China Using Bird Drones To Spy On Border Muslims

Over 30 Chinese military and government agencies have been using robotic bird drones to spy on the population - particularly in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region which borders several countries and has a large Muslim population, reports the South China Morning Post

One part of the country that has seen the new technology used extensively is the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in China’s far west. The vast area, which borders Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, is home to a large Muslim population and has long been viewed by Beijing as a hotbed for separatism. As a result, the region and its people have been subjected to heavy surveillance from the central government. -SCMP

Unlike traditional unmanned aerial vehicles with rotor blades or fixed wings, the bird drones actually mimic the flapping action of a bird's wings in order to climb, dive and steer

The machines in China’s current robot flock replicate about 90 per cent of the movements of a real dove, the person said, adding that they also produce very little noise, making them very hard to detect from the ground, and are so lifelike that actual birds often fly alongside them. -SCMP

Each "bird" is fitted with a HD camera, GPS antenna, flight control system and data link with the capability to communicate with satellites. The flapping mechanism consists of a pair of crank rockers connected to an electric motor, while the wings are able to slightly deform when moving up and down - providing both lift and thrust.

The "spy bird" program, code-named project "Dove" is led by Northwestern Polytechnic University professor Song Bifeng - a former scientist on China's J-20 stealth jet program decorated for his service to the People's Liberation Army, according to information on the university's website

Yang Wenqing, associate professor at the School of Aeronautics at Northwestern who is on Song's team confirmed the use of the birds, and said that it is not yet widespread. 

“The scale is still small,” compared to various other drones in use today, Wenqing told the South China Morning Post, adding "We believe the technology has good potential for large-scale use in the future … it has some unique advantages to meet the demand for drones in the military and civilian sectors."

Another researcher involved in the Dove project said the aim was to develop a new generation of drones with biologically inspired engineering that could evade human detection and even radar. -SCMP

Song's team conducted nearly 2,000 test flights before deploying them in real-life situation, according to a researcher who asked not to be named. 

One experiment in northern China’s Inner Mongolia involved flying the birds over a flock of sheep – animals that are well known for their keen sense of hearing and ability to be easily spooked. The flock paid no attention whatsoever to the drone flying above, the person said.

Although the technology is still in its early stages of development, its wide range of possible uses – not only for the police and military, but also in the fields of emergency response and disaster relief, environmental protection and urban planning – means the market for the drones could be worth 10 billion yuan (US$1.54 billion) in China alone, the researcher said. -SCMP

How to detect?

Scientists are now scrambling to figure out how to identify small, low-altitude targets flying at low speed. One method may be holographic radar technology, which can produce 3D images of flying objects. 

However, “there is no guarantee” that even a holographic radar – or any of the other new technologies in development – would be able to detect a drone with a wing-flapping pattern that was almost identical to those found in nature, and “especially if it was surrounded by other birds”, Li said.

“It would be a serious threat” to air defence systems, he said. -SCMP

Not the first, not the last

The "Dove" isn't the first bird drone China has produced. In 2012, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics released "Tian Ying," an eagle-sized bird drone. China's Harbin Institute of Technology - the country's top university for defense research - is reportedly also developing a bird drone with a large wingspan that can operate in the thin air found at higher altitudes. 

In 2013, the US Army purchased 30 bird drones from Florida-based Prioria Robotics that were designed to look like hawks - though they are powered by turbofans with nonmoving wings.

And in 2011, Germany's Festo Corporation produced a robotic herring gull dubbed the "SmartBird," which has the ability to take-off, fly and land without assistance. 

According to a recent government document seen by the Post, China’s military has tested the Dove system and is impressed with it.

An evaluation of the system by an unspecified military research centre concluded that the drone, with its ability to stay in the air for more than 20 minutes and travel 5km, had “practical value”.

Gan Xiaohua, chief engineer at the PLA Air Force Equipment Research Institute in Beijing, said Dove’s unique design meant it could convert electrical power into mechanical force with “high efficiency”.

It is “the world’s only bionic micro drone capable of carrying out a mission all by itself”, he was quoted as saying in the government document.

Although the Post was unable to reach project leader Song for comment, in an April interview with the Chinese academic journal Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology, he confirmed that Dove and other devices had been deployed in Xinjiang and other provinces. -SCMP

“The products … have stimulated change and development in sectors including environmental protection, land planning … and border patrol,” he was quoted as saying.


Nuclear Winter Wed, 06/27/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

Yes. China's march for territory. Xinjiang in the NW. Now they have concentration camps and the world says nothing. The 24 hour surveillance is absolutely insane. It would freak out George Orwell. 

Next on China's much to enslave nations with debt (Federal Reserve model) will be:

  • Hong Kong
  • Philippines (3 million Chinese have already immigrated there)
  • Taiwan
  • Cambodia...



ChaoKrungThep Nuclear Winter Thu, 06/28/2018 - 04:09 Permalink

 Hong Kong & Taiwan