Boar Down!

Herschel Smith · 30 Oct 2022 · 9 Comments

Readers may have noticed I was absent the last several days.  It was a good time away.  A very good buddy and neighbor of mine, Robert, and I went hunting courtesy of the fine folks with Williams Hunting in South Carolina. I was shooting a 6mm ARC rifle with a Grendel Hunter upper, Aero Precision lower, Amend2 magazines, Brownells scope mount, Radian Raptor charging handle, Nikon Black scope, and a Viking Tactics sling.  I have no complaints about the gun.  It's at least a 1 MOA gun…… [read more]

Autonomous Drone Battlefield Networked Lethal Vehicles

BY PGF
1 week, 5 days ago

 

Legion-X Drone Swarm For The Urban Battlefield

 

Autonomous Urban Quadcopter Brings ‘Search & Attack In One’

 

Manufacturers Webpage: Elbit Systems

Drones Compared

BY PGF
3 weeks, 6 days ago

The first rule of drone club is…

Yuneec, H520 commercial drone. Photo via RotoDronePro.com

If you need a drone, and you will, the place to start is with lots of reading and comparison. First, consider your use case(s) for which you have primary, secondary, and tertiary purposes. Consider what you must accomplish, what would be worthy of performing, and what would be added benefits. Perhaps jot down some notes with a list. Then look for the craft that suits your needs based upon your priority scale of needs.

Some drones are tiny and almost useless in any weather, including a light breeze, but they are quiet and less detectable. As with most products, there are trade-offs. Some don’t survive crashes with as much resilience as others, which seems essential when starting. Some have neat-sounding features that get a premium price markup, but when considering the practicality of the feature versus your actual needs, the cost may not be worth adding.

The best feature is automatic obstacle avoidance. Second is an Auto-Home feature that returns the unit to a specified location under certain circumstances; out of range/push button home/battery level. Flight time and range are critical considerations. Ability to move the camera while holding the drone geo-stationary may interest you. Made in America is a concern with the history of some electronics having Chinese backdoors.

Other trace-off aspects: remember, a drone is a vehicle. The vehicle should serve an objective which is to accomplish specific purposes. A lesser vehicle with a better camera may serve you better, but a greater range with an inferior camera may suit you. We’re not against hobbyists that love a specific vehicle (think car owners), but keep to the purpose of your needs.

There are some licensing considerations, although asking permission seems, well, you decide for yourself. Nonetheless, here’s a basic FAA registration guide.

Are there kinetic applications for racing drones? Do your geotagging and mapping well in advance and print on hard copy, correlate with land nav.

There’s a ton of information on youtube, especially about professional drone types of service, but you have to weed through the hobby and commercial channels. If you have a mind for it, examining the technical applications of drones for civilian utility planning, mapping, zoning, surveying, agriculture, construction, property inspection, and other industries can teach valuable information about how to use your drone for recon, including geotagging. These can be a worthwhile resource not only for recon but also for defensive position planning and battlefield shaping plan objectives.

DroneU might interest the serious-minded who can take general civil applications information and apply it to their own purposes.

Source One:

Whether you’re a videographer, vlogger, or just want to have some fun, the best drones let you fly around with ease, shoot breathtaking photos and videos, and not worry about crashing into things.

The best quadcopter drones now all cost less than $2,000, with many excellent models at $1,000 or less. But there are a lot of things to consider, including flight time, what you want to do with the drone, and more. That’s where our guide to the best drones comes in. We’ve flown all the top models, evaluating their handling, controllers, endurance, camera quality, and more. Below are our top picks for drone pilots of every feather.

[…]

How to choose the best drone for you

Drones aren’t just fun to fly. They can let you capture breathtaking footage, some in high-resolution 4K video. They’re also more affordable than ever, as quality beginner models now cost less than $60. Good camera drones start at a few hundred dollars, and they’re great for simple tasks like checking your gutters for leaves. More complex drones, starting at less than $1,000, offer customizable and programmable features, turning them into truly autonomous devices that can make their own decisions.

Drones aren’t that complicated, but there are a few key features you should consider when you are shopping. There are also some key rules you need to follow when you take to the air.

Remote Control

Most drones use a remote control with two joysticks — a bit like one of the best PC game controllers. One stick controls what’s called the attitude of the quadcopter, including roll (tilting left and right) and pitch (tilting up and down). The other stick controls throttle and the rotation of the quadcopter. A good remote control should fit well in the hand, with sticks resting comfortably under your thumbs and providing a smooth, responsive feel that allows you to guide the quadcopter by touch.

Some less expensive models skip the remote control, or offer it as an extra-cost feature, and instead use a smartphone connected via Wi-Fi and a flying app. These apps often provide a live video view from the quadcopter camera. However, apps don’t allow the precision of real controllers: It is easier for your thumbs to slip, possibly causing a crash.

