Tag Archives: uml

Homeland Security Drones that can tell if you are armed or not tested in Oklahoma

Fallin_UAS_0

Mary Fallin: “We’re not interested in spying on anyone.”

Kaye Beach

March 28, 2013

I heard about the DHS drones that can determine if a person is armed or unarmed but I somehow missed the part that they were being tested in Oklahoma.

EXCLUSIVE: DHS Small Drone Test Plan Calls for Evaluating Sensors for ‘First Responder, HS Operational Communities’

03/07/2013

. . .The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is testing a wide variety of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) sensor platforms, including one that can determine whether individuals are armed or unarmed, for use by first responders and frontline homeland security professionals.

The testing is taking place at the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems (OTC-UC), a unit of University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), a not-for-profit scientific institution operated for Oklahoma State University (OSU) by Anchor Dynamics, Inc. UML is a “Trusted Agent” for the federal government, technology developers and operators.

. . .

SUAS sensor platforms are being tested for use by “first responder and homeland security operational communities” that “can distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel,” as well as conducting detection, surveillance, tracking and laser designation of targets of interest at stand-off ranges, according to the RAPS Test Plan obtained by Homeland Security Today.

There’s also a requirement to test SUAS sensors for how well they can capture crime and accident “scene data with still-frame, high definition photos.”

Read more

The Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories

The University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is expanding its role as a trusted agent with the US Department of Homeland Security and international governments.

http://www.okstate-uml.org/content/homeland-security

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Gov. Fallin and Steve McKeever’s Drone Questing Collaboration

fallin red queen

Kaye Beach

March 27, 2012

Interesting article published today by FastCompany;

Inside Oklahoma’s Quest To Dominate The American Drone Industry

How politicians, universities, and aerospace firms are teaming up to turn the Sooner State into America’s UAV capital.

. . .Oklahoma businesspeople, academics, and politicians are collaborating through an organization named USA-OK, which aims to make the heartland state the focal point of American UAV development. A quasi-affiliated group, the Governor’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Council (PDF), was formed via an executive order from Governor Mary Fallin in 2011. Both organizations are lobbying for commercial drone test sites in Oklahoma and increased government assistance [that means your tax dollars!] in luring more large military contractors to the state.

Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Science and Technology and a prominent figure in the state’s UAV industry, told Fast Company that Oklahoma is already home to approximately 15 companies servicing the UAV industry. . . According to McKeever, the state offers a variety of incentives and subsidies for aerospace companies of all sizes.

McKeever and Fallin are busy luring this industry to Oklahoma meanwhile Mckeever and Fallin killed HB 1556 which would have simply required law enforcement to get a warrant before engaging in targeted surveillance of individuals and prohibit weaponization of the drones.

. . .Last month, the FAA announced that they are seeking six domestic test sites for UAVs. Due to the obvious commercial possibilities in, say, selling small aircraft for $1,000 a pop to farmers and real estate agencies looking to do aerial monitoring on a budget, UAVs are potential huge business. Giants such as Boeing and hundreds of smaller companies see commercial UAV usage as a gold rush waiting to happen.

State authorities inside Oklahoma issued a strategic drone plan detailing ways to build up the local UAV industry. These plans center on bringing one of the domestic UAV test sites to Oklahoma, which already tests military UAVs. . .

The FastCompany article mentions the Oklahoma UAS [DRONE] Summit held this Tuesday in Norman, but like the media in general, provides little detail on the conference.  (No mention of ‘Pesky Critters’ at all.)

This week, a major UAV convention took place in Oklahoma as well. . . .The agenda includes discussions of UAV use by emergency first responders, the Homeland Security Department’s proposed domestic spy drones. . .

Drone manufacturers even have lobbyists. [You don’t say!]  . . .Michael Toscano, the organization’s president, advocates the integration of commercial drones into American airspace. Toscano, in an interview, stressed job creation possibilities if the FAA legalizes commercial drones.

AUVSI spent big dollars in lobbying on the FAA bill that expanded the use of drones in US airspace.  Their money was well spent too.

As a PowerPoint presentation recently obtained by Republic Report shows, the industry group all but wrote the legislation. “Our suggestions were often taken word-for-word,” it says. Read More

Mr. Toscano wasalso  right by Gov. Fallin’s and Stephen McKeever’s side on Jan 17th at a press conference held at the State Capitol in order to unveil the marvelous benefits of drone technology that is being cultivated with our tax dollars.

Interestingly, Toscano thinks that there is no need for addition privacy regulation.

Toscano says the drone industry thinks existing laws are sufficient: ”We believe that your Fourth  Amendment rights are protected.

