Secret Service to Test Small Drone at Donald Trump’s Golf Club

Secret Service to test small drone at Donald Trump's golf club

The U.S. Secret Service would soon deploy a small drone during U.S. president, Donald Trump’s visit to his golf club, as a new means of providing protection, according to Reuters on August 2, 2017.

The agency said that they would use a small unarmed aircraft system during Trump’s next visit to the Trump National Golf Club, which is one of his favorite weekend spots and is expected to extend his stay this time. The agency restrained from giving away any specifics regarding the drone, however mentioned that this test would determine the potential use of such vehicles for protecting the president.

They are working on incorporating different types of drones and tethered systems into their security operations. The drone is said to have electro-optical and infrared cameras, equipped to detect potential threats and is powered by a microfilament tether. The drone may fly within the range of private residences leading to unintentional privacy violations. It would notify the club visitors that the premises are being supervised by a drone.

The Secret Service currently uses manned aircraft for aerial surveillance. These, however, are very noisy, limited in scope, and provide inconsistent coverage.

The drone is expected to fly autonomously at 300 to 400 feet above ground surface and protect the outer perimeter of the gold club. Any videos or images recorded would be part of an investigation or overwritten within 30 days.

In 2017, drones were also used as a security measure during the Boston Marathon and other events. The government estimates that the commercial drone fleet would increase ten folds by 2021.

The Trump administration is considering the allowance for expanding drone use for delivery purposes where aircraft would then fly past the operator’s sight.

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