Anytime there is a large gathering of individuals in our world today, the possibility of terrorism is top of mind. Through this blog I’ve tried to identify many positive uses of drones. Sadly, negative uses also exist. A wayward drone has personal injury potential. We are talking about negative uses beyond the basic personal safety aspects. In today’s society the concern is not only the personal injury of a few, but the safety of all at the event. As a result, public safety is the top priority at all large events, so the use of drones in these areas are typically prohibited.
Olympic officials in Rio have been trying to keep everyone safe. One way to do that is to restrict drone usage in the area. Unfortunately, they have been having problems keeping them out of the air. As many as three were reported during the opening ceremonies alone. The French president left the ceremonies about the time the drones were spotted. These drone sightings are being reported in the media as an embarrassment to Rio security after Olympic and Rio officials insisted all aspects of the games would be secure. Here are some of the things they are doing to prevent drone usage during the Olympics (there may be others we don’t know about):
- Geofencing – The software used to fly drones prohibits flight in the area based on the location of the pilot. If your phone or tablet sees that you are at the Olympics, it won’t let you fly your drone. This restrictive technique is also being used to prevent drone usage in the Washington DC area, around active wild fires, as well as during the recent Democratic and Republican conventions.
- Jammers – Radio signals are needed between the pilot and the drone for control, as well as to return flight images to the pilot. Jammers are able to disrupt the signal, preventing pilots from even launching a drone. Other jammers can actually take over the signal for those drones that are currently in flight, giving law enforcement control of the drone. Typically this is just enough control to land it safely.
While we all enjoy the Olympics, just know that security is doing all they can to keep it secure, including enforcement of a no drone area. Let me end this discussion on a positive note with a positive use of drones. Enjoy this drone footage of Christ the Redeemer (apparently taken before the Olympics). Obviously Christ has the best view to know if drones are in use during the Olympics. 😉
Sources: http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/8/12402972/olympics-rio-2016-anti-drone-jamming-public-safety; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3726979/Rio-security-scrutiny-s-revealed-DRONES-flew-stadium-opening-ceremony.html
Are you ready to get started with your own personal drone? Here are some helpful links that can help ensure you pick the right drone for you.