The Secret Service has just announced that it'll conduct a series of drone tests in typically flight restricted areas in DC. Why? Well, the announcement was pretty vague, but it did come a month after an intelligence officer drunk-crashed a DJI Phantom drone on White House grounds in the middle of the night. If you recall, DJI even issued an update that prevented its products from flying near the White House after that scandal. It was, however, forced to roll that update back after it started causing some unanticipated flight behaviors.
Maybe secret service is finally testing technology that can detect if drones carrying explosives or anything harmful to the president are nearby -- the crash certainly highlighted security risks posed by unchecked hobby UAVs flying over the head of state's residence. Of course, the exercises could have another purpose altogether, but we can't say for sure. The law enforcement agency refused to answer when The Washington Post asked about the exact nature of the tests and about the drone models it's going to use. Everything we know came from the succinct announcement below, but we'll keep you updated if we find out more info.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The United States Secret Service, in conjunction with other inter-agency partners, will conduct a series of exercises involving unmanned aircraft systems, in the coming days and weeks.
Because these exercises will be conducted within the normally flight restricted areas in the Washington D.C. area, they have been carefully planned and will be tightly controlled. In preparation for these exercises the Secret Service has coordinated with all appropriate federal, state and local agencies.