February 18, 2013
*The Obama administration has pledged to relax Federal Aviation Administration restrictions by 2015 to make it easier for the 18,000 U.S. law-enforcement agencies to deploy drones for surveillance and other uses. According to a report in today’s New York Times, the Department of Homeland Security has also offered grants to help police departments purchase drones, which are “becoming a darling of law-enforcement authorities across the country.”
*The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding research on “micro-drones” that resemble moths, hummingbirds and other small flying creatures and hence can “hide in plain sight,” as one Air Force researcher told me. The Air Force is now testing micro-drones at facilities such as the “micro-aviary” at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.