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Interesting way to remotely detect a drone and if it is filming a specific target.

AMann

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In the two videos below, researchers used a rather simple way to find out remotely not only if a drone is nearby, but if it filming a specific target. The method simply receives the encrypted signals from a drone and detects changes in the signal pattern based on an input they generate without actually having to decode the drone’s transmissions.


 

Thomas B

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What can be done with it other than knowing you are on candid camera? Knowing it’s filming w/o ID is useless except for selling the device and building drone haters.
Will Google Earth be next?
 

AMann

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What can be done with it other than knowing you are on candid camera? Knowing it’s filming w/o ID is useless except for selling the device and building drone haters.
Will Google Earth be next?
Hey, if I’m out in my backyard tanning my bum, I’d want to know if someone was filming it before it got out all over YT! :D

Actually, I’d bet it would be a good product for security based uses, and maybe for delivery notifications?
 
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AMann

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What can be done with it other than knowing you are on candid camera? Knowing it’s filming w/o ID is useless except for selling the device and building drone haters.
Will Google Earth be next?
Oh, its not really a device either- its software running on simply a linux computer and scans local wifi frequencies for patterns matching their signal (Could work on detecting a Mavic mini).
 

Thomas B

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OK... so I can tell it’s there. Got it. However, like your doorbell you could ignore it. If someone interfered with the flight I’d bet they would face stiff charges.... even if the (likely unregistered) pilot could be found. Guess it’s cheaper than DJIs machine that can ID the drone.
Stalkers beware, LOL ;)
 
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brett8883

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In the two videos below, researchers used a rather simple way to find out remotely not only if a drone is nearby, but if it filming a specific target. The method simply receives the encrypted signals from a drone and detects changes in the signal pattern based on an input they generate without actually having to decode the drone’s transmissions.


I think this only works if the camera is perfectly stable though since panning the camera would cause a bit rate increase. Lots of things could cause a bit rate increase and it wouldn’t be possible or reliable to use that to tell anything.

If there’s a drone around it probably not a great idea to be tanning your bum anyway. You know for the operator’s sake...
 

AMann

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What can be done with it other than knowing you are on candid camera? Knowing it’s filming w/o ID is useless except for selling the device and building drone haters.
Will Google Earth be next?
Hey Thomas,

So if there was a standalone unit that police could lend to a homeowner who is complaining of a situation similar to what is happening in this thread:

Neighbor flying drone over my house

The police could better help the public (as well as all us law abiding drone operators) by having a good method for evidence collection and documentation when dealing with complaints of rogue drone operators who are directly filming towards people’s house windows. This system can specifically detect if and when that is happening.
 
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Thomas B

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Hey Thomas,

So if there was a standalone unit that police could lend to a homeowner who is complaining of a situation similar to what is happening in this thread:

Neighbor flying drone over my house

The police could better help the public (as well as all us law abiding drone operators) by having a good method for evidence collection and documentation when dealing with complaints of rogue drone operators who are directly filming towards people’s house windows. This system can specifically detect if and when that is happening.
Interstingly, DJI makes one that can ID drones in a 50km radius... the AeroScope.
 

AMann

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Interstingly, DJI makes one that can ID drones in a 50km radius... the AeroScope.
That’s true, besides the big cost difference, does it record if the drone’s camera is being pointed at a target?
 

Thomas B

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That’s true, besides the big cost difference, does it record if the drone’s camera is being pointed at a target?
It appears from the web page that just identifies all the drones with brand and serial while showing motion in realtime... locates them on the display with a map.
 
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brett8883

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In the two videos below, researchers used a rather simple way to find out remotely not only if a drone is nearby, but if it filming a specific target. The method simply receives the encrypted signals from a drone and detects changes in the signal pattern based on an input they generate without actually having to decode the drone’s transmissions.


I guess there are lots of questions.

1. How could you determine a certain WiFi signal is a drone and not one of the other millions of things that use WiFi these days especially since the drone will switch channels automatically during flight.

2. If the signal is encrypted how are they determining that there is a bit rate increase? It’s not just video signal being sent back from the drone it’s telemetry and log data. Which also brings up the question how they determine the signal is coming from the drone and not the mobile device if it’s encrypted.