Repairability

Despite what the ads tell you, drones crash all the time. A good drone will take an unplanned descent and ground interface (aka: a crash) in stride, without damaging the frame. It will also include shields to protect the rotors and electronics from harm.

Regardless, things still get broken sometimes, particularly racing drones. A good model will offer a ready supply of cheap parts like rotors and struts to replace the broken ones, and will make it easy to swap these parts out when required. The same is true of batteries.

Battery life

Most drones will last between 20 to 30 minutes on a charge, and are designed so that you can quickly swap out batteries. To ensure that you can keep filming, it’s a good idea to purchase extra batteries. Just make sure to charge them beforehand!

Camera quality

Want to show off your aerial exploits? A camera, either built-in or add-on, can capture those dramatic vistas for posterity. The best drones will have cameras that can record video at resolutions of 4K or higher, but even budget models are getting better, able to capture video at 1080p. However, they tend to use smaller image sensors, so the quality won’t be as good.

While not covered in this guide, there are professional drones which let you attach mirrorless or DSLR cameras, which provide even greater image quality that built-in cameras. However, these drones typically cost upwards of $2,000.

The best camera drones will also mount their cameras on a gimbal, so that your image stays steady as the drone is flying around. If video is your priority, look for a drone that has a three-axis gimbal; that will give you the most stable image.

Some drones also offer first-person view (FPV), sending a pilot’s-eye view from the drone itself to a phone or tablet. Some models offer video goggles for the ultimate pilot-seat flying experience.

Features

Drones are getting smarter; now, instead of just flying around based on manual inputs, you can program drones to fly pre-programmed routes, or even follow specific objects, such as people and vehicles. Depending on your needs, it’s worth examining what features a drone has before buying one.

How we test drones

When we take a new drone out for a spin, we evaluate it based on a number of factors:

  • Design: How well is the drone built, and does it look good? If it comes with a controller, we take a look at its ergonomics.
  • Durability/Repairability: Face it. You’re going to crash your drone at least once, but a good model should be able to survive a few mishaps without a problem. And, if something happens to break (it’s usually a rotor), how easy is it to repair?
  • Flight Performance: How easy is the drone to fly? Is is stable when hovering, or does it require a lot of stick work? How does it respond to your commands?
  • App: How intuitive is the app? What sort of features are available?
  • Camera Quality: If the drone has a camera, then how good are the photos and videos it takes?
  • Flight time: How long can the drone stay in the air before its battery runs out? This varies a lot based on the size of the drone, but the best drones have batteries that last up to 25-30 minutes.
  • Price: Obviously, we don’t expect a $50 drone to perform as well as a $1,000 drone, so we take its cost into consideration when rendering a final verdict.
Can drones fly for hours?
It all depends on the type of drone you buy. Drones that look like airplanes, which can use the air to stay aloft, can remain airborne for a long time. However, drones that look more like helicopters — most drones have four rotors — can only stay up for about half an hour at best. However, flight time is slowly improving, and the best drones can stay in the air for around 40 minutes.
What are the different types of drones? Drones generally fall into a few categories:
Mini or micro drones, which can fit in the palm of your hand, make great starter drones. Because of their size, they’ll usually only have a couple minutes of flight time.
Racing drones, which are slightly larger, and are incredibly light, fast and nimble. Most racing drones are hand-built and easily repairable, as they tend to crash into things often. They’re almost always used in conjunction with a pair of FPV goggles. Like mini drones, their flight time is often less than 10 minutes.
Camera drones are purpose-built to take video and photos. They will have a gimbal-mounted camera and software that allows them to track people or objects, or fly predetermined routes. These drones will generally have the longest flight times.
Toy drones can include mini drones, but generally cost less than $100. Many will have cameras, but video quality will be far worse than what you’ll find with a camera drone. Their flight time will average around 10 minutes, and will have few autonomous features. However, they’re great for learning the basics.

Source Two: Lots of tech specs comparing vehicles.

Source Three: Youtube channels. Again, most must be understood in a commercial or hobby context while making your own application scenarios.

Source Four: Mitigating the Drone/RDF Threat, Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

From Part One:

Drone technology is here to stay and drones will increasingly become problems in many ways. They can be used to gather intelligence visually, day and at night. Thermal imaging can be used both during the day and at night. And now affordable drones have Radio Direction Finding (RDF) capabilities. Drones are increasingly used for intelligence gathering, and kinetic (offensive) measures. An ability to use doppler RDF technology, allows drones to locate a potential target. Learning how to deal with such a growing threat will be an ongoing process. As technology advances, we can adopt low-tech practices that can help us conduct a more secure communications plan. To better understand the threat and the measures proposed, we need to understand how drones are used in RDF operations. There is an excellent video on how RDF using drones works. Please first view this instructional video from S2 Underground, and then come back to this article:

Radio Direction Finding: AKA How “They” Can Find You

Roto Drone Pro is worth browsing. Other industry online magazines may help as well.


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