For those who are acutely aware of their surroundings, drones can be easy to spot. However, for those who would be going into unfamiliar territory when the SHTF, spotting a drone could be difficult before it actually sees you. If you’re not really aware of what a drone is, it’s a plane that is remote-controlled and it can have many uses, such as scientific research, rescue operations, surveillance and even deadly force.
The military uses drones for both surveillance and to attack specific targets. The number of these remotely-operated planes is quickly growing. In fact, in 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration predicted that there could be upwards of 30,000 drones flying over the United States within 20 years. As these become more common, it’s important to be able to recognize and identity them.
A Bit More About These Birds
Currently, 87 countries around the world have drone technology. With over 200 different types of drones, you would have to be able to use its silhouette to identify one of these pieces of flying spy machines. Drones are equipped with extremely powerful cameras, which can detect vehicles and people when the drones are several miles in the air. Most have FLIR sensors, infrared vision cameras or night vision. Even though most drones can find the proverbial needle in a haystack, there are a few ways you can try to hide from drones.
Hiding From Drones
If a drone is equipped with thermal imaging, it’s doubtful you will be able to cancel out your thermal heat signature. However, you might try using a Mylar emergency blanket, which are also known as a space blanket. It can block infrared rays. When used as a poncho at night, you will be able to hide some of your body heat from detection by FLIR sensors. In addition, if the outside temperature where you are is between 96 ͦF and 104 ͦF, the sensors could have more difficulty determine what is surrounding your body and what background you are in.
Camouflage can be used during the day and night. During the night, use natural and manmade types of camouflage. For example, hide in the shadows of trees, brush or buildings. Thick woods and forests can be helpful. You can use nettle for covering vehicles and camo patterns for other objects that can help confuse systems specializing in vision recognition systems. During the night, avoid flashlights, spotlights and campfires. Even if you were to use a spotlight at a long distance, it would be easily spotted at night by a drone.
Another option is to wait to move until the weather turns bad. Drones can’t fly when there are heavy rainstorms, high winds, smoke or other dangerous weather conditions. You should also avoid using any type of handheld communication device. GPS-based communication or cellphones (if they are even working) will compromise your location. Finally, you might think about using decoys, such as human-sized dolls or mannequins, to mislead the drone.
Sounds a bit sci-fi, doesn’t it? The truth is that it might not be as difficult as you think. Because drones are remote-controlled, the actual pilot could be several thousand miles away. The drone is controlled by a satellite transmitted datalink. If this signal is interrupted or jammed, it can interfere with the control of the drone. In some cases, the datalink could be encrypted, but not always. Here are some ways you could hack a drone:
• GPS Spoofing: Portable, small GPS transmitters can be used to send fake GPS signals to the navigation system of the drone. Theoretically, you could hijack the drone’s controls or fly it into the ground.
• Interference: You can broadcast on a pack of frequencies between the drone and drone pilot so that it would be disconnected.
• Interception: A complicated technique is to use a satellite dish with sky grabber software and a TV tuner to intercept the frequency of the drone’s control pilot.
Will all of the above work? It’s possible, but not guaranteed, just like it’s not guaranteed that you can avoid detection by a drone. It all comes down to the type of security on the drone’s control frequency and how good the “hacker’s” skills are. However, if a drone should become a serious threat, then you’ll want to try just about anything to get it out of the sky.