February 21, 2013
Suppose You Need To Evade Domestic Drones

The domestic drone unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are coming. Already 64 UAV bases are on US soil. Tens of thousands of drones will be in American airspace in several years.

By 2020, it's expected 30,000 drones will be operating over the US.

Smile, you're on candid drone camera.

The huge growth in commercial applications for drones, notably including the film industry with prices under $1000 has lowered the threshold for companies and private individuals. The drones have become more autonomous and software for extracting useful information from their data feeds continues to become more powerful as well. Farmers, search and rescue teams, pipeline inspectors, rail line inspectors, and countless others who need to search and inspect over wide areas find small cheap autonomous vehicles increasingly cost effective. The rise of personal drones as well as drone with many commercial applications means that government uses will fall to third place.

So what to do if Skynet gains artificial intelligence and takes over the drones? Follow Al Qaeda's 22 tips for evading drone attacks. Go underground (literally), hide under trees (better plant them now), and be ready to coat your car in mud. What's the best material to glue the mud to your car? The holy warriors in Mali use sugar as a bonding agent. What would be better?

You might think it premature to worry about an AI Skynet yet. Fair enough. But suppose TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) suddenly materializes due to an electro-magnetic pulse or VEI 8 volcanic eruption. In a post-apocalyptic landscape with widespread food scarcity military units (or desperate private predatory groups) can be expected to use UAVs to look for food. You could face a real need to hide yourself and your stuff from them. It is important to know how to cover your car (coating it in mud helps) to prevent it from showing an infrared signature.

You'll need to find ways to spread out the exhaust from a fireplace so it does not show up on a UAV IR scanner. Have the exhaust bubble up thru water? Dig a tunnel for an exhaust pipe to pass thru so the earth will cool the exhaust? Think out these techniques in advance before Skynet or rogue military units come looking for you.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 February 21 10:22 PM 

SOBL1 said at February 22, 2013 5:18 AM:

LED infused hoodies are already on the market and those can remove your infrared signature. I assume the tech will only get better as the market for anti-detection measures grows. The government can always shut them down though.

Engineer-Poet said at February 22, 2013 12:59 PM:

Back in the days of the MX basing decisions, one of the options was a "racetrack" scheme where the missiles would have been moved on underground railways to random positions.  The idea was to make them harder to target.  Sadly for the railway-makers, the heat from the missile and its supporting equipment were sufficient to make them easily detectable from space using thermal IR emissions.

Moral of the story:  if your house is heated, period, you're not going to be able to hide it from thermal scanners.

destructure said at February 23, 2013 12:15 AM:

I saw those drone tips. I'd like to add a tip for avoiding IR detection. Earth is a great insulator. A couple of feet below the frost line usually stays in the 50s to 60s year round. If someone lived underground (basement, berm house, sod house, etc) they wouldn't need to heat it.

Personally, I think drones are going to a bigger headache for the authorities than regular people. The tech is so inexpensive you can buy an arduino and make your own UAV for less than $200..

But if you really want to avoid detection, your best bet is to keep anything compromising off the networks and databases ie cellphone, internet, credit cards, etc.


Randall Parker said at February 23, 2013 10:18 AM:


How can LED infused hoodies remove your IR signature?


I've been wondering how to hide from remnants of the US government after civilization collapses. If the remnants have IR detectors in UAVs how not to have an IR signature? I'm thinking you need:

- An underground shelter.
- An underground water source.
- Air leaving your shelter has to go thru a heat exchanger with water and then outside air to put the air at outside temperature by the time it reaches a vent.

But how to power it? Solar panels are easy to detect. One thought: Choose a location near a creek in a ravine with good tree coverage. Then build a small hydro generator and run the cables back from it to your underground shelter. But will the trees cover enough during winter?

Hiding from IR sensors after TEOTWAWKI seems like a hard problem.

Engineer-Poet said at February 23, 2013 11:13 AM:

After TEOTWAWKI, I doubt the government is going to have the resources to hunt people with drones.

Kudzu Bob said at February 23, 2013 8:49 PM:

I'll just stick with good old aluminum foil, thank you. It works against drones as well as the Illuminati's telepathic mind-control rays, and is even useful for wrapping food.

Engineer-Poet said at February 25, 2013 6:22 AM:

You didn't notice that the IR LED scheme was unsuccessful?

The "stealth hoodie" only impairs facial recognition; you're still going to be a big thermal IR emitter, and if a drone fires anything as big as a grenade at you it's not going to matter if it's aimed at your head or your legs.

Randall Parker said at February 25, 2013 7:34 PM:


Thanks for piping up. I can't see how LEDs can prevent your IR emissions. We'll have to live underground in forests if we want to evade detection.

SOBL1 said at February 25, 2013 8:42 PM:

My bad for not know details on LED.

If we're to be banished to forests or underground, at what point to we accept the inner death of conversion? Is it worse that we would be aware or is it worse that the SWPLs and blind ideologues are not aware of their faulty logic? Any people here who lived in former communist states that could help us out?

Randall Parker said at February 26, 2013 8:55 PM:


I'm more seriously interested in collapse scenarios of TEOTWAWKI/WTSHTF variety. In some collapse scenarios remnants of government would become predators. For example, after a high VEI-7 or VEI-8 volcanic eruption or after a massive asteroid strike anyone who has enough resources to survive would become prey to those who have some tech (e.g. drones with IR sensors) who are looking for vibrant humans as signs of food storage.

The inner death of conversion? You mean when you just become a SWPL and act totally like one?


In severe collapse scenarios it might not be the government as a whole doing the hunting. Drones are incredibly cheap and one can expect 10 years from now local National Guard units will have them. Well, what will they do when cut off from central supply sources in a TEOTWAWKI scenario?

SOBL1 said at February 27, 2013 5:35 AM:

SWPL conversion is the inner death I wish to avoid.

A supervolcano or asteroid strike is a lower probability event than economic system disruption (rendering the current medium of exchange worthless) or descent into a techno-tyranny. Isn't the closest call for asteroids the one in 2037? wenty five years is a long time for our human leadership to screw things up enough. I order my risks and supervolcanoes and asteroids are lower. Reading up on supervolcanoes, I doubt I'd survive at all.

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