Author Archives: Ben

March 28, 2014

Eavesdropping Drones

One of the concerns that is often raised about the appearance of drones in our skies is the idea that they are there to spy on us.  The prospect of  seeing sUAV hovering in the sky nearby that mights be listening in to your phone call has produced the spectre of eavesdropping drones collecting data on everything we say and do.  It’s certainly true that multi-rotor craft that carry a payload containing the equipment necessary to exploit security weaknesses in mobile phones have been built.  This was demonstrated recently at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore.

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RQ-4 Global Hawk back in Japan

U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka

U.S. Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka

The number and range of uses of RQ-4 Global Hawk HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) UAVs continue to increase.  It was announced earlier this week that the US would be deploying two RQ-4’s at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture in the north east of Japan.  The drones are currently stationed in Guam but this puts them in the path of typhoons that frequently pass through the area.

The Global Hawk proved its worth in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami by providing surveillance and intelligence gathering during disaster relieve and recovery missions.  It’s worth reminding ourselves that the Japanese company TEPCO used a sUAV to photograph and film the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant after the disaster.  The photos and footage obtained greatly assisted the engineers in assessing the situation without putting anyone at risk while gathering the information.

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March 26, 2014

Hubsan 107D FPV Quadcopter

Hubsan 107D FPV quadcopterOur Hubsan 107D FPV quadcopter review is aimed at anyone who hasn’t used this drone before, or any other quadcopter for that matter. This is a novice’s guide to what to expect when you open the box and use this device for the first time. The Hubsan 107D is a small quadcopter, but don’t be fooled by its size. Once you start flying this drone you’ll be too busy enjoying the experience of perfecting your flying skills.

Hubsan are an established brand in the RC market and their product range includes helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as an expanding range of quadcopters. The x4 107D is one of a series bearing the 107 model designation and includes a built-in FPV (First Person View) camera which provides live feed to the FPV transmitter (sold separately). This feed can be recorded onto a micro SD card that slips into a slot on the right of the transmitter and played back on the transmitter itself, or removed for transfer into the software of your choice.

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