Well that figures since legislation like Oklahoma’s HB 1556 might interfere with what Toscano sees as an open market.

Toscano. . .says there are nearly 19,000 law enforcement entities in the United States, of which only 300 now have aerial surveillance capacities.

“Those departments have helicopters which cost about $1,500 an hour to operate,” Toscano says. “You can fly these drones for maybe less than $50 hour. A lot of smaller departments can now afford this technology.” read more

Fallin_UAS_0

At the Jan. 17th press conference, McKeever said;

 “We fully recognize that reasonable people could have reasonable concerns and these must be dealt with that’s what our elected officials and government authorities are for.”

Fallin added that;

“We’re not interested in spying on anyone.”

Mary Fallin isn’t counting the little people.  Maybe she doesn’t consider what we would consider spying as spying.  Maybe she just thinks of as over sight.

Did you know that ‘OverSite’  is actually another great surveillance technology program  being promoted out of OSU’s Multispectral Laboratories and tested on unsuspecting Oklahomans at sporting events. 

‘To look at their RV parked at a game or concert, you’d never know that inside is all this technology and more’ link

umlThe Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is a public-private partnership “between the University and Anchor Dynamics Inc (ADI), which receives support from Ponca City Development Authority and ConocoPhillips, designed to accelerate commercialization of new technologies.”  http://www.okstate-uml.org/content/company-history

The UML acts as a “Trusted Agent” for U.S. Government, technology developers and operators.

Naturally, like the non-spying drones,  this is being done with a little boost from the non-spying Department of Homeland Security

The proof of concept demonstration was funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Link

OverSite incorporates facial recognition technology and a trick camera to spy on the crowd without them ever knowing a thing.  (but it’s not spying! It’s ‘OverSite’!) Read more 

And with all of the time, energy and money that has been spent, not one thing has been done to address the biggest concern of ordinary Oklahomans which is their privacy and safety.  It is the ordinary people of this state, after all,  who are paying for the ‘incentives’ being offered to court the drone industry here.

Little people, little problems.  We have our nightmares and they have their dreams. . .

Stephen McKeever, a transplanted Brit living in Oklahoma, dreams of turning his state into the capital for drones — the unmanned aircraft that, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts, will swarm the skies by the thousands within two decades. Read more

Oklahomans Get New ‘OverSite’ to Stop Terrorism at Sporting Events, Political Rallies

Kaye Beach

Oct. 23, 2012

An article published yesterday by Oklahoma’s News 6 introduces us to a new technology system designed to keep us safe from terrorism as large events such as sporting events, the State Fair and even at political rallies. It’s called “OverSite”

Given the fact that the OverSite system incorporates facial recognition, that ought to be a real hit given that we are governed by an administration that frequently confuses legitimate First Amendment protected activities as possible indicators of terrorism.

Crew Demonstrates Technology Aimed To Pinpoint Terrorists At Large Events

 Oct 22, 2012  News On 6

A sniper with a high-powered rifle was on top of the Case Center at the University of Tulsa on Monday.

He was demonstrating technology that can pinpoint a shooter’s location in a large crowd almost immediately.

The technology comes from Oklahoma company OverSite, and it can protect people from all kinds of terrorist attacks at big events like football games, political rallies, NASCAR races and state fairs.

Read more

Interestingly the article provides this boast about the OverSite technology;

“If we’re looking for somebody in a crowd, we have our cameras working, we can find the bad guy, put facial recognition on him, he’s identified, even if beard, mustache, glasses, hat, still gonna catch him,” Eller said. link

Really?  Color me skeptical on that claim.

We need to know, are they using facial recognition on event goers in general or only on legitimate suspects with probable cause?

OverSite’s Trick Camera-SkyCam SpyCam

Closed Facility Aerial Cameras (surveillance) – Few people watching sporting events have failed to see a camera gliding on cables high above the event and crowd providing exciting and unique angles of play and reaction.  SkyCam works with OverSite©  to develop a two-camera capability that appears normal in all ways except that one camera does what SkyCam normally does while the other is individually controlled to watch the audience and scan for faces and/or activities that might be suspect to the well-being of the people and facility. Link

Here is a little more information on OverSite from their official website;

OverSite

Protecting America’s Infrastructure

The OverSite© technology was created by Triarii Scientific, LLC (TriSci) in response to operational recognition that government agencies ranging from Homeland Security to the Department of Defense have been so overwhelmed protecting our military, training local and national emergency management personnel, finding common communications grounds, etc., that it has not been able to embrace the growing needs of a broad group defined as “Soft Targets.”

