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Gatwick closed (mod note post 1)

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 6,467 Mod ✭✭✭✭Irish Steve


    I just sat through an interview with a UK Minister on Sky News, and the level of ignorance about the capability of a modern drone, and how to deal with it, was mind numbing.

    You can have all the legislation you like, and work with drone manufacturers to put in systems to prevent them flying in restricted areas, and it will do NOTHING to resolve the real issue, which is that it is technically totally feasible to launch a drone from a remote location, which will then fly under programme control to a pre programmed flight plan, and the only thing that limits how long that flight lasts is the capacity of the on board batteries. There is no requirement for a ground to air radio link to control it, so there is no easy way to triangulate where the operator is, there is no uplink active.

    The electronics to enable this sort of autonomous operation are freely available from multiple suppliers, and so it the software, and it is incredibly cheap to get, and the accuracy that can be achieved with the right equipment is the accuracy of the GPS signals that are used to provide the guidance.

    The only thing capable of taking out such a drone will be a very directed Laser style device that will either overload the internal electronics, or cause significant damage to the mechanical parts of the device and render it incapable of continuing to fly, but if such devices are available, they are not being widely talked about, and are certainly not being deployed to the airport operators. Another possible option is to have a directional radio beam that will block GPS signals, but that will only disrupt the navigation of the device, not prevent it from continuing to fly. The problem with disrupting the GPS system to take out a drone is that there are then major problems for aircraft in the area, as they are very likely to also be relying on GPS signals for their navigational accuracy, so for obvious safety reasons, the airspace has to be cleared before a take down system can be used.

    Shooting down using traditional weapons is not an option, the potential for injury or worse to third parties at a considerable distance from the airport makes any sort of projectile weapon an impossible solution, and depending on the size of the drone, even aiming such a device would be incredibly difficult to do.

    And to make it clear, the potential for damage to an aircraft from a drone is much higher than from a bird, and we've seen on a regular basis the sort of damage that a bird causes.

    The mass of the drone is higher, and the density of some of the parts means that they have the potential to inflict much more damage to critical components such as the engines. Fortunately, even with all the technology available, it is still incredibly difficult to put a drone into exactly the right position to impact an airframe in the right place to do damage, because of the closing speeds of the aircraft with the device.

    I'm under no illusions, for a person with the motivation, it is incredibly easy to get access to the devices and the technology to cause a huge amount of disruption, and the regulators have been very slow to develop appropriate counter measures that can mitigate the problem. Having said that, the final approach to landing is a problem area, because the way that the aircraft is flown means that it is operating within a very small airspace window, so it is much easier to get the drone into a location where it has the potential to do damage.

    Shore, if it was easy, everybody would be doin it.😁



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,924 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    Gatwick's chief has said one of the drones is a heavy industrial drone.

    Drones normally only have 30 minutes of battery power.
    .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9 mikegermany


    A bigger concern around airports is surface-to-air missiles

    Hasn't happened thankfully


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,924 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    A bigger concern around airports is surface-to-air missiles

    Hasn't happened thankfully

    Not really. You can't pick them up so easily via Amazon with next day delivery.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,761 ✭✭✭✭GBX


    Been said now that at least one of the drone is a commercial one. Acquired outside of normal channels? Disgruntled operator?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,979 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    GBX wrote: »
    Been said now that at least one of the drone is a commercial one. Acquired outside of normal channels? Disgruntled operator?

    well if you're determined to actually go about doing such a thing - then using commercial channels (i.e. not AMZ) is hardly going to be much of a deterrent..

    using commercial channels is hardly akin to buying old Russian arms in the Ukraine


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,606 ✭✭✭gctest50


    You just need an angry farmer with a shotgun on standby for this



  • Registered Users Posts: 737 ✭✭✭Lustrum


    Mebuntu wrote: »
    Aer Lingus cancelled their early flight from DUB to Gatwick but Ryanair flew theirs to Stansted instead. Good solution.

    Ryanair have a huge base there, Aer Lingus don't. Stansted is also NOTAMed to say they'll only accept emergency diversions as they're at capacity, and also that stobart ground handling have no staff so any aircraft expecting to get handled by them won't be!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9 mikegermany


    robinph wrote: »
    Not really. You can't pick them up so easily via Amazon with next day delivery.

    It's debatable

    Drones make headlines and cause disruption but are a visible hazard


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,924 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    It's debatable

    Drones make headlines and cause disruption but are a visible hazard

    Whilst a surface to air missile launcher gives you a good chance of killing a lot of people if you get lucky, it's also more difficult to obtain, more difficult to transport, limited number of attempts before you're out of ammo...and more importantly probably for whoever is doing the current drone messing about, if you are carrying a missile launcher then your chances of getting shot increase significantly.

    The guy with the drone at worst is probably going to get jumped on by a dog and or tasered.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,694 ✭✭✭dhaughton99


    It’s very strange that with the signal can’t be tracked. I think there’s more to this story.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9 mikegermany


    robinph wrote: »
    Whilst a surface to air missile launcher gives you a good chance of killing a lot of people if you get lucky, it's also more difficult to obtain, more difficult to transport, limited number of attempts before you're out of ammo...and more importantly probably for whoever is doing the current drone messing about, if you are carrying a missile launcher then your chances of getting shot increase significantly.

