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Meet Drone Shield, an Ambitious Idea For a $70 Drone Detection System

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the I-can-hear-you dept.

The Military 159

An anonymous reader writes "Here's an Interesting idea of how to use a Raspberry Pi and a few other inexpensive items to make a low cost detection system. From the article: 'The Drone Shield would combine a Raspberry Pi, a signal processor, a microphone, and analysis software to scan for specific audio signatures and compare them against what known drones sound like. (Because obviously a Predator drone is going to sound very different than a small quadcopter.) Once a match is found, the Drone Shield then sends an e-mail or SMS to its owner...'"

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159 comments

Interesting... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43616687)

Good job. This tech could be used for a lot of other good things as well. Basically an electronic ear for specific frequencies. I'm surprised it's not much more developed.

Question is, will it have better acuity then a trained dog with excellent hearing?

Re:Interesting... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616709)

Ofcourse it's been done. There's a lot of military equipment that works like this.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616881)

I never heard that.

Re:Interesting... (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#43617321)

Funny will be when they mount these drone shields, on drones. Then the drone shields will be warning you about other drone shields operating in the area.

Re:Interesting... (1)

tenco (773732) | about a year ago | (#43618769)

Even if you can filter out the noise from the drone your drone shield's sitting on - how exactly does a drone shield sound?

Re:Interesting... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43617183)

I figured sonar and the like was high powered and non-passive. But after seeing the link below from anonymous in another thread of the discussion I see the idea of passive acoustic sensing has been around long enough (pre WWII) to be highly developed.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616721)

If "better acuity" is a euphemism for it won't shit on your lawn, then yes.

Re:Interesting... (5, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43616919)

It is much more developed, you just don't realize it. This sort of signal processing is used in ultrasound machines, your car, my boat, fetal heartbeat monitors, little credit card readers that attach to your phone via headphone jacks. ALL SORTS OF STUFF.

Its all just an application of some FFTs and some weighting. It isn't even non-trivial for anyone with some basic understandings.

Without any prior knowledge, I went from no understanding to of FFTs to writing code to detect lean fuel during runtime on my R/C airplane. A Raspberry PI is also way more CPU power than needed to do it, which means it can also do a whole bunch of other stuff too.

Re:Interesting... (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43617187)

A Raspberry PI is also way more CPU power than needed to do it, which means it can also do a whole bunch of other stuff too.

My ++ model will mine Bitcoins between drone attacks!

Re:Interesting... (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43618013)

While being used to run a 3D printer, of course.

Re:Interesting... (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43617333)

Without any prior knowledge, I went from no understanding to of FFTs to writing code to detect lean fuel during runtime on my R/C airplane.

That is fascinating. I feel motivated to go out and try myself, now

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617695)

FFTs are not used in magstrip reading software.

Re:Interesting... (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43617937)

little credit card readers that attach to your phone via headphone jacks.

Re:Interesting... (2)

ttucker (2884057) | about a year ago | (#43617939)

FFTs are not used in magstrip reading software.

But they are used extensively while processing audio signals to digital ones.

little credit card readers that attach to your phone via headphone jacks.

The OP specified something that plugs into the analog microphone jack of a phone to transfer digital information from a credit card, so I would say a DFT is probably occurring somewhere in there. :)

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43618157)

have you got a link to that project?

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617511)

As a commercial sUAS operator, this is depressing. To think that Americans believe their lives are so interesting that the government would care to spy on them is downright unbelievable, and I think the person trying to sell these "Drone Shields" should be tried before the Supreme Court. It seems everyone is trying to get a scoop of the "drone pie" these days, be it news sources, "terrorists," police departments, or people trying to sell "drone detectors."

It just undermines the good uses for UAVs, like environmental monitoring, control of infectious disease, mapping, and agriculture. All the media including /. (!) cares about is selling some stupid sensational story about how "the government is going to spy on us and have missiles pointed at us all the time with these here drones." If you're gullible enough to believe this BS, then do something about it! Don't just sit on your asses and whine like sick dogs.

Using an RPi for this is also plain overkill. You could do this unoriginal crap with an Arduino.

This is obviously going to get downrated to oblivion since it's posted as Anon, but screw it. I forgot my password and don't feel like being tracked. If someone will read it, I'll have a little faith left in this cruel world.

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (2, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#43617685)

Its not like we think our Government wants to spy on us because they think we intend them harm.

