe is only added when it's a contraction of "it is", "it has" etc, not to indicate "belonging to it" (possessive). The GP was a troll to be sure, but an accurate troll nonetheless.

Re:I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261878)

With lasers attached to it's head.

Attached to it is head? That makes no sense.

Cyber Offensive Capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261764)

But... does it have the cyber capabilities to take down Wikileaks?

Awesome, Google Window View in 5,4,3....... (4, Interesting)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261766)

This is cool, I love that the science fiction future is so present in our world right now, and the power of 'it is possible, so we did it this way' I am quite amused by the quote" You don’t have to join too many dots for potential misuse." and I look forward to outrageous innovative uses by paparazzi, peeping toms, pervs, police, pyromaniacs, pilferers, pidgeon racers......

Re:Awesome, Google Window View in 5,4,3....... (4, Interesting)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262040)

I think I'll start a company selling curtains with Goatse on them.

Re:Awesome, Google Window View in 5,4,3....... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262480)

This is cool, I love that the science fiction future is so present in our world right now

Yeah, it's just swell. Unmanned aerial surveillance by hackers really makes it thrilling to live here in the future.

Re:Awesome, Google Window View in 5,4,3....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33266120)

Well, it is more thrilling when I send my illegal drone with an armament package consisting of bottle rockets and CO2 pellet gun to kill their illegal drone with its arduino powered elint package. The live feed nose cam footage of foam chunks flying everywhere as it's strafed from behind and falls to the ground in pieces will make me wonder whose money was better spent.

Link is to Flash - boooo! (1, Offtopic)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261768)

What the hell? The link is to a flash applet that displays photos. WTF? Flash is on the way out as a technology, and unnecessarily using it for a photo gallery when HTML works just fine is one of the primary sins of idiots. And the photos are what, 100x150? Boo! Boo! Bad flash, bad developers!

Re:Link is to Flash - boooo! (3, Funny)

zbyg (1662741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261940)

Did you forget about the great features of Flash? If you choose Flash over HTML, you get:
  • up to 90% shorter page loading times, because Flash is compiled and HTML is not
  • increased security, because browsers are insecure, and plugins are secure by default
  • unbelievable and very powerfull accesibility features
  • a page which works and looks the same in any browser running on any computer

/sarcasm

Re:Link is to Flash - boooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262112)

For your convenience, links to the full size pictures:

Start of it All! [rabbit-hole.org]

We decided we need to build something, to keep ourselves occupied. Sorry for the small photos in the series, I lost some of the originals.

Tail Wheel Layout [rabbit-hole.org]

Laying out a new steerable tail wheel assembly.

Tail Wheel Assembly [rabbit-hole.org]

The completed tail wheel assembly, with super power steering action!

Rear Landing Gear.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

Tail wheel, installed into a shiny new hole in the bottom of the fuselage.

e-flite 90 [rabbit-hole.org]

The chosen electric motor, cat sold separately. Size: 56mm x 52mm Weight: 450 g (15.8 oz) Voltage:21.6–31.2V RPM/Volt (Kv):325Kv Resistance (Ri): 02 ohms Idle Current (Io): 2.00A @ 10V Continuous Current: 50A Maximum Burst Current: 65A (15 sec.)

Front Landing Gear [rabbit-hole.org]

Sizing up the front landing gear.

Base Station Box.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

Building the box to house the base station components. 200w power supply Ardustation 2 xbee radios VIA EPIA PX10000G Pico-ITX Mainboard 7" touch screen monitor

Aileron Servo [rabbit-hole.org]

The hole in the wing was made to fit the aileron server. The blue tape is holding the tail in place while the epoxy dries.

Remolding The Nose [rabbit-hole.org]

The airframe was designed to use a glow fuel engine, and fuel tank. With an all electric design, we needed to create a new engine mount point, and fill in the space where the fuel tank would sit. Self expanding foam was used, along with cling wrap (to prevent the foam from sticking to the mold).