3. how does using a siren have anything to do with any of this? The drone doesn’t have a microphone so I don’t understand what this has to do with anything. If they think the siren is somehow disrupting the signal how do they know it isn’t disrupting their own equipment rather than the drone? I don’t follow the second video at all
 

AMann

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I guess there are lots of questions.

1. How could you determine a certain WiFi signal is a drone and not one of the other millions of things that use WiFi these days especially since the drone will switch channels automatically during flight.

2. If the signal is encrypted how are they determining that there is a bit rate increase? It’s not just video signal being sent back from the drone it’s telemetry and log data. Which also brings up the question how they determine the signal is coming from the drone and not the mobile device if it’s encrypted.

3. how does using a siren have anything to do with any of this? The drone doesn’t have a microphone so I don’t understand what this has to do with anything. If they think the siren is somehow disrupting the signal how do they know it isn’t disrupting their own equipment rather than the drone? I don’t follow the second video at all
I’m not a digital signal processing engineer, but basically, the signal processing they are doing is scanning the Wi-Fi spectrum, not just any particular signal. It can detect a pattern change in the spectrum even though the signal from the drone itself is encrypted. The pattern change is as a response to the light they are flashing on top of the car or in the house. The encryption still has subtle changes In response to the frequency of the flashing light, and even when that is happening that are being detected by the software. As for the siren, they meant the flashing light (language misuse).

Also, you are right, I’d think that their software really couldn’t determine if it was a drone or a web-based camera nearby doing the filming. The main thing is that the camera has to see the flashing light in order for the software to detect it, otherwise it’s just Wi-Fi background noise.
 
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So much for my personal flying privacy. Oh well China gets all the data anyway...
 

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This link is to DJI, and the product they make for detecting drones nearby. It sounds as if it works only for DJI drones, but it is unclear. They have specific access to the drones innards to get what they are describing. I doubt that they can do others without access to the other drone's API to interpret the messages floating bak and forth.

"Aeroscope detects UAVs flying within a given area and obtains each aircraft’s broadcast GPS coordinates, flight altitude, speed, orientation, model, serial number, and Home Point. Then Aeroscope sends this information to the remote server for processing and to the display in real-time."

 

AMann

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This link is to DJI, and the product they make for detecting drones nearby. It sounds as if it works only for DJI drones, but it is unclear. They have specific access to the drones innards to get what they are describing. I doubt that they can do others without access to the other drone's API to interpret the messages floating bak and forth.

"Aeroscope detects UAVs flying within a given area and obtains each aircraft’s broadcast GPS coordinates, flight altitude, speed, orientation, model, serial number, and Home Point. Then Aeroscope sends this information to the remote server for processing and to the display in real-time."

Thomas also provided this link earlier. The interesting part of how the system made by the researchers is that it scans the entire wifi frequency spectrum nearby and picks up the presence of any minute changes that follow their beacon frequency, so it can detect the presence of more than one brand of drone nearby who’s camera is pointed towards the beacon light and is broadcasting it wifi frequencies.
 

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Heads up there are products that will jam drones.
They are relatively low cost and have very limited range <100'.
The issue is that they will wipe out almost all wireless traffic.
But if a drone was flying too close to your house you could take it down with a short on time. I don't know if you would make it crash or just loose control.
 

AMann

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Heads up there are products that will jam drones.
They are relatively low cost and have very limited range <100'.
The issue is that they will wipe out almost all wireless traffic.
But if a drone was flying too close to your house you could take it down with a short on time. I don't know if you would make it crash or just loose control.
In the US, if you try to import a jamming device, they will be confiscated by Customs. And if you use it and get caught with it, the FCC fines will be pretty severe. They will work with people who are being affected by jammers to find them, just takes some time.
 

GadgetGuy

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Heads up there are products that will jam drones.
They are relatively low cost and have very limited range <100'.
The issue is that they will wipe out almost all wireless traffic.
But if a drone was flying too close to your house you could take it down with a short on time. I don't know if you would make it crash or just loose control.
Likely neither. Jamming would disconnect the RC and RTH would engage, unless you can also simultaneously jam the GPS!
 

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