I think its more down the line of : You just fixed your patio cover. Did you have a permit to do that (fee)? Did you have it inspected by the city inspector ( another fee ). We need to re-do your property tax!

And gee whiz, what if someone is hanging their wash in the back yard on a clothes line instead of using a dryer!

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (1)

Aserrann (1029174) | about a year ago | (#43617777)

In all honesty, while there are plenty of good reasons to dislike drones, I think this is a terrible one. You're worried that drones would allow them perfect enforcement of laws? How is this a bad thing exactly?

Worst case I can think of is that they are enforcing bad laws in which case right now they might slip by because "no one ACTUALLY pays that fee!" except that a widely ignored but still on the books law is unfair to anyone who actually does follow it, or leaves it as an opening to target a person who hasn't done anything else wrong.

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#43618137)

And gee whiz, what if someone is hanging their wash in the back yard on a clothes line instead of using a dryer!

WHAT?? Someone drying clothes without using lots of electrical energy to power a big machine? How Un-American! :-)

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617699)

As a commercial sUAS operator, this is depressing. To think that Americans believe their lives are so interesting that the government would care to spy on them is downright unbelievable

As someone who's paid any fucking attention whatsoever during the past decade, to think that there are still Americans who are stupid enough to think the government is not spying on them is downright unbelievable.

Newsflash, kid: They are.

Now, the real question is - does it matter?

As I watch the Federal government threaten businesses - as in, 40+ years in jail and life-ending fines - businesses that are legitimate and legal under California law...

I've got to say: Fuck yes, it matters.

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617969)

oh the ironies! You support the drone business, even list the areas where the most positive applications still have potentially serious privacy issues. You think that an easily made device that offers only notifcation of drone deployment using passive sensors, using off the shelf hardware,should be tried in the highest court in the land. And then you go on to say "...don't feel like being tracked". You know something? A lot of us don't want to be tracked, we just include the real world and consider being protected from tracking there to be even MORE important than the collection of user data online.

Do you honestly think that being boring is going to be a sufficient guarantee of privacy??? You clearly are not paying attention to the already WELL ESTABLISHED activities of some of your biggest customers. The government IS ALREADY spying on _everybody_. The various three letter agencies have been working towards "total information awareness" since the Reagan era for fucks sakes! They are deliberately collecting everything about everybody period. The current focus now on correlating and cross indexing the petabytes of data they are collecting weekly. They can, will and in many places already have, used the drones like the ones you operate to violate constitutional protections, international law and solemn treaty agreements. That is why a device like this is necessary.

Or do you think that someone who designs a radar detector, burglar alarm, RFID masking wallet etc, deserves to be hauled before a judge as well?

And please, don't trot out that tired old argument "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear". We have been seeing a huge rise in abuse of police powers the past decade, it's been proven over and over that if you give police the power to do something, they will abuse it as well if they can. (not entirely their fault in some ways. When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail and all that)

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#43618127)

As a commercial sUAS operator, this is depressing. To think that Americans believe their lives are so interesting that the government would care to spy on them is downright unbelievable

For that, the gouvernment put quite a bit of effort into defining what can and what can't be done to American citizens using drones...

And mostly while circumventing the checks and balances.

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619049)

As a military UAS operator, I think the naive pollyanish hope of a civil UAS market is misguided. None of the small UAS are anywhere near airworthy. How many of them have any redundant systems? They're a menace. Once they start being designed to be airworthy, then the market will implode because they'll be more expensive than manned aircraft. How could they not be? Adding the datalinks makes them more complex, they still require a "trained operator" whether or not you call them a "pilot" is irrelevant. More complex = more expensive.

Show me any UAV that has truly redundant datalinks. Give you a hint. Global Hawk is the only one, and it's so fucking expensive that the Air Force plans to fly them from the production line to the boneyard.

Only Workers Recolution will do (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43616693)

Nothing short of a Soviet Workers America can stop the genocidal depradations of the killer gang of Wall Street/Washington.

Re:Only Workers Recolution will do (1)

boundary (1226600) | about a year ago | (#43616823)

Hopefully better spelling will be a natural consequence of said recolution.

You are DUMB (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43616865)

and Slashdort is full of dumbissass.

Re:Only Workers Recolution will do (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43617169)

Nothing short of a Soviet Workers America can stop the genocidal depradations of the killer gang of Wall Street/Washington.

Hopefully better spelling will be a natural consequence of said recolution.

Ah, spelling. I was wanderg why he wanted to de-Prada his new Soviet state.