All taped UP [rabbit-hole.org]

Waiting for the nose foam and tail epoxy to finish curing.

Remodeled Nose [rabbit-hole.org]

The mold is off, and I have all ready started shaping the new nose with various implements of destruction.

Remolded Nose [rabbit-hole.org]

Top down view of the remolded nose in progress.

New Radio Gear [rabbit-hole.org]

New radio gear was purchased, as we discovered the 72mhz radio i had would cause intereference with the 900mhz xbee radios. JR DX6I Spektrum 2.4ghz radio and receiver.

Ardu Station Front [rabbit-hole.org]

The frontof the ArduStation after assembly. The LCD is not connected yet, as I still need to make measurements for the base station.

Ardu Station back [rabbit-hole.org]

The back of the assembled ardustation

Base Station Redo [rabbit-hole.org]

Due to an unfortunate accident, involving a Dremel tool, and a blind operator, the intake vent for cooling was cut on the wrong side of the metal base. This shows a brand new metal base, ready for vent holes.

The base station.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

The base station, with working computer.

Radio Tray.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

The original radio equipment for this airframe is huge and archaic. We had to fabricate new radio trays to support the more modern, smaller components. This box will eventually house the elevator servo(shown), ublox gps, JR receiver, ardupilot, and airspeed sensor.

New Motor Mounts [rabbit-hole.org]

Here the nose has been leveled off (maintaining a slight up angle on the mount). A plywood firewall will be epoxied into place here, and the excess aluminum will be removed.

Homemade heatsink [rabbit-hole.org]

On the diydrones forums, it was suggested that a heatsink be added to ardustation voltage regulator if we are using a 12 volt power source. I made this heatsink out of an old pentium heatsink, and used artic silver for a thermal compound. It might be over engineered a little...

Balancing the prop.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

Took about 2 hours to get the prop to balance properly. Lots of sanding with 400 grit paper.

Paint [rabbit-hole.org]

The first coat of paint goes on. I wonder if it's bright enough?

Open Heart Surgery [rabbit-hole.org]

Opened the base station up, to rewire some power connections, and reroute some wiring. Added a switch for turning the ardustation on/off independently of the base station computer. I also added a switch to turn on/off the PC Xbee radio.

New Power LED [rabbit-hole.org]

For some reason the power LED on the VIA EPIA was bad. I could either send it in under warranty or replace the LED. A trip to Radio Shack, and a hot soldering iron later, the power LED mysteriously started working again.

mounted motor.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

Here is the motor, mounted to a brand new firewall.

Who's watchin me? [rabbit-hole.org]

I always feel like Somebody's watching me And I have no privacy Whooooa, oh-oh I always feel like Somebody's watching me Who's playin' tricks on me

Payload computer [rabbit-hole.org]

Building the box that will hosue the payload computer (shown here) along with most of the peripherals.

Avionics [rabbit-hole.org]

Connecting the servos and receiver up to the ardupilot, and testing.

6dbi Antenna [rabbit-hole.org]

6dbi patch antenna mounted in the belly of the aircraft. This provides an approximate radiant pattern of 30 degrees off center. At 400' altitude we should be able to see around 460 square feet of ground at a time (not counting forward flight)

Radio Tray [rabbit-hole.org]

Work on the avionics compartment continues. Here the ardupilot is mounted along with the elevator servo, and plexiglass window, so you can see all the flashy lights.

Tail Paint [rabbit-hole.org]

Now that the yellow is mostly completed, we can add start painting the design.

Mess of Wires [rabbit-hole.org]

Here, the GPS and serial connections to the ardupilot are being bread boarded. As a side note, RedQueen is a master with a breadboard, but should not be allowed within 50 feet of a soldering iron.

GPS Lock [rabbit-hole.org]

Our very first GPS lock, indicated by the blinding blue LED.

