French police to test surveillance drone

19th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 September2007, SAINT DENIS (AFP) - France's interior ministry said Tuesday it was to test an ultra-light surveillance drone that could one day be used to monitor riots and criminals gangs in the troubled suburbs of Paris.

19 September2007

SAINT DENIS (AFP) - France's interior ministry said Tuesday it was to test an ultra-light surveillance drone that could one day be used to monitor riots and criminals gangs in the troubled suburbs of Paris.

Weighing 600 grammes, including a camera, the prototype drone -- named ELSA, the French acronym for light aerial surveillance craft -- measures one metre (three feet) across and has a flight autonomy of 30 minutes.

Thierry Delville, head of the ministry's security technology department, told a conference on drone and robot security technologies the prototype would be delivered in December.

In theory he said it could one day be used to monitor demonstrations, assist police during urban riots and gather intelligence, although such uses are legally impossible at present.

For security reasons, current international aviation rules do not allow unmanned drones to operate in civilian airspace unless they can "see and avoid" other aircraft -- which is not yet the case.

Last year, French police worked around the rule, using an aeroplane equipped with cameras to overfly a troubled Paris suburb to monitor for disturbances during the country's national holiday on July 14.

AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article