Re:Only Workers Recolution will do (1)

ttucker (2884057) | about a year ago | (#43617945)

Nothing short of a Soviet Workers America can stop the genocidal depradations of the killer gang of Wall Street/Washington.

Because I am sure that there is not ubiquitous surveillance and drones operating after these fabulous revolutions. Kinda like in China, North Korea, Russia, Cuba, .... Maybe you better rethink that plan.

Range (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#43616697)

A Predator has an operating ceiling of 25,000 feet. You think a raspberry pi and mic is going to hear a Predator drone in cruise mode that's 5 miles above? You can't even hear a massive passenger jet at that altitude! Now a quadcopter is a different story, as they are as loud as can be, but saying this system would work on something like a Predator is a stretch.

Re:Range (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616785)

Yeah, you'll need some bigger tools [greg.org] for that.

Bigger tools -- was Re:Range (2)

kosty (52388) | about a year ago | (#43617873)

"Yeah, you'll need some bigger tools for that."

Can't we just raise money to buy/rent/bribe the "bigger tools" who keep telling us that this (drone-use) horse$hit is "legal?" Just sayin'...

Re:Bigger tools -- was Re:Range (5, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43618235)

I don't think that I disagree with your ideals. Having said that, and - really, I don't disagree with them in all likelihood, I must ask, "In which way(s) are you asserting that drones, or their use(s), illegal to start with? What, specifically, is illegal about drones? What laws are being broken with them?"

I ask because, well, I fear that they will become so inexpensive to operate (including training) that they will be used to increase surveillance which, while against my ideals, probably doesn't (in and of itself) violate any laws. I'd like to be able to make a clear, factual, and reasonable argument against the increased use of drones but I don't have any arguments to make against it that are logical and truthful. I can only state that I'm afraid of what it may turn into.

Even in my worst imagined fears concerning these drones, I'm unable to find any laws that are being broken. Perhaps you come from a different country than I do? I'm from the United States of America. We're not all that free here which means that there are a lot of laws. Given the number of laws it is impossible for me (I'm not a lawyer, even then it would still be impossible) to know all of the laws. However, I'm reasonably aware of the many laws that we have to protect us and I'm reasonably aware of the laws that the government must follow and I'm unable to point to anything specifically about drones (or their proposed use, or even with the uses that I'm afraid of) which are illegal.

So, I'm not asking you to be my research assistant or the likes. You stated that drone use was illegal which isn't very specific and certainly isn't true so I'm hoping that you have something more concrete and that you can actually point out which laws being broken by these. If you could provide specifics and case law that would be most excellent too but I'm trying to not ask for too much.

See, in my opinion, they are making their surveillance too intrusive and too easily accomplished. In this day and age we're able to be monitored in most everything we do and, while this has always been legal, it has become increasingly easy for this to be done and for this information to be shared. The use of drones by police, municipalities, and private companies to monitor, photograph, and track a person is just yet another step in the age of zero privacy. I'm quite certain that it (that portion specifically) is legal though I'm equally certain that it shouldn't be. I can vocalize, express, this as a worry and all and that may affect the opinions of some but if it is illegal then there's an even greater chance of demonstrating the harm that this can cause to society.

I don't know... Perhaps you meant it should be illegal? I'm really unable to find anything that indicates the use of drones would be illegal in and of itself and that includes FAA regulations and the likes - I've looked. I could be missing something. Then again, this is /. and you could just be an insane zealot who thinks that anything they don't like is illegal but I'm hoping you're more honest and logical than that. Trust me on this, I've seen it here before...

Either way, I'm hoping you have something more concrete than the generic statement that the use of drones is illegal because, well... No, no it isn't illegal in and of itself. If there's some specific manner that they're being used that is illegal then I'm quite interested in knowing what it is. Like I said, I've even met people online who thought that DST (Daylight Savings Time) was illegal so you could just be one of the crazy ones but I'm sort of hoping you're not. It would be, admittedly, amusing but it wouldn't actually be beneficial to me.

Re:Range (3, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | about a year ago | (#43616789)

Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean a microphone can't pick it up. I am not going to google this because I am lazy, but I would not be surprised at all if a good quality, well aimed, highly directional mic could pick up enough of a noise to run an analysis.

Re:Range (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616841)

So now the highly directional microphone has to be pointed toward the undetected drone in order to detect it? That makes perfect sense.

Re:Range (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43617037)

Hehe, yeah, but a whole bunch of these all over the place in a distributed network that all dumped to one database could make a very interesting historical map of drone flight paths.