Battery & Speed controller [rabbit-hole.org]

1 of 2 batteries used to power the aircraft. Yes that is a quarter. 6s LiPo 5000mAh @ 22.2 volts

nose bulge [rabbit-hole.org]

After painting the nose, it appears the self expanding foam has decided to "breath". This resulted in a bulge that needs to be sanded/reshaped, and finally repainted.

Wing Paint [rabbit-hole.org]

The wing, with its first couple of coats of paint.

Looking at paint scheme [rabbit-hole.org]

This is the aircraft, roughly assembled, so I can look at the paint scheme and make some important aesthetic decisions. It is important to note, that neither myself nor RedQueen are in any way shape or form, an artist. Any comments on the lack of artistic ability will be summarily ignored.

Tape n paint [rabbit-hole.org]

Taped off wing so we can make some much needed stripes. Everything goes faster with strips.

Faster [rabbit-hole.org]

See how much faster it looks with stripes!

Nose.jpg [rabbit-hole.org]

Resanded and repainted the nose. Its better, but it still wants to breath. This leaves a small crack. I will figure out how to deal with it.

Painting is done [rabbit-hole.org]

All of the painting is completed.

Motor Wireing [rabbit-hole.org]

The 3 wires for the brushless motor are run into the cockpit, where the 85amp ESC is hiding.

Batteries [rabbit-hole.org]

Checking the battery fit, and wiring the power wires to the various components.

Payload and Avionics [rabbit-hole.org]

This is the space we have to work with. On the left is the avionics bay, and on the right is the payload bay. It looks like more space than it really is. On the left wall of the payload bay is a 1 watt Alfa WiFi card, stripped of its housing and permanently affixed to the wall.

XY and Z [rabbit-hole.org]

The mounting for the XY and Z thermopile sensors for the ArduPilot.

XY vs Antenna [rabbit-hole.org]

Not sure if you can see it in the photo, but the xbee antenna for the avionics is directly in front of one of the thermopiles on the XY sensor. The payload antenna has the same problem. Time to relocate the XY sensor, besides it really needs to be mounted much close to the center of gravity.

XY interferance [rabbit-hole.org]

Here you can see the antennas in the direct path of the XY sensors.

Camera [rabbit-hole.org]

Decided to mount a camera on the aircraft so we can take pictures during flight. It remains to be seen if the motor and speed controller will interfere with the camera or not, my guess is yes.

Center of Gravity [rabbit-hole.org]

Adjusting the center of gravity. 1 1/2" behind the leading edge of the wing. Weight was added to an internal chamber beneath the tail. 13.2 lbs total aircraft weight after balancing.

Balance Jig [rabbit-hole.org]

Close-up of the balancing jig I created in order to balance the aircraft.

NEW XY location [rabbit-hole.org]

Relocated the XY sensor just behind patch panel antenna on the belly. I raised it up about 1/2 and inch so the sensors could see over the antenna. It is also within 1" of the planes center of gravity.

XY Side view [rabbit-hole.org]

This side view shows how much I raised the XY sensor off the fuselage to give it a clear view of the horizon.

Ardu Station [rabbit-hole.org]

I had to add a 220K ohm resistor in line, and make several code modifications, but I am getting telemetry data within 0.1 volt of the actual voltage reading at the battery.

DOA DC power Supply [rabbit-hole.org]

The Power supply we received from LogicSupply was DOA. We started using this extra PC powersupply while we wait on a replacement. On a side note, apparently if you shorten power leads on a power supply, it voids the warranty. Logic Supply was not willing to work with us at all. We purchased a replacement, elsewhere.

Nosy Neighbors [rabbit-hole.org]

Its amazing how many odd looks you get when you have an airplane, plugged in with an extension cord, at the end of your driveway. Both GPSs need a clear view of the sky AND power in order to get a lock. Getting a lock was necessary for trouble shooting some of our code. This solution provided everything we needed.