    The guy with the drone at worst is probably going to get jumped on by a dog and or tasered.

    Disagree with most of your points re: transport etc.

    Missiles are not like bullets either

    I'll leave it at that


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,979 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    Disagree with most of your points re: transport etc.

    Missiles are not like bullets either

    I'll leave it at that

    ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ Paulina Fit Slime


    It’s very strange that with the signal can’t be tracked. I think there’s more to this story.

    What signal? A lot of the drones out there use 802.11, 99.999% of houses have multiple 802.11 transmitters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭plodder


    gctest50 wrote: »
    You just need an angry farmer with a shotgun on standby for this
    A shotgun would do the job, but the range is very limited and any drone would just need to stay more than 50m above ground to avoid being hit.

    Lasers are probably the answer long term, but the technology has only been used in highly costly, experimental military applications up to now. Once the bean counters work out the cost of today's mess, that might change. Could be years before a practical solution is available though.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,924 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    Disagree with most of your points re: transport etc.

    Missiles are not like bullets either

    I'll leave it at that

    Yeah, missiles are bigger, heavier to carry around, in less easy supply and once you've fired one off then people have a pretty damn good idea as to where you are.

    The drone flying about and you could be anywhere nearby, or nowhere nearby at all and just set it off on autopilot.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,694 ✭✭✭dhaughton99


    What signal? A lot of the drones out there use 802.11, 99.999% of houses have multiple 802.11 transmitters.

    I’m sure that the signal can easily be picked out of the mess especially outside around an airport. Strength of signal etc. I can do similar at home with commview and a laptop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,979 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    What signal? A lot of the drones out there use 802.11, 99.999% of houses have multiple 802.11 transmitters.

    surely a drone being actively controlled roaming around a airport would need a communication system with a slightly better range than wifi?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9 mikegermany


    robinph wrote: »
    Yeah, missiles are bigger, heavier to carry around, in less easy supply and once you've fired one off then people have a pretty damn good idea as to where you are.

    The drone flying about and you could be anywhere nearby, or nowhere nearby at all and just set it off on autopilot.

    They're not big and heavy to transport

    They lock onto the target ,you don't fire off multiple missiles

    Can we at least stick with facts if you're arguing the point


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,678 ✭✭✭knucklehead6


    They're not big and heavy to transport

    They lock onto the target ,you don't fire off multiple missiles

    Can we at least stick with facts if you're arguing the point

    They're also a damn sight more conspicuous than a lad with a drone controller.... speaking of facts and all that.

    Totally idiotic off topic posting


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭plodder


    lawred2 wrote: »
    surely a drone being actively controlled roaming around a airport would need a communication system with a slightly better range than wifi?
    The point is they don't have to be actively controlled. They can have a flight plan pre-programmed, controlled by passive GPS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,545 ✭✭✭cfuserkildare


    Am I the only person here that thinks it Very suspicious that someone is flying drones over one of the busiest airports in Europe at night?
    Are these drones fitted with image intensifying equipment or Night Vision gear?
    Seems to me that they are probably mapping the layout of the airport and entrance/exit points for some Highly Dubious reason.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,694 ✭✭✭dhaughton99


    plodder wrote: »
    The point is they don't have to be actively controlled. They can have a flight plan pre-programmed, controlled by passive GPS.

    Good point. But surely it can be tracked to where it lands to get its battery replaced? What’s the flying time? 15 mins? Could localized radar pick up something some small?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,631 ✭✭✭✭zell12


    "A form of economic terrorism"
    £m's of disruption


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭rameire


    just wondering where UAE15 A380 will head to, Mainland Europe or does LHR have space for a waiting A380.

    🌞 3.8kwp, 🌞 Split 2.28S, 1.52E. 🌞 Clonee, Dub.🌞



  • Registered Users Posts: 241 ✭✭MarkHenderson


    Has Sky News blamed the Russians yet.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,924 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    Am I the only person here that thinks it Very suspicious that someone is flying drones over one of the busiest airports in Europe at night?
    Are these drones fitted with image intensifying equipment or Night Vision gear?
    Seems to me that they are probably mapping the layout of the airport and entrance/exit points for some Highly Dubious reason.

    What more do you need mapping that isn't already out there?
    https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/51.1585/-0.1752


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,612 ✭✭✭Dardania


    rameire wrote: »
    just wondering where UAE15 A380 will head to, Mainland Europe or does LHR have space for a waiting A380.

    BHX?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,032 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    Seems to me that they are probably mapping the layout of the airport and entrance/exit points for some Highly Dubious reason.

    Why, is their Google Earth broken?

    Bring back the :pac:



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭plodder


    Am I the only person here that thinks it Very suspicious that someone is flying drones over one of the busiest airports in Europe at night?
    Are these drones fitted with image intensifying equipment or Night Vision gear?
    Seems to me that they are probably mapping the layout of the airport and entrance/exit points for some Highly Dubious reason.
    What information could they obtain that isn't already available off google maps?

    I think the aim is just disruption plain and simple. From the mindless kind that aims laser pointers at landing aircraft just for the hell of it, to something more sinister at a state level (which could include the Russians). I'd say nobody knows which.


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