Re:Range (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#43617335)

Dusts off old chestnut

Sounds like you need a beowulf cluster for that!

Re:Range (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#43617373)

Yes flay, You could build a huge network over a wide area, with wired connections to each mic. Back to a central hub for very basic noise values math.
The best location would be in a more empty state with lots of new drone 'schools' for maintenance, new staff needing many flight hours. This would give you some open space, a wide sky to scan and that real sound over many months.
Due to the nature of drone training, one would expect this to be away from suburbia, the big air traffic hubs. Based on video capture to give you a visual of direction, very slight changes in every mic could build up some good basic math over time.
Another option would be to have a small cam and mic in a rock/hide and massive data card to track over a few days. Place many over a wide area making them look like some simple audio/still frame university wildlife counting project.
You could map the location of each device, play back the sounds and try and sync them all at a later date.

Re:Range (4, Interesting)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year ago | (#43617097)

So now the highly directional microphone has to be pointed toward the undetected drone in order to detect it? That makes perfect sense.

If you're sophisticated and have multiple microphones in a well planned array, then you can aim your microphone in software and sweep the sky looking for the signature. Look up acoustic beam-forming. If the array is large enough you can estimate distance as well as angle. The bonus is that you get actual tracking instead of just detection.

The problem would be processing power though. Simple implementations could range from 4 microphones that you sum/subtract to look at quandrants, up the way to something approaching what the US Navy does with its towed arrays. I doubt the PI could handle the processing of the signals in both the time domain to get tracking, and the frequency domain to do target qualification.

Of course you also have the question of what do you do when you detect one? Aim a camera at it? Fire off your green laser? (no not suggesting you commit a felony).

Re:Range (5, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#43617799)

Disclaimer, I was a submarine crewman and though I was a qualified sonar watchstander I was not a sonar tech. I have also studied fairly widely in the unclassified literature.

So now the highly directional microphone has to be pointed toward the undetected drone in order to detect it? That makes perfect sense.

If you're sophisticated and have multiple microphones in a well planned array, then you can aim your microphone in software and sweep the sky looking for the signature. Look up acoustic beam-forming. If the array is large enough you can estimate distance as well as angle. The bonus is that you get actual tracking instead of just detection.

It's certainly simple - in theory. In reality, picking out such a faint noise from the background is Very Difficult Indeed.
 

The problem would be processing power though. Simple implementations could range from 4 microphones that you sum/subtract to look at quandrants, up the way to something approaching what the US Navy does with its towed arrays. I doubt the PI could handle the processing of the signals in both the time domain to get tracking, and the frequency domain to do target qualification.

Processing power, both for signal analysis (finding the faint signal) and for beamforming is on the beginning of your problems. Let's just hit the high spots:

  • The accuracy of your track is only as good as the accuracy of your microphone positioning. (You won't need surveyor grade accuracy, but you will probably need better than the three meter accuracy that WAAS/GPS provides.) You can't beamform if you don't know the relative locations of your microphones. Oh, and did I mention that sound is refracted as the temperature of the air changes? You'll have to account for that too - assuming you can get accurate enough data on current conditions.
  • You'll need some fairly clever filtering and processing to avoid the microphones being swamped by unrelated and louder background noise.
  • You also need high quality low noise amplifiers to bring the sound of Predator up to useable levels. (The highest quality commercial audiophile amplifier isn't even close. You need a supercomputer and audiophile gear by comparison isn't even as good as the throwaway calculators you get with your breakfast cereal.)
  • Speaking of the sound... different frequencies get attenuated and refracted differently. You'll have to account for that too.

Etc... etc... The very definition of a non trivial project. You're essentially trying to replicate what the USN does with it's passive sonar systems, with dull and chipped stone knives. (You don't even have a bearskin. You don't even get a bearskin, just the aforementioned knives.)

Re:Range (1)

xelah (176252) | about a year ago | (#43618815)

I think that if you did do that, at least in certain countries, you'd discover it to be a very good way of making yourself the target of the next extrajudicial killing by the US state. Unless you think you could do all that without it being obvious to surveillance or any nearby intelligence services?

Re:Range (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#43618251)

"So now the highly directional microphone has to be pointed toward the undetected drone in order to detect it? That makes perfect sense."

Ever seen the rotating antenna of the radar on a boat? That's the reason it rotates.
To detect undetected stuff.

I guess if many people are ordering one of these drone detectors from a cave in Pakistan, it could be a clue that it works.