Internal Power [rabbit-hole.org]

Finally the replacement power supply arrived. This shows all systems running on batteries.

Photo Op [rabbit-hole.org]

RedQueen (left), WhiteQueen(Right) and the W.A.S.P (Center) W.A.S.P. stands for WiFi Aerial Surveillance Platform.

MOAR Photo Op [rabbit-hole.org]

RedQueen and W.A.S.P.

Even MOAR Photo Op [rabbit-hole.org]

WhiteQueen and W.A.S.P.

Money [rabbit-hole.org]

That's the money you could have saved by NOT building a UAV.

Stack -o- Wood [rabbit-hole.org]

I was bored, so I went to Lowes, and got me some wood.

Base [rabbit-hole.org]

Something is taking form here.

A Box [rabbit-hole.org]

How exciting, it's a box.

I love this project [rabbit-hole.org]

This project has taken over my life, and I have felt like a lot over the past several months.

DEFCON or Bust! [rabbit-hole.org]

Packing crate for the lovely W.A.S.P. prototype.

Finished crate [rabbit-hole.org]

The crate is finished, now we just have to finish the actual airplane...

Shipping Crate [rabbit-hole.org]

All dressed up. Hopefully the freight company can read. It would be a real shame to go through all this work, only to have it destroyed in transit.

Peanuts [rabbit-hole.org]

Kinda like this, but with A LOT more peanuts!

Storage [rabbit-hole.org]

Radio box, held into a shipping cradle, and a big black lock box for the smaller parts.

New Tail wheel [rabbit-hole.org]

The old tail wheel couldn't support the weight of the aircraft, once it started moving, and dragged. This is a 1/4 scale tail wheel, and works much better.

New Shoes [rabbit-hole.org]

These new 5" wheels replaced the 3" wheels we had. These roll much better, and support the weight of the aircraft much better.

On the prep stand [rabbit-hole.org]

Getting ready to start powering on the various on board systems.

Base Station [rabbit-hole.org]

RedQueen confirming we have an ssh connection to the payload computer, before powering up the avionics.

Base station [rabbit-hole.org]

Powered by my car, via a DC inverter and an extension cord.

GPS Lock [rabbit-hole.org]

Waiting for both on board GPS to get a lock.

Systems Verification [rabbit-hole.org]

One last check before we attempt flight.

Attach Wing [rabbit-hole.org]

WhiteQueen attaching the wing.

Taxi [rabbit-hole.org]

Taxiing the plane out the runway

Nosed in [rabbit-hole.org]

She lifted off for about 30 feet, and a gust of wind got under the wing, and flipped the nose up. We tried to right her, but she nosed in from about 20 feet up in the air. Broke the prop, cracked the fuselage right behind the cockpit, and split the nose along the sides. Nothing a little time and epoxy can't fix.

Broken Wing [rabbit-hole.org]

We also caught the wing on the ground, and split the foam. A little epoxy, and some persuasion, and it will be as good as new. The payload kept on running through the crash, and never missed a beat.

Another Obvious Application (4, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261782)

It would have been nice to have a few camera-bearing drones bopping around over the recent G-20 meeting in Toronto, out of the immediate reach of gentlemen with badges, batons and guns. The police seem oddly selective about video evidence they use in court and video evidence that somehow goes missing whenever the defense requests it.

Re:Another Obvious Application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261854)

Wherever there's a G-20 meeting, a restriction on use of the air space is instantiated ("no fly zone"). You are not allowed to fly at any altitude.

Re:Another Obvious Application (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263078)

The visual of one of Toronto's finest, shotgun in hand, trying not to kill pigeons, but getting those damn UAVs is hilarioius

I wish they could also stimulate some of those RFID passport tags, and do some broadband sniffing and characterizations, too. Mmmmm. Data.

Re:Another Obvious Application (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263168)

I love the idea of poking the RFID passport tags. That borders on genius!

