by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : August 2015
DRONES Some drones use geofencing to avoid designated no-fly zones. PrecisionHawk, a private drone company in North Carolina, has developed a solution for monitoring drones that agriculture and oil companies use to get a better view of their assets. The company's system sends an alert to the drone operator's smartwatch when the UAV flies too close to a predetermined no-fly zone. During a recent demonstration, the operator attempted to fly into that region, but an autopilot feature overrode the commands and took the aircraft away from the no-fly zone. TRAFFIC LIGHTS, JAMMERS AND HACKERS In terms of the national airspace, NASA is working with the FAA on a system that would adapt ground traffic rules --- such as lanes, stop signs and lights --- for low-flying drones. More specifically, the proposal would provide "airspace design, corridors, dynamic geofencing, severe weather and wind avoidance, congestion management, terrain avoidance, route planning and re-routing, separation management, sequencing and spacing and contingency management." NASA held a three-day conference in July focused on safely integrating UAVs into its proposed traffic-management system. Experts say technology challenges are hindering development of an efficient, accurate and legal method to guard against unwanted and unsafe hobbyist drone activity. So when rogue drones are detected that pose a threat or interfere with government activity, what can be done to neutralize them? Jammers block the radio waves or GPS signals drones use to navigate and communicate with the operator on the ground, but as PCWorld pointed out, federal law bans signal jammers because they indiscriminately block signals for devices within their sphere of influence. Hacking is another option. Many off- the-shelf hobby drones are extremely vulnerable to software attacks. They "were constructed to be easy to connect to," said Kathleen Fisher, a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, during a recent "60 Minutes" story on drone security. "So they weren't constructed with security in mind at all." Lee Pike, research lead for cyber- physical systems at Galois, told GCN that hackers exploit those vulner- abilities through software bugs that allow them to take full control of the vehicle because they are operating on unsecure networks that lack authentica- tion and encryption. While noting that it is feasible to use hack- ing as a defense, he stressed that hacking is a nuanced skill. "The one reaction I have is about safety," Pike said. "You want to make sure that you aren't causing more problems when you hack into a ve- hicle. For example, causing the quad- copter to crash and a battery...to explode could cause more harm than good." Nevertheless, once a software flaw is discovered in a hobbyist drone, "it is systemic in every system that has that software," said Pike, whose company conducts research and development related to software security. THE MILITARY'S APPROACH For the Defense Department, small hobbyist drones that radar cannot detect have the potential to be used by the nation's adversaries. Thwart- ing and defending against small UAVs were a key focus at the Black Dart 2015 event, an annual military ex- ercise. This summer's event focused on live-fly, live-fire counter-UAV technology. "If there is anything that the terrorists have shown, it's that they'll be innovative and use anything that they can at their disposal to do what they're trying to do," Air Force Maj. Scott Gregg, Black Dart project officer, told reporters. "What we're trying to do at Black Dart is make sure that we are staying ahead of the game and that we have a good understanding of their capabilities before those capabilities outpace ours." Thales SA, a French manufacturer of defense electronics, has tested a sys- tem that uses radar to detect a drone, a camera to iden- tify it, and jamming tools to override the system and take con- trol of the device's path, the Wall Street Journal reported. A prototype is expect- ed next year and will include a portable, vehicle-mounted so- lution. The Army, mean- while, has developed a direct and decisive way to deal with un- wanted drones. Its C-RAM system has been tested to detect and intercept incoming drones then shoot them out of the sky. The system was designed to counter rockets, artil- lery and mortars --- hence its acronym --- but it has been adapted to counter small UAVs. C-RAM uses a 50mm cannon that can launch command-guided inter- ceptors, a precision tracking radar interferometer as a sensor, a fire con- trol computer, and a radio frequency transmitter and receiver for launching munitions. That's probably overkill for hobby- ist drones that stray off course, but the Army is concerned about defending against UAVs that have been armed and turned into flying improvised ex- plosive devices. • 24 GCN AUGUST 2015 • GCN.COM Hacking is another option. Many off-the- shelf hobby drones are extremely vulnerable to software attacks.