Stephen E. Arnold: Drone Identification Guide – Symbol of Today’s World

Cultural Intelligence
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Identify Drones from Below with this Handy Guide

A guide brought to our attention by Popular Science highlights the dilemma of living in areas where drones of unknown origin may fly above you, your loved ones, or your home at any time. Reporter Kelsey D. Atherton shares “A Guide to Spotting and Hiding from Drones” created by Dutch graphic designer Ruben Pater. Available in Pashto, Dutch, German, Italian, Indonesian, Arabic, and English, the one-sheet guide presents to-scale silhouettes of drones and suggestions for hiding from them.

The article tells us:

“The selection of drones included in the guide leads heavily towards those from NATO member countries, with the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States all represented, as well as NATO itself, for the other member countries that use these drones. Partly because those are the countries that have used drones, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the most, but partly because they are just the countries where it is easier to get information about the scale and wingspan of their flying robots.

Also represented are drones from China, Morocco, India, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. In fact, Pater told Popular Science that part of his inspiration came from people in the Gaza Strip, who filmed Israeli drones overhead, and the challenge of making out what kind of machine it is from the silhouette alone. The silhouettes also resemble Airplane Spotter Cards, made during World War II so that servicemen could differentiate between aircraft, both friendly and allied.”

From the 23-inch-wide Parrot AR quadcopter to the Global Hawk with its 130-foot wingspan, each drone is presented as a black silhouette as seen from below. They are categorized by function—those that only perform surveillance and those that can also kill you. Atherton notes that, as a survival guide, the page is a bit limited. However, as an educational tool, it has a lot of potential. As a symbol of today’s world, I’d say it is spot on.

Cynthia Murrell, January 23, 2014

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