Wary eyes shift to the skies as unmanned aircraft are tested in state

ok dragonfly

Kaye Beach

Dec. 31, 2012

Waking up to read this article has really put a damper on my Happy New Year.

Unmanned aircraft are being tested in Oklahoma for possible civilian uses, such as by police departments. But testing of the state-of-the-art crafts also has raised privacy concerns.

By Phillip O’Connner  Published: December 31, 2012

FORT SILL — The small, winged drone quietly soared overhead as SWAT team members closed in on a building at Fort Sill.

When a suspect sprinted from the structure, the drone banked through a cloudless afternoon sky in an effort to track the person.

A few miles away, two Lockheed Martin technicians sat in a converted bedroom of a ranch-style house using a laptop computer to control the drone’s movements. They followed the action on a video relay.

The simulated chase this month was among the first test flights in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program designed to evaluate the possible civilian use of “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.”

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