Question about drones- any experts here?


I have an unusual request regarding someone who has admitted to putting up a drone opposite my house to spy on me. Every night I see the lights blinking from the rooftop opposite my house and it never flies anywhere, it just hovers very slowly at the same spot. My plan is to put up my own to film it, either as evidence for the police, or to find out where it goes when it flies ‘home’.

My main questions are: 

- is it possible for a total beginner to follow the drone on its flight path home and if so, how?

- The drone is inaudible but still very visible - it seems to be just above rooftop level. How high does this mean that it’s flying?

- If the drone is solar powered, does the battery last the entire night and if not, how long?

- Is it possible to get a photo of the drone’s serial number or anything else which would make it traceable to its owner? How good would the photographic quality need to be?

My other question is regarding Lidar scanning, which I have heard others talk of but do not know much about. Can you tell me the function of this?

- Finally, is there any model you could recommend that ideally would have good night vision but also be possible for someone with no experience to use?

Overall, any advice that other forum members could give me would be very much appreciated. If it makes any difference, I live in the UK.

Thanks in advance! I think the concept of drones is amazing, it’s just a shame that some people abuse them.

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  • I think more importantly..... what are you doing that is so interesting to others? ;-)

  • use a water hose to rain it down, 100% effective, guaranteed 

  • No offense, but I think you are getting a little paranoid. Either way, document everything you see about this drone.

    1) What time did it land on the roof top?

    2) How long did it stay there for?

    3) What time did it take off?

    4) Purchase a binocular and have a look around, to see if drone's operator is on the roof top as well.

    5) If the drone is being piloted remotely, it may have an on board camera. You could try tuning into the VTx frequency, but it could be a little tricky to determine the frequency without proper hardware...

    6) If you are in doubt, call the police and report it...

    • Francisco K, Good advice. However, whilst the local UK police forces might take this on board, Cloe's local constabulary may not be able give it sufficient priority.

      For example, a drone was found in a garden recently. The police advised the householder to try and trace the drone owner herself. Unlike the USA's FAA, our aviation authority does not require registration (yet) so we do not have a quick and easy means to do so - she appealed on social media. It seems the drone owner had not even put contact details on the UAV - she estimated from online traders that it was worth over £300.

      Let's hope the drone owner has appropriate insurance cover and has not breached the terms and conditions, eg by flying a recreational drone in an urban area near buildings etc.A member of the British Model Flying Club may be covered under their members' insurance and liability scheme.

      Furthermore, whilst a householder like Chloe may not have access to any of the relevant technologies, public or commercial enterprise might prevent or mitigate this kind of intrusion with something like one or more of the following:

      • geofencing - which would warn of the drone's approach and detect the location of the operator 
      • jamming or spoofing so as to bring down or take control of the drone
      • a trained raptor - as in Denmark and The Netherlands (It seems the Metropolitan Police are monitoring the raptor training trials being conducted by their counterparts.)
      • drone-netting - a drone carrying a shooting net so as to hunt and capture the intruding drone.

  • You mentioned the police. Also you may consider checking the law with either a solicitor or the local Citizens Advice Bureau, eg regarding your privacy and say, an injunction. If you feel threatened or believe criminal intent see the  local police, perhaps?

  • You may like to contact

    1. the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rather than the police.
    2. Also, the Information Comissioner may like to have full details regarding any photogrphs / videos being taken and stored in the person's archives - he/she should be registered.
    3. Also, the Surveillance Commissioner may like to have full details regarding what appears to be a surveillance operation - perhaps authorised(?). The person may need to have guidance on his operations.
  • Use a potato cannon to bring it down.  Chloe you can't be for real.

    • Agreed.  Potato cannons are the answer to most problems.

  • post some pics of yourself will see we might be able to help 

  • Wow. Clearly this girl needs help from us "experts".

    She came to get advice and almost every answer is somewhat satirical.

    Just call Superman, or get a b.b. gun.

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