Re:Another Obvious Application (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263444)

There must be a way, using the Hall Effect, to read magstripes, too. Wouldn't it be fun to find out where someone bought that mouthwash, the credit card used, and whether the car being driven needs a tune-up and exceeded the posted speed limit? Perhaps there's a way to even read dental work and hidden tattoos. A UAV with more than just WiFi...

Oh, wait.

Re:Another Obvious Application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33271142)

I love the idea of poking the RFID passport tags. That borders on genius!

It'd be genius on borders too!

Re:Another Obvious Application (0, Flamebait)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262432)

How interesting that some fascist creep decided that this perfectly valid comment is a "troll". What do people think the whole idea behind a "volksdrone" is, no matter what the specific function of individual units might be? It's to address an imbalance of power.

Sadly, it looks like we have a cop loose with moderator points.

Re:Another Obvious Application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262696)

Maybe that "fascist creep" realizes that if the ideas spouted by the idiots protesting the G-20 were actually put into practice within a country, you'd quickly end up with anarchy, followed by an oligarchy.

Re:Another Obvious Application (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262488)

out of the immediate reach of gentlemen with badges, batons and guns.

No such place.

Re:Another Obvious Application (3, Insightful)

Israfels (730298) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262524)

I'd be more worried about the "peaceful protesters" throwing stuff at my expensive flying camera.

Lovely little thing. (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261786)

Though I'm sure "real spy drones" already have this sort of capability, along with being able to sniff other spectrums. I guess you could use it to deliver payloads to wifi clients/routers and perform automated MITM attacks, but how are you supposed to use it as an antenna extender without using another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it? Using it to locate wifi clients seems redundant as they don't have that much of a range anyway, unless you couldn't locate the access point for some reason.

Re:Lovely little thing. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262252)

"but how are you supposed to use it as an antenna extender without using another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it?"

I guess each time it finds an open WIFI spot, it sends the collected data (photos, videos) to its owner.

Re:Lovely little thing. (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262378)

Yeah, but that still doesn't allow live packets to piggyback on it - very useful, if you're trying to use it for cyberwarfare (to hack into a site) using a wifi connection. If penetrating the site through some other connection was possible, why would you use the drone in the first place? Using static pre-loaded attacks that trigger only on a certain MAC/SSID/other concievable signature would be much more limiting.

Re:Lovely little thing. (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263394)

how are you supposed to use it as an antenna extender without using another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it?

Why "without"? You use a another longer-range wireless system to communicate with it, problem solved.

Re:Lovely little thing. (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263548)

I suppose you could use a directional antenna from the ground, but you'd have to keep it stable and make it autotracking. And splice that together from off-the-shelf parts in the same price class as the drone itself, of course.

Re:Lovely little thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33268192)

You'd be surprised -- ubiquiti has some really affordable 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11 setups, complete with mesh dishes, and they can really reach out there through open air to the drone (whereas they won't make it through/over terrain, trees, houses, etc. to the AP below the drone). And short of truly ginormous dishes, the beam is wide enough that auto-tracking is not needed, just set it up on a stable tripod with a fluid head and periodically reaim it manually, and you should easily keep within 3dB. (Remember, when it's closer, you don't need to keep it centered as well, and when it's farther, relative motion is slower.)

You can put this together much cheaper than the drone.

I want a hunter-killer drone... (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261790)

How about a hunter-killer drone that sniffs out other drones, homes in on their telemetrics and blows them up in a blazing fireball of glory!
That's the kind of shit I want to see.

Re:I want a hunter-killer drone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33264518)

Hmmm... CROBOTS UAV drones with live ammo.

Re:I want a hunter-killer drone... (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33309276)

Here's the kind of shit I want to see:
Drones searching for open wifi points to connect to and run BitTorrent on. Once it's completed (and seeded) the torrents, it can return to it's owner with a full drive/USB. Bonus points if it also cracks WEP and flawed WPA automatically.

