Drones, gyrocopters pose security problem: US officials

A mini helicopter or gyrocopter that landed on the US Capitol South Lawn area is viewed April 15, 2015, in Washington, DCThe mini-helicopter that flew into the US capital this month has exposed a security problem as military radar are not designed to distinguish slow-moving, small craft from flocks of birds, officials said Wednesday. The gyrocopter that violated Washington’s no-fly zone and landed on the US Capitol lawn on April 15 was not picked up by radar because the systems are set up to ignore slow, small and low-flying objects that can include kites, birds or balloons, officials said. “Identifying low altitude and slow speed aerial vehicles from other objects is a technical and operational challenge,” Admiral William Gortney, head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), told lawmakers. The flight of the small gyrocopter by a protester trying to draw attention to campaign finance reform has raised alarms about security in Washington and defenses against a possible drone assault.

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