Tethered Drone to Provide Protection for President Trump
A tethered drone will be tested as a potential new surveillance solution to protect the president while he is on vacation.
WASHINGTON D.C. — In a document released by the Secret Service today, the agency said it will be testing a small tethered drone as a new method of protection for President Trump.
The drone will be deployed while Trump visits his golf club in New Jersey this month where he is expected to stay for an extended period of time.
It is equipped with electro-optical and infrared cameras to look for potential threats and is on a microfilament tether that provides power to the craft.
The drone will fly autonomously at an altitude of 300 to 400 feet and focus on the outer perimeter of the protection zone around the golf club. Any images or video recorded will be overwritten within 30 days or become part of a law enforcement investigation, according to Reuters.
The agency said the drone may be within range of private residences, which could lead to unintentional privacy violations. However, it will notify people at the club that the premises are being monitored by a drone.
The Secret Service currently relies on local, state and federal government agencies to provide manned aircraft for aerial surveillance, however those are typically more loud and costly than a drone.
Tethered drones were recently used for security at this year’s Boston Marathon.
The Secret Service said it is working to incorporate several types of drones and tethered systems into its overhead security-monitoring efforts.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration wanted congressional approval to give the federal government sweeping powers to monitor any unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying over the United States and destroy it if deemed a threat.
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