Turns out there is one fatal flaw (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261804)

if the drone finds an open network it tends to crash because its too busy looking at roboporn to actually control itself.

Cyber what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33261852)

It's not cyber-offensive until it comes with an ECM burst transmitter, GPS spoofing and transmits live video of police beatings to wikileaks. It's also not cyber-defensive unless the wifi is properly secured.

When professional surveillance platforms come about I hope to see light missile launchers for anti-surveillance duties. Non-exploding warhead of course, just pellets or something to knock the thing out of the air.

Re:Cyber what? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262520)

When professional surveillance platforms come about I hope to see light missile launchers for anti-surveillance duties.

Something to knock out the red -light cameras on Ashland Ave at Madison St please. I'd love to be able to call down an air strike on those bitches.

Something missing... (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261920)

And where are the hardpoints for Hellfire missiles? Ah, cyber-offensive capabilities...

.

Re:Something missing... (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263590)

Ah, cyber-offensive capabilities...

Is that where the drone uses a MITM attack to insert itself into an ICQ conversation as user "bloodninja"?

UAV's that work! (4, Interesting)

fuzzel (18438) | more than 3 years ago | (#33261970)

As that thing does not even seem to fly and people always like to see movies, check: http://ng.uavp.ch/ [ng.uavp.ch] for a huge amount of information about NG-UAVP's (Next Generation Universal Areal Video Platform) of course all open source hard and software.

Multiple videos of WORKING drones over here: http://ng.uavp.ch/moin/Videos [ng.uavp.ch]

Also, don't forget to check this cool cyber-cute overload: Quadrocopter Drone Has Its Own Little Home [youtube.com] :)

Btw, what is so special about adding a wireless card/stick to a drone and letting it sniff the airwaves? :)

Re:UAV's that work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263796)

You know, I proposed something like this in the late 90s and early 2000s to people I knew at the university, since it would have been perfectly feasible to build a fully ground controllable, camera equipped device at that time.

Sometime in the 90s, there was a "before its time" ultra-subcompact personal computer created by Toshiba, called a Libretto. It was basically the size of a VHS cassette tape, and weighed about the same amount. IIRC, it had 32mb of ram, a 500mb HDD *give or take*, and a single PCMCIA slot. It had an optional port replicator that had a standard PC LPT port on it. (this was WAY before USB)

I proposed that you could use this as the simple core for a dedicated UAV, using one of the "larger" hobby aircraft, (like a model B52 [aerotraining.com]), by installing a cellular PCMCIA card, and attaching a crappy logitech LPT based webcam (which were widely available at the time, and could do 15fps at CIF resolution 'reliably'), then using a simple micro-controller attached to the two serial ports of the port replicator to control the various flaps and functions of the model aircraft. Cingular's "EDGE" network was brand new back then.

the total added electronics would only have weighed a few pounds more (perhaps 3lbs), and would have been easily accommodated by a smaller fuel tank in the model craft. Some clever hackery with installing a secure web daemon on the control core being operated over it's cellular broadband link would have allowed "Browser window operation".

These days, you could do even better, since we have USB, and hobby "Toys" like the ShivaPlug, free FOSS GPS software, small GPS dongles, flash media permanent storage, and ultra-small DC power inverters. The fact that we can chain lots of USB devices to a single port makes this great. (how much bandwidth does a GPS transponder use? almost none. You could attach it to the same port as the camera with little issue. For bandwidth saturation reasons, you should not use the same port as the USB cellular dongle.)

Realistically, instead of something gargantuan like that B52 model, you could do it on something much more compact these days.

You could then fly that bad-boy anyplace where you can get cellular coverage.

Talk about an awesome way to test Verizon's "Nationwide Network" claims! Doing a totally self-recharging solar powered UAV (ARM Shivaplug is already very energy efficient, though with the inverter that might be an issue... Disassembly of the plug to do straight DC input would be superior.) that does not need to come down, and flying it all over the US would be a real hoot.

