Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Who are these drones whistling over your heads? – Rue89

Who are these drones whistling over your heads? – Rue89

Eiffel Tower, Concorde, US Embassy: drones flew over Paris on the night of Monday to Tuesday. What is the intended track? How are these drones detected? Our answers.

On the night of Monday to Tuesday, drones flew over five different sites in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Concorde and the Embassy of the United States. The fifth website overflown was not disclosed yet. After nuclear facilities, military bases and the Elysee, the new flying sites by drones raises several questions.


How do the drones flying over us?

Most of the sites involved in drone overflights “sensitive” are rather small, probably like children’s toys.

Those who flew over several sites in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and Concorde in the night of Monday to Tuesday, are, according to initial information, “craft small propellers” .


How do you detect a drone?

On Tuesday, the air force, contacted by telephone, refused to explain how a drone mark on the grounds that the Parisian flybys of the night are not his responsibility, but that of the Paris prefecture (see point 4).

We therefore have no concrete explanation on devices that detect a drone flying over French territory, and the procedure engaged in this kind of detection.

The Air Force still refers to the recent intervention of his chief of staff Denis Mercier, after overflying military base Long Island on January 29, on BFM TV. If it does not say much, it nevertheless recognizes the hint the inadequacy of air monitoring system in France face the drones, saying even worried:

“Yes, it is worrying for the future, but I am confident that we will find solutions. “

Denis Mercier, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Staff Chief of State then compared the detection difficult drones, much smaller than conventional aircraft, that of ULM, who posed similar problems a few years earlier:

“There’s a few years, it was concerned about ULM kind of threats that we were not able to deal with our traditional air defenses. It was adapted by implementing helicopter devices and snipers that are still in place today. “

In October 2013 already, before the Committee of Defence of the National Assembly, Denis Mercier appealed to the update of the air surveillance system:

“We can not shift the delivery of these cameras because deep obsolescence of the existing fleet, the availability of increasingly precarious, and high maintenance costs, undermining the protection of the national territory. “


How the detection means have they adapted?

Again, the Air Force refused to say whether the number of flights over recent months have led to the deployment of new detection technologies. On this subject, anyway, authorities amounted chilly, brandishing safety reasons, as the General Secretariat of Defence of national security, which depends on the Prime Minister questioned last November by Le Figaro.

Similarly, after referring to new devices to neutralize the drones October 30 on France Info, the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said not to want to “linger” about the topic.

However, information fuitent. Thus, BBC always relayed a photo posted on Twitter by a member of Greenpeace France, showing a radar near the nuclear power plant in Flamanville. It was a mobile military radar type ANGD (Aladin new hardened generation), much more efficient to locate small flying objects, such as drones.

then asked, Jean-Vincent Brisset, research director at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, thought:

“This is the only device that is able to detect drones. “

A source of AFP, wishing to remain anonymous, had then confirmed the deployment of these cameras, among other technologies, around other French nuclear sites.

In early December, The Dispatch echoed a similar information: the deployment of two “modular radar Navy” – classified confidential defense device – near the close of the NPP Golfech also flown by drones.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) indicates that current regulations are the same as in 2012, but a reflection opened, “long before these events “to change this setting.

” Regarding the overflight of the Embassy of the United States, the investigation was entrusted to the research section of the Gendarmerie Air Transport (GTA) ” writes Le Monde. This specialized training, “whose mission is exercised in civil aviation ‘responsibilities include reporting on breaches of the aviation regulations.

The GTA is composed of a thousand trained soldiers aviation security, throughout the national territory. “Ten investigators [...] are currently in a recovery phase testimony” after 20 minutes. Probably those police officers who were the first identified flying objects, and followed them before losing track of them.

A joint investigation unit on drones has been created within the research section of the GTA. It is already in charge of investigations in the overview of the Elysee, on the night of January 15 to 16, under the direction of Paris prosecutor. It opened an investigation on January 20 for “improper conduct of aircraft safety rules.” This is the Paris police, territorial jurisdiction, which investigates other flybys spotted in the night of Monday to Tuesday in Paris.

With regard to nuclear power plants overflown the end of 2014, EDF has consistently focused complaint to the nearest police: in Lagnieu (Ain) after overflying Saint-Vulbas, in Hettange-Grande (Moselle) for the Cattenom plant in Blodelsheim (Haut-Rhin) for Fessenheim, etc. A total of 26 procedures are in progress.

The case of Long Island site (Finistère), strategic military site, is somewhat special. The procedure involves starting with a military investigation to verify “whether the penetration zone P 112 has proven” before triggering possibly a criminal investigation.

Normally, the DGAC is responsible regulation of air space and the air force of its protection: it must enforce the no-fly (see below), while specialty platoons protection gendarmerie provide a physical presence Nuclear sites.


What are the assumptions?

All episodes overflights observed since October, both nuclear power plants, Long Island and Paris are set relationship with each other in the media.

At this point, nothing but proof that they are the result of a concerted approach to dronistes who know or have the same goal . One can imagine that some authors overflights have “benefited” from the general agitation about drones to add their “contribution” to the whole …

Finally, maybe other strategic places have were flown without the public being informed to preserve the serenity of an investigation.