OverSite© can provide a broad selection of sensor technologies, timely analysis processes and response mechanisms such as

– Video

– Audio

– Chem-bio

– Radioactive

– Nuclear

Retina scan

        – Facial recognition

– Weather, etc.

– On-site analysis

– Response coordination

– Centralized communications

The technology was tested before in Oklahoma on April 6, 2011;

The OSU University Multispectral Laboratories recently demonstrated the unique capabilities of an integrated mobile security vehicle called OverSite during the simulation of a terror attack at Boone Pickens Stadium on April 6, 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSa6F5JIagg

OverSite also had another test run prior to April 6, 2011 and at the Super Bowl XLV, no less.

Prior to the April 6 test, OverSite was also deployed at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, where core system integration was tested and improved.

Since the April 6 test, the Over­Site Rapid Deployment Module, developed and integrated on behalf of the Oklahoma Nation­al Guard’s 63rd Civil Support Team, has been readied for deployment to Maryland

http://arrc.ou.edu/pdf/Sensors_Review.pdf

The federal Department of Homeland Security provided the funding for the April 6, 2011 demonstration of OverSite;

The simulation involved members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard Civil Support Team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who with the help of OverSite responded to ten different threat scenarios.  The proof of concept demonstration was funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

https://news.okstate.edu/press-releases/849-osu-uml-showcases-mobile-security-vehicle-during-simulated-terror-attack-at-boone-pickens-stadium-

Triarii Scientific LLC – Earmarks Received 2010

2010 WMD Multi-Sensor Response and Infrastructure Project System
(Defense)
$1,600,000 Rep. Mary Fallin (-OK) Tulsa, Oklahoma

Industry of Fear

On  Sept. 19,  2011, ESPN Magazine expressed concern about the proliferation of counter terrorism and homeland security projects, including OverSite aimed at sporting events.  ESPN descibes

Industry of fear

. . .As the bullets sped toward their target, a monitor in an RV lit up. The screen flashed a triangular wedge of purple within an image of the stadium’s architectural plan. Todd Lamb, the lieutenant governor of Oklahoma, was (inside the RV, surveying this mobile command post.

. . . Lamb watched as a second purple sliver flashed, and the point where the two slices intersected began to glow. Security cameras swerved their view to the precise spot where the sniper had launched his shot, identifying the section, row and nearest seat to rushing guards. The whole thing took a little more than 15 seconds.

It was just a drill. The sniper was an FBI agent. The crowd noise screamed through loudspeakers. The bullets were pinpointed, quickly and accurately, by an OSU-developed system called OverSite along with software and sensors made by Raytheon, a defense technology and security company. Oklahoma State scientists incubated OverSite at the University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), an unconventional-warfare outfit the school launched in 2006.  After years of research and millions in taxpayer and private money, OSU tested the project in April, demonstrating its impressive results to Lamb, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and other policymakers. (Emphasis mine)

. . . At today’s games, endless lines await you. Guards search you and, if it’s your unlucky day, grope you. Cameras spy on you. Traffic barriers, pat-downs and metal detectors all carry the same message: You are safer because your surroundings are bear-trapped.

. . . For the companies developing terror-fighting tools, the money and sex appeal are in sci-fi-level detection.

.  . .Since 9/11, these kinds of devices have filled airports, convention halls and corporate headquarters, and now their manufacturers hungrily eye sports arenas. “We see it as an emerging business,” says Mark Desmarais, the program director for Clear View at Raytheon. Security companies know just how to capture that market: scare the hell out of anyone who runs a stadium.

Read more of Industry of Fear

Oklahomans should be asking their elected officials some questions about this system.

Namely;

Will data will be collected on ordinary event attendees and what is being done with that data?

Oklahoma Tests Surveillance Drones for Homeland Security

Kaye Beach

Oct. 16, 2012

“I don’t know how much [drones] will be used within the U.S.,” says Ruth Doherty, a top official with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate tasked with countering the domestic threat of homemade bombs. Asked about domestic drone use for bomb-spotting by Danger Room, she replies, “A case has to be made that they’re economically feasible, not intrusive and acceptable to the public.”  http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/spy-drones-over-america-dhs-would-rather-not/

That was less than a year ago that DHS made that statement.  Now?  Here they come and in Oklahoma no less!

