Update: 09Feb2013: Mayday! Drones flying in San Diego County


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***DRONE ALERT*** DRONE ALERT***DRONE ALERT***

VISTA (CBS 8) – They look like small helicopters with onboard cameras. Surveillance drones are taking off in San Diego County, literally.

Police agencies, small businesses, even your own neighbor could soon be flying an “eye in the sky.”

News 8’s Phil Blauer participated in a demonstration of the $100,000 “Scout” surveillance drone, manufactured by Datron in Vista.

“This unit literally flies itself. It just waits for us to tell it what to do,” said Paul Wilson, Field Support Specialist with Datron.

“I can pull this thing out of a backpack and have that video come directly to me, so I know what’s going on,” said Chris Barter, Datron Program Manager. “The real value is it streams video to a computer.”

Datron managers frequently give demonstrations of the Scout for the media, the military, and police agencies nationwide.

“We’re shooting to get the system into law enforcement and educate the public about how these systems are ultimately of benefit,” said Barter.

The video streamed back from the Scout can be recorded on the computer and monitored live. The drone can also snap still photos from above.  It can fly for about a half hour on a single battery.

Police departments across the country have purchased surveillance drones for use in swat standoffs, drug busts, or search and rescue operations.

In 2011, Datron conducted a drone demo for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, but the department never purchased one, according to Commander David Myers.

The department reviewed several other drones last year on display at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Mission Valley, Myers said.

“I’ve seen them from $50,000 all the way up to $300,000,” said Myers. “It all depends on what you want and what the capabilities are.”

Myers said he is not aware of any local law enforcement agency currently using a surveillance drone, including the Sheriff’s department. Read More

drones

 

 

Watch Video: http://www.cbs8.com/story/21078595/eye-in-the-sky-surveillance-drones-flying-in-san-diego-county?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8340246

 

http://www.cbs8.com/story/21078595/eye-in-the-sky-surveillance-drones-flying-in-san-diego-county

 

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