This is the most disturbing. February 5, before the National Assembly, the deputy of the Upper Rhine Francis Hillmeyer (UDI), member of the Committee on Defense, questioned the “risk of collecting sensitive information, intrusion, or even damage, sabotage or terrorist action. “

This last track was however quickly ruled out, both for nuclear than for Paris. The small devices identified do not seem able to damage anything, and if they were wearing an explosive charge, why not drop them on the facilities? There remains the possibility of “trails” for future action, or blackmail which we do not know the content but there is no basis for now this hypothesis.

The organization Greenpeace was the first suspected, because it has used drones in 2012, above the center of The Hague (Manche) and Bugey, to point the central security vulnerabilities.

Greenpeace action in The Hague

In the second case, the drone was filming a militant who had landed on the site paragliding engine . But this time categorically denied “any involvement” in these flights, which it considers “very disturbing.” Overflights could come from more informal collectives, but nothing like this has been claimed for now.

One can imagine that these actions are carried out by an informal club of drones lovers who engaged in a kind of competition. However, this would involve a great capacity for organization, the existence of good drivers (knowing avoid crashes and police) or remote programming of their trajectories. A portion of the overflights perhaps comes from individuals, but again, the idea of ​​”tackling” the military site Long Island could discourage many.

To test the safety of nuclear installations, Le Parisien said that the GIGN can launch intrusion exercises without warning. But this scenario appears “unlikely” and too old:

“In view of the magnitude that is the case, this kind of test could have been as punctual. Especially since the old surprises interventions directed by the GIGN time no longer exist. One of the latest occurred after the attacks on the World Trade Center. A policeman was then introduced with a fake badge in a plant. “

  • From espionage, military or industrial

With regard to nuclear power plants and Parisian sites, one can doubt: aerial images are available on Google Earth. The hypothesis seems more credible military site of the Long Island but what power would agree to take such risks? And which sensors are on board gear? Only cameras, or tools capable of making sound, to survey? Mystery.


What might the dronistes?

In December, the DGAC issued a ten-point instructions, reminding users to the rules leisure drones.

  • “I not over people;
  • I always steal my drone at a height of less than 150 meters;
  • I never lose my view drone;
  • I do not use my drone over public space in urban areas;
  • I do not use my drone near aerodromes;
  • I do not over sensitive sites;
  • I do not use my drone night;
  • I respect other people’s privacy;
  • I do not broadcast my shots without the consent of the persons concerned and I do not make commercial use;
  • If in doubt, I find out. “

The airline regulations prohibit night flights, unauthorized overflights of cities and overview of nuclear sites, within a radius of 5 km and 1000 m altitude. Anyone who violates these principles faces a year in prison and 75,000 euros fine.


How is protected Paris?

For now, no special protection seems set up to fight against flying drones on those sites.

However, Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of Interior, confirmed at the time of the complaint filed by EDF for flights over some of its plants, want to set up ways to neutralize these UAV: ​​

“It has taken provisions on this subject. There investigations. There circumvention devices that exist. These devices, I do not dwell on their terms because I do not have to. “

Interview with Bernard Cazeneuve France Info

neutralization means, there are several, as we explained in November. Some are considered exotic – such as using a trained hawk or throwing beer can – but others might well be used in the future to prevent any threat:

  • laser it would be able to “detect the drone, keep and melt in a few seconds all the onboard electronics”;
  • signal interference: devices are able to disturb the electromagnetic wave signal, or divert the GPS signal that links the driver to the machine – developed including the Russian army;
  • lead wreath: use shotguns “BPS-SGF” (“Browning pump shotgun-French Gendarmerie Special”) to bring down the drone. A remedy that would be more difficult, for example, in the case of overflight that took place in Paris, since the drones flew at night.

The United States is facing the same problems faced by France. In particular the size of drones, which sometimes makes them undetectable devices.

So, in late January, a device that had landed by mistake in the gardens of the White House (led by an employee of an agency visibly tipsy information) had not been detected by the radars of the building, “adapted for much bigger threats, such as an airplane or a missile.”

control level after two years of intensive debate, the body in charge of the matter, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration for) has finally released the rules governing the civil use of these vehicles, 15 February.

And they are far from the affairs of big boxes like Amazon, whose boss Jeff Bezos announced in 2013 its intention to deliver packets by drones. Whether to allow commercial flights referred for UAVs under 55 pounds (about 25 kg), the FAA prohibits however night flights, and out of the operator’s field of vision which the remote pilot. Similarly, the speed of drones should not exceed 100 miles per hour (160 km / h) and flight altitude is 500 feet (a little more than 150 meters).

As explained then the Daily Dot, it is no as infancy of regulation will evolve with the development (or not) of the civilian use of drones.

According to another recent article of the US site, citing a study of 1,400 Americans, nearly two-thirds expect to receive deliveries by drones in the next five years. Amazon and company may have a customer here. And matter, therefore, to lobby for legislative change.


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