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin put out a press release on June 28, 2012 about the program and carefully avoided any indication of law enforcement use of the drones choosing instead to focus on life saving, first responder uses.  “The program will research and test Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), focusing on possible applications for first responders, including search and rescue scenarios, response to radiological and chemical incidents and fire response and mapping.” read more

Danger Room‘s Spencer Ackerman reports on Oct. 8, 2012

In the coming months, Fort Sill, Oklahoma will become a proving ground to learn what small surveillance drones can add to “first responder, law enforcement and border security scenarios,” according to a recent solicitation to the country’s various drone manufacturers. Each selected drone will undergo five days’ worth of tests as part of a new program from DHS’ Science and Technology directorate, called Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety or, gloriously, RAPS.

Like many in the military experimenting with drone miniaturization, DHS is thinking small. The drones it wants to bring to Fort Sill will ideally be launched by hand, like the Army and Marines’ Raven. They should weigh under 25 pounds. Assembly should take a matter of minutes, and training for their remote pilots and technician a matter of days. DHS isn’t looking for drones that can loiter over an area for a long time: just 30 minutes to two hours, a hint that the department doesn’t foresee drones becoming a primary surveillance tool. “Law enforcement operations, search and rescue, and fire and hazardous material spill response” are some of the potential drone missions the RAPS program envisions.

Read More

Governor Fallin, Homeland Security, OK National Guard Announce New Drone Program in Oklahoma

Kaye Beach

June 29, 2012

Entered without comment

 

Governor Mary Fallin Joins Department of Homeland Security, Oklahoma National Guard to Announce New Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program in Oklahoma

Thursday, 28 June 2012 19:06

Release from Office of Governor Mary Fallin

Governor Mary Fallin today joined officials from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and the Oklahoma National Guard in announcing that Oklahoma has been chosen as the test site for the DHS Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) Program. The program will research and test Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), focusing on possible applications for first responders, including search and rescue scenarios, response to radiological and chemical incidents and fire response and mapping.

Work is expected to begin this fall at Oklahoma State University’s Multispectral Lab (UML) test site near Lawton, Oklahoma. The program will be operated by UML and takes advantage of the restricted airspace around Fort Sill, a U.S. military base also near Lawton. The Oklahoma National Guard will be a key partner with both DHS S&T and the UML as the RAPS program develops.

RAPS is expected to represent a $1.4 million investment in Oklahoma in the first year of operations with potential for significant growth in future years. The program is expected to last at least three years.

Fallin said the announcement represents an exciting development for Oklahoma, and a major success for the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council assembled by her in 2011 and headed by Secretary of Science and Technology Stephen McKeever.

“Aerospace is one of the most important sectors of Oklahoma’s economy, supporting over 150,000 jobs around the state and accounting for more than $12.5 billion in industrial output each year,” Fallin said. “Within that industry, unmanned aircraft systems represent the fastest growing part of the aerospace sector. For that reason, Oklahoma is committed to becoming the number one place for UAS operations, research, experimentation, design and testing in the country. Today’s announcement represents a big step in that direction.”

“Not only does UAS research attract investment and jobs to the state of Oklahoma, but it allows us to be part of an exciting new technology that will help our first responders as they work to save lives and keep our citizens safe. My thanks go out to all the parties involved in this exciting new project, especially Dr. McKeever and the other members of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council.”

Dr. John Appleby of DHS S&T, a senior program manager at the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency Science and Technology Directorate and the director of RAPS, said that he was impressed with the potential for UAS development in Oklahoma.

“After visiting more than a dozen sites in various southwestern and western states, I have selected Oklahoma as the venue for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety Program, with the intent to begin flying at Fort Sill as soon as possible,” said Appleby. “I continue to be impressed by the quality of UAS ideas and approaches in Oklahoma, the high level of experience and subject matter expertise concerning this technology and the breadth of available resources in the state needed for the program.”

Adjutant General Myles Deering of the National Guard said UAS technologies have the potential to provide invaluable assistance to guard members in first-responder scenarios.

“Whether it’s responding to severe wildfires, floods or other state emergencies, the ability of the National Guard to react quickly to events on the ground is one of the most important factors in preventing loss of life,” said Deering. “The use of unmanned aerial systems can help the Guard to gain quick tactical awareness, locate individuals who may be in immediate danger and respond accordingly. It also allows us to do all this at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft and without putting Guardsmen in danger.”

McKeever said today’s announcement was a precursor to more work in the field of UAS.

“Our hope is that today’s announcement is just the beginning,” McKeever said. “When it comes to UAS technology, the possibilities are nearly endless. We expect UAS to be the wave of the future in the aerospace industry, and Oklahoma will continue to be on the cutting edge of this exciting new technology.”

https://news.okstate.edu/press-releases/1697-governor-mary-fallin-joins-department-of-homeland-security-oklahoma-national-guard-to-announce-new-unmanned-aircraft-systems-program-in-oklahoma