Re:Range (1)

PoliticalGamer (1548891) | about a year ago | (#43616875)

Are missles accurate from that altitude? I would expect the maximum firing altitude to be much lower than the maximum crusing altitude. While the device in question might not help much if you are being spied on by a drone, it seems possible that you could hear one which might be shooting at you soon. It is also worth mentioning that the operating celing is measured in feet above sea level, and a drone flying over the mountains in Pakistan is much closer to the ground.

Re:Range (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43617031)

The basic hellfire missile (which are the ones they've acknowledged on the drones) has an operational range of 5 miles, 25k feet is less than 5 miles, so it depends on your definition. That would certainly be towards the maximum range, but gravity would help you get some more distance out of it.

Of course, thats just what the government has ACKNOWLEDGED to exist. That basic hellfire spec comes from a missile made in 1985, not sometime in the last 10 years. Between upgrades and the fact that they don't tell us about their most impressive technology, I would say that hitting you from 25k feet is a walk in the park.

Keep in mind, the hellfire for instance has both laser and radar guided variants. Not only can it see the target from 25k feet, it can read the newspaper, tell you the date, and tell you which comma its going to impact with first. The laser guided variant will hit where you aim the laser assuming it can get there before it runs out of fuel. The real question is, can you get the laser painter to the target. The laser painter being something that a rangers team would carry in to the target area and use to site the target and guide the drone's missile in.

Re: Range (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about a year ago | (#43617393)

5x5280=26400

Re:Range (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617571)

You're a dipshit.

*laser pointer
*which is mounted ON THE PREDATOR'S CAMERA POD
*which is what the hellfire missile TRACKS

*DIPSHIT.

Re: Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616957)

A fleet of rasberry pi detectors attached to weather balloons?

Re:Range (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43617001)

A quadcopter at $25k feet? Impressive, that I would like to see.

You can't hear loud noises in the same room with you if you've tuned them out, just because your mind makes it out to be irrelevant background noise doesn't mean that its not there.

The sound can be orders of magnitude lower in amplitude than the noise floor and DSPs can still pick up the signal.

Your cell phone works with far worse signal to noise ratios than a mic finding a drone at 25k vertical.

Re:Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617051)

Years ago smart bombs used to track targets using the audio signature of enemy tanks and vehicles just like this. But you're not going to detect a drone from the ground in the audible range, the signal will be too weak for most equipment and environments. But you should be able to detect its communications and transmissions if you know what frequency range they use. You might be able to locate a drone using directional antennas.Many drone communications are currently still unencrypted and some have been able to eavesdrop on the video feed although most drones are moving to encrypt their transmissions. You should still detect the power in the signal if its encrypted though. They might use frequency hopping though which could make it more difficult to locate.

Re:Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617251)

Predator ceiling 45000 feet

And then what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616699)

You run away?

That's as much of a "shield" as a radar detector "protects" you from speeding tickets.

Re:And then what? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43617171)

You run away?

That's as much of a "shield" as a radar detector "protects" you from speeding tickets.

OK, have it send the e-mail to your next of kin.

Re:And then what? (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43617299)

The greatest use of drones is still reconnaissance. So you stop doing the illegal things until it's gone. Why run from a camera? Just hide your activities until it's gone.

Re:And then what? (1)

TedRiot (899157) | about a year ago | (#43618133)

Fire your (directional) EMP generator at the drone, of course.

Re:And then what? (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about a year ago | (#43618917)

Why you unleash your interceptors ofcourse!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HnwhGgsgXc

Imagine the look on the drone camera operators face when he see those coming.

Tough (5, Insightful)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#43616705)

It's tough to reliably detect low-level background repetitive noise without detecting all sorts of nearby domestic appliances, car engines, and such. In the modern city, we live with *alot* of noise.

Now, if the problem is to detect jet engines in rural areas featuring mountainous terrain, then I think I know what the point of this project is.

And then... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43616745)

Someone comes along playing the sound of a drone on their smartphone and you realized what a waste of time and money it was.

Re:And then... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43617039)

Sure, and they'll be able to hold that smartphone up in front of another phone and play modem sounds and they'll be able to communicate at full 56k speeds!

Not really, in both cases.

You can't tell the difference, doesn't mean that the signal processor can't.

Re:And then... (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about a year ago | (#43617681)

Someone comes along playing the sound of a drone on their smartphone and you realized what a waste of time and money it was.

Here you go! [bbc.co.uk] Down near "Sound can be a "two-sided coin" in war, he argues."

Pi fever (2)

porkThreeWays (895269) | about a year ago | (#43616755)

So, it's a project with a computer that happens to run on a slightly slower processor. If this ran on a mini-itx no one would even mention that part.

Re:Pi fever (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about a year ago | (#43616943)

Of course, the Pi is also smaller and uses less power than a mini-itx board. Sticking something the size of a small tissue box in the backyard, and doesn't have an AC cord running into the house, is going to create a lot less friction with the spouse. Many people also find solving problems with constrained resources fun.

Re:Pi fever (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43616955)

At least it's not an arduino.

Cardinal vs. Mockingbird vs. Bluejay (3, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43616797)

This is more likely to work better as a "squirrel" vs. "bird" detector, or with good/better datasets, perhaps even as a "cardinal" vs. "bluejay" vs. "mockingbird" vs. "car alarm" detector, especially if the birds are in your front or back yard. But really, the concept of hearing a predator drone is very farfetched, unless the drone is flying super low for some reason!
.
Better to use this as an auto-logging device for some birders falling in love with counting how many birdies are coming by, or for recording to the exact micro-second when the swallows [wikipedia.org] finally make it back to San Juan Capistrano [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Cardinal vs. Mockingbird vs. Bluejay (5, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43617027)

Hm. That might be interesting. Build a couple and put them a distance apart, plus a remote controlled super soaker. Sit in the basement and pretend it's a sub.

"Skipper, we have a contact on bearing 238... probable squirrel class mammal, likely a grey!"

"Do you have a firing solution?"

"Range and course calculated skipper! Firing solution locked in!"

"Fire!"

"Skipper, sudden change of aspect on the contact. I have angry squirrel sounds."

"Nice job, everybody."

Re:Cardinal vs. Mockingbird vs. Bluejay (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | about a year ago | (#43618771)

...someone...please...make...this...

Re:Cardinal vs. Mockingbird vs. Bluejay (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year ago | (#43617111)

This is more likely to work better as a "squirrel" vs. "bird" detector, or with good/better datasets, perhaps even as a "cardinal" vs. "bluejay" vs. "mockingbird" vs. "car alarm" detector, especially if the birds are in your front or back yard.

That is a much more practical and marketable idea. Now go build it!

Re:Cardinal vs. Mockingbird vs. Bluejay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617813)

perhaps even as a "cardinal" vs. "bluejay" vs. "mockingbird" vs. "car alarm" detector

It sounds like someone is having mockingbird problems. My condolences. Do your mockingbirds also do the Nokia ringtone?

Can't you just detect the RF? (1)

Zakabog (603757) | about a year ago | (#43616833)

Don't drones blast RF on known frequencies? Unless they're flying with auto pilot and just collecting data, but that would be dangerous in an urban environment with lot's of air traffic. How much would it cost to build something with an antenna that's just listening for broadcasts on these frequencies? You could even measure the doppler shift to see if they're coming or going, and at what speed. Listening for audible noise just seems useless anywhere outside of a big empty desert with a large directional microphone.

Re:Can't you just detect the RF? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43616923)

There are many types of drones. You're thinking of a more radio controlled type. The better ones just have a cellular chip in them and you control them over the internet. Rather than "Fly them" like an RC plane, you give it a target and it goes on its merry way. Once it has its instruction set it doesn't even need the cellular connection anymore, it can just fly back to "home base" once it has done whatever it is it was supposed to do.

Re:Can't you just detect the RF? (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#43616933)

I think they are usually blasting up using sat uplink (military drones). Civilian ones use ordinary RC radios - good luck distinguishing between cordless phone, bluetooth and Fatuba working on 2.4GHz.

Re:Can't you just detect the RF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617263)

I think they are usually blasting up using sat uplink (military drones). Civilian ones use ordinary RC radios - good luck distinguishing between cordless phone, bluetooth and Fatuba working on 2.4GHz.

Well, that's exactly what example a CleanAir chip in Cisco LWAP's (WLAN AP) do. It detects dissects different radio sources from 2.4GHz to help isolating problems on network and it can compare profiles and say that you have a wireless phone or camera interference causiong problems in that location showing even interferenced area on the live map (WLC & WCS/Prime NCS MGMT system triangulates using several AP's) telling very detailed information.

