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Drones on the plains

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(@eladner65)
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Okay, purely theoretical question here.  What would the people out on the plains who are trying to figure out what those drones doing, and to find a command vehicle, do to track these down?

Here is my rough thoughts.

1. Figure out what the telemetry frequency is of the drone.  Almost certainly digital, most likely autonomous with some sort of intermittent transmission of location.  Figure out the downlink first, and then make some educated guesses on the uplink.

2. Listen for the uplink/downlink calls to validate that these are the correct frequencies.

3. Start doing fox and hound work with RDF on the uplink freq to find the command vehicle.

Here are some problems with this.  What if they are using cellular tech?  We track back to a phone tower.

A few constraints I can think of.  The drones must have a limited endurance.  They can't possibly be flying 50+ miles just to get on station to run the grid patterns they are doing.  Where do they land for recharge?  Can that be tracked?  Could they use low altitude radar to track the drone?

I'm just thinking here.  I fully expect someone is going to shoot one of those down sooner rather than later, which would make this all moot.

Thanks,

Ed L.


   
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AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Reports of a 6ft wingspan, plus night flying (which requires a Part 107.29 waiver from the FAA for mere mortals) means military ops in my book. Whoever does shoot one down is going to have a VERY bad day with a numerous government agencies.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
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(@eladner65)
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@3d0g

Normally I'd agree, but the military and the FAA are both looking for who is doing this.
https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/colorado-drones-faa-task-force-meeting/73-059fd156-ec27-4a36-8bb6-717b2e70d5c6?fbclid=IwAR39d8RCez4SGiFyL0Py-5TngBfP63f1kKApBecwEQa1Ndcdwa6G6l4UPsI  


   
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AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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So they say...

I don't recall Area 51 coming out and saying "Look at our bitchin' new U-2!" 😀 

Remember a few years ago when the military SWORE they didn't fly Reapers over the US? Literally the day after that news report, I watched one fly over me on Smokey Hill, coming out of Buckley. Broad daylight, maybe 2K ft up, and loud as hell. Also extremely cool.

I also think the vast majority of these "sightings" are just planes on final into DEN. People are terribly unobservant. After hearing all the sensational reports on the news, they're finally looking up and seeing blinking lights "hovering" and not understanding it's a jet with landing lights on coming straight at them. Distance and motion are very difficult to perceive at night.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


   
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