The FAA would of course, not be very fond of such an idea....

Re:UAV's that work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33266794)

I like the way you think

Re:UAV's that work! (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269188)

I still have a libretto, it is only 166mmx and weighs a lot in its steel case. Dont know how the webcam would go on such a slow processor either.

Re:UAV's that work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269326)

166mmx will fly running something lean, created in the era that hardware was in vouge. Such as an old copy of windows NT. (Or a very lean linux, like DamnSmallLinux).

Like most people today, you are rather spoiled by a fast processor, running poor quality/bloated/unoptimized software. (at least in comparison to older software that was tweaked to death to be useful on the older, slower hardware.) For a tasty slice of perspective, try running NT4 on an old celeron you probably have propping up the box of christmas lights in your closet, and give it a whirl. (be sure to install SP6a. After that it is very much like a stable version of win9x, only faster, and without PnP. NT4 runs "Well" on 486 SX25 systems. That 166MMX will haul ass.)

Webcam:
Again, I said it captured at CIF resolution. That is less than ModeX. (but with 24bit color.) The LPT port is not exactly the most speediest of interfaces you know. USB1.1 beats it hands down, and that is slow as a snail by USB2.0 and (new) USB3.0 speeds.

Regardless, the modern shivaplug option looks hands-down superior in every way, being both more powerful, more energy efficient, and substantially lighter in weight.

This and Google. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262014)

What's the difference between this and Google sniffing wi-fi, and getting flack for it? Makes no sense why Google gets whacked for something like this.

Re:This and Google. (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262158)

There is no difference and I find it funny how the horde of Google bashers and privacy nuts don't appear until there are certain keywords in a summary.

Re:This and Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262508)

The difference is that these guys are private citizens tinkering with technology while Google is an international corporation with enormous financial (and growing political) power on a mission to get as much useful information out of every thing or person on the face of this planet as possible. "Useful" in this context is obviously not defined by you or me, but by Google.

And what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33264770)

...when the inevitable OSS database on wi-fi info pops up? What then, Herr AC?

Re:This and Google. (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262674)

"What's the difference between this and Google sniffing wi-fi, and getting flack for it?"

It is probably too small to hit with a full size Flak gun, probably the best thing would be one of those fully auto shotguns with the 29 round magazine

cue the anti-aircraft weapons (2, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262268)

if i see some little drones buzzing my home i will turn the garden hose on it.

Re:cue the anti-aircraft weapons (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33262326)

Im sure your local dealer will supply you with everything you need to remove any UAVs from your property.

Might i suggest creating a UAV.TXT and having a copy posted on your roof??

Re:cue the anti-aircraft weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33262604)

maybe if everyone agrees in some sort of barcode for giving directions/instructions for UAV...

tags for no fly, safe to crash here, could be usefull.

Wi-Fi Sniffing Drone? (1)

slashchuck (617840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263082)

Is that anything like the opium-smoking drones of the 19th Century or the cocaine-sniffing drones of today?

Strap on a brick of c4 (2, Interesting)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33264298)

Ahh, the age of cheap home-built UAVs. All sorts of applications. Like this wi-fi sniffing, which is pretty neat.

But strap a modestly sized brick of C-4 and you have yourself a (very slow) smart missile.

Re:Strap on a brick of c4 (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33264490)

oh neat, you can strap small jet engines onto these suckers. Scrap that (very slow) modifier.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33264594)

They aren't Dutch (no offense to the Dutch), they are Americans. It does a whole lot more than wireless sniffing as well, in the video they said it has BackTrack4 onboard and cellular broadband. If you have used Backtrack you will know that's a lot more than a war-flying machine!

So What? (1)

AB3A (192265) | more than 3 years ago | (#33264958)

I could do this much more anonymously and inexpensively with a backpack, a laptop, a GPS, and a pair of walking shoes. UAVs attract attention because, no matter who is launching them, people are generally suspicious that they're up to no good.

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