Telling a difference with right tools, is a walk in a park.

ac

Re:Can't you just detect the RF? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#43617455)

Depends on the drone.
Some talk to a van direct. Great fun if the bad guys ever triangulate the base team :)
Some long lasting loitering surveillance aircraft with a look down link gets more interesting. But that might be noticed long term.
Other option is a satellite dish like link. Drone only transmits 'up', the van is half a world away.
Long term expect a cheap blimp to sit over an area of interest. Just like a satellite dish link but massive bandwidth and very easy to add more blimps :)
Almost autonomous is the next step. Visually distant, no chatter, no long term sat needed, no blimp, hard to see on any mil radar, just a zone to fly to and wait for a target with a human giving the final 'kill' command as needed.

Re:Can't you just detect the RF? (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about a year ago | (#43618291)

and with laser quantum encryption only one other party would ever hear it.

Am I the only one who read that as "Meat Drone"? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about a year ago | (#43616877)

Seriously, when I read the headline, my mind read "Meat Drone Shield" and I thought at first there was some kind of organic meat shield which screwed up with drone targeting systems (like infra-red, etc.) and provided protection.

Really? (1)

human spam filter (994463) | about a year ago | (#43616951)

When was the last time a drone was spying on you? I'm getting sick of this drone hysteria that is being hyped by the media and now apparently also by slashdot.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617159)

The better question is, when was a meat drone not spying on you... Just better to get use to it, expect it, rather then wind up a hysterical basket case.

Re:Really? (1)

DeathGrippe (2906227) | about a year ago | (#43617423)

The point is that you don't know when they're spying on you - that's why they use drones in the first place. If they were easy to detect, they wouldn't be as useful.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617547)

The point is they don't really care to spy on you with drones. If you look up into the sky and see NOTHING, there's nothing there. Don't be a dipshit.

Re:Really? (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | about a year ago | (#43618573)

Not too long ago people said the very same thing as you do now about surveillance cameras in London.

Do a smartphone app (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617053)

Why not make it as a smartphone app?
At least with a lot of smartphones they have 2 mics, one front and one back for noise cancellation. You would hold the phone face up and it would cut out the ground noise.

Self identifying targets (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | about a year ago | (#43617113)

So when a government attacker puts a drone over you, they can probably also watch for the traffic generated by the detector. They'll see an e-mail, SMS, tweet or whatever sent from/to MostWanted7@KillTarget.Org and confirm your identity just before they launch the missile.

Re:Self identifying targets (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#43618575)

of course @drunkenpredator always tweets post mission :-)

Why do citizens have to defend themselves? (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43617331)

Isn't the government supposed to be in service to the citizens? And here are the citizens getting organised and generating their own funding in order to defend themselves from the government. That's the same government which is 'elected' by the citizens. You know things are outrageously out of hand when citizens are funding the generation of defensive mechanisms to protect themselves from the military industrial complex of their government.

Isn't it about time for honest Americans to stand up and say "I don't care how hungry my children are or how much I like playing with guns / flying drones or how good an education I get, I'm simply not going to fight to support a corrupt regime". After all, just about everyone in society knows the difference between right and wrong. Call me naive, but how can somebody put themselves in a position where they disregard their own morality? There's not enough benefits in any job to exercise a job description which involves attacking civilians. And make no bones about it, you aren't just "following orders".

Quit trying to defend yourselves against a complex which is expecting and anticipating that you'll fight back. Start taking your own action to disempower the complex, it simply wouldn't work without the support of the citizenry. Convince yourself, convince your neighbours and then convince your 'leaders'. Isn't it about time?

Take the red pill.

Re:Why do citizens have to defend themselves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43618469)

" And here are the citizens getting organised and generating their own funding in order to defend themselves from the government."

Now you know why we have the 2nd. amendment - read what the founding fathers said about why it is important.

better idea (3, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43617391)

You actually don't need to listen for them. If you watch really carefully, you might be able to see part of your neighborhood blow up. Then you know a drone is overhead.

Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617531)

As a commercial sUAS operator, this is depressing. To think that Americans believe their lives are so interesting that the government would care to spy on them is downright unbelievable, and I think the person trying to sell these "Drone Shields" should be tried before the Supreme Court. It seems everyone is trying to get a scoop of the "drone pie" these days, be it news sources, "terrorists," police departments, or people trying to sell "drone detectors."

It just undermines the good uses for UAVs, which are environmental monitoring, disease spread reduction, and agriculture. All the media (including /.) cares about is selling some stupid sensational story about how "the government is going to spy on us and have guns pointed at us all the time with these here drones." If you're gullible enough to believe this BS, then do something about it! Don't just sit on your asses and whine like sick dogs.

