Drones after EMP?

TomStedham

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Hi, new member; fiction writer. So the book premise is that multiple nukes have detonated over America. EMP blasts, and the grid is down, etc... Full "SHTF", that sort of thing. If my drones and controllers were protected (Faraday cage) and still functioned, could I fly and use them? Meaning: could I still see video, without cell reception? Or is the video stuff dependent on cell towers? I want to have my group using some drones for security, but I don't want to write the whole book, and then get fact-checked by actual drone users, laughing at how unrealistic my tale is.
To be clear: I've never flown a drone, so I have zero knowledge. Let's say the GPS satellites are still functioning, but not the cell towers. Could anyone walk me thru what limitations I would be facing? Maybe certain features don't work properly; maybe the "return home" function doesn't work? Or maybe I can't get a video signal from the full distance of several miles...? Or maybe, everything works like normal.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Again: I don't want to write a great story, and then get laughed out for my lack of drone knowledge. I'm trying to make this as "real" as possible. I read a book where a nurse killed a man by injecting him with an air bubble..... in his shoulder, not into a vein. That's not how it works. lol... So you could tell that the writer had no medical experience at all.
I'd like to avoid a similar gaffe in my book. Please help...... 😇
Tom
 
Hi, new member; fiction writer. So the book premise is that multiple nukes have detonated over America. EMP blasts, and the grid is down, etc... Full "SHTF", that sort of thing. If my drones and controllers were protected (Faraday cage) and still functioned, could I fly and use them? Meaning: could I still see video, without cell reception? Or is the video stuff dependent on cell towers? I want to have my group using some drones for security, but I don't want to write the whole book, and then get fact-checked by actual drone users, laughing at how unrealistic my tale is.
To be clear: I've never flown a drone, so I have zero knowledge. Let's say the GPS satellites are still functioning, but not the cell towers. Could anyone walk me thru what limitations I would be facing? Maybe certain features don't work properly; maybe the "return home" function doesn't work? Or maybe I can't get a video signal from the full distance of several miles...? Or maybe, everything works like normal.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Again: I don't want to write a great story, and then get laughed out for my lack of drone knowledge. I'm trying to make this as "real" as possible. I read a book where a nurse killed a man by injecting him with an air bubble..... in his shoulder, not into a vein. That's not how it works. lol... So you could tell that the writer had no medical experience at all.
I'd like to avoid a similar gaffe in my book. Please help...... 😇
Tom
I'd say it depends on how the company has implemented the drone hardware/software.

I can't speak for other brands, but I have an older Parrot Bebop 2 drone. That drone will use wifi to talk directly to the controller/phone. So as long as he controller/phone has working wifi and can connect to the drone, the drone will fly, be controllable and stream video regardless of if there is cell service or not.

It can also do almost 4 kms on 2.4 ghz signal, but I've never flow it that far nor have I tried to stream video from it much further than a couple hundred feet. Most drones have an SD card that records the video so it can be viewed after the flight even if it can't be streamed real time. The Bebop 2 has internal memory, no SD card.
 
I'd say it depends on how the company has implemented the drone hardware/software.

I can't speak for other brands, but I have an older Parrot Bebop 2 drone. That drone will use wifi to talk directly to the controller/phone. So as long as he controller/phone has working wifi and can connect to the drone, the drone will fly, be controllable and stream video regardless of if there is cell service or not.

It can also do almost 4 kms on 2.4 ghz signal, but I've never flow it that far nor have I tried to stream video from it much further than a couple hundred feet. Most drones have an SD card that records the video so it can be viewed after the flight even if it can't be streamed real time. The Bebop 2 has internal memory, no SD card.
Thank you very much!!!
 
Most drones do not use cellphone networks to transmit video, control signals or telemetry. There are a few manufacturers who offer 4g modules for video, control and telemetry but most drones use their own transmitters and receivers. As far as GPS is concerned, if enough satellites are transmitting, the drone should be able to navigate. Drones also can operate with optical flow positioning. This used multiple cameras and machine learning to compares the images to judge distance size or position of stationary objects. This is much like how the human brain compares the slightly different images each eye sees so that people have depth perception. So as long as you have the ability to charge the batteries, drones should work. In regards to EMP damage; an EMP blast is a very brief event and the damage caused by one is directly proportionate to the distance a device is from it's target(s). I've included a link that describes a "Flux compression generator" which is an explosively activated EMP weapon that is intended to be carried inside an interceptor drone to disable a drone swarm. There are also vehicle based high energy microwave weapons that are essentially EMP weapons. Of course there's the nuclear detonation type of EMP which is exponentially more powerful than any other means of generating an EMP pulse. Drones are very susceptible to EMP damage. As long as a drone survives whatever EMP scenario you have in mind, it should still function. Hope this information is helpful for you.

 

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