This is obviously going to get downrated to oblivion since it's posted as AC, but screw it. Someone will read it.

Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one!

Re:Predators are so cheap, everyone can have one! (1)

emt377 (610337) | about a year ago | (#43617619)

At least the tools of the fifth column are kept busy with an imaginary problem...

Would go something like this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617609)

***Buzz***

WTF does "inbound Hellfire mean?"

You Have Mail (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#43617793)

"Warning: Predator drone detec---"

Re:You Have Mail (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43618161)

"Warning: Predator drone detec---"

I hope so. The last thing we want is something cheap that can help the muslim terrorists escape

Yeah, right (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43617795)

Predator drones use a common small aircraft engine used on about 30 other small aircraft. Similar Rotax engines are used in snowmobiles, jet skis, go-carts, and other small engine applications.

You're going to get an alarm every time something with a small engine goes by, and you probably won't pick up an aircraft flying high enough to not be blatantly annoying.

If you want to detect nearby aircraft, build a radar. There are automotive anti-collision radars that could be adapted.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43618063)

It would be fun to build a small radar array with a synthetic aperture antenna so you could tell the difference from let's say a Cessna 152 flying by and a drone. The next step would be to use the spacial information to aim a small high performance maser to fry the electronics on said drone (of course, only if it was invading your privacy.) It would be entertaining for the drones' owners to find in post mortem that their sky spy was a crispy critter.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year ago | (#43618993)

There aren't many snowmobiles, jet skis, or go-karts operating in the areas where drones are operating. Especially in the air.

At the same time, I don't believe that audible signals would be effective since a drone operates several miles above the ground surface.

What is needed for drone detection and identification is a wide-angle magnified video camera that scans the sky (basically the same thing as the Predator uses on its targets). A Predator is about 27x48 feet (length x wingspan), at 20x magnification it would appear to be about 1,250 feet high (assuming an actual flight altitude of 25,000 feet). A Predator should be visible at that level of magnification and identifiable based on relative dimensions and speed (80-100 mph). A human operator would probably be needed to assist with target identification (commercial jets can be ignored). Higher magnifications could be used for target identification as needed, but less magnification (wider angle of view) would provide faster target acquisition.

The whole kit (a laptop, external battery, 2+ cameras on small remote mounts) could fit in a backpack and weight maybe 20 pounds, certainly portable.

Predator information I used above:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_MQ-1_Predator [wikipedia.org]

Anyway, that's how I would approach such a subject. I'm more interested in low altitude (tethered) helium balloon photography...

Why? (1)

xenobyte (446878) | about a year ago | (#43617807)

Apart from hobby drones (like quadcopters) it's fairly limited what drones you'll encounter around where you live. Unless you live where the wild Predator drones roam... there you'll most likely hear the sound of missiles detonating before you hear the drone itself.

Shield yourself with text messages? (1)

src1138 (212903) | about a year ago | (#43618041)

Sounds more like a drone notifier than a drone shield.

Re:Shield yourself with text messages? (1)

TedRiot (899157) | about a year ago | (#43618151)

The next version will also include a directional EMP device that will automatically fire at the drone. Too bad, if the Rotax it hears is a manned ultralight.

ma83 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43618129)

220 running nT [goat.cx]

Drones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43618295)

Good old xkcd [xkcd.org] has this covered already. No detector required (just walk around saying "I am not being followed by a drone" and prepare to be corrected.)

Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43618307)

Last year's purpose of the DoD Commander's Challenge was precisely this. One of the two teams even had this exact solution. My understanding is that it did not work well. The budget was very small at $75k or so, which sounds like a lot until you realize Lockheed or someone would have won the contract for 50 million.

This year's (if it happens, due to budget) is a GPS replacement. My guess is that it will be a self-contained unit kalman filtered with an inertial unit.

Hope they add feature to triangulate on gun shots (1)

1stumpy (95534) | about a year ago | (#43619055)

I hope they add a feature to detect high speed ballistics (e.g., gun shots), and to mesh sensors so as to triangulate on the shooter ... to end [gun violence].

See related [commercial versions] and potentially useful [open-source versions].

===

[commercial versions]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunfire_locator#Acoustic
        http://www.shotspotter.com

[open-source versions]
        http://phys.org/news/2013-04-tracking-gunfire-smartphone.html
        http://noisetube.net

[gun violence]:http://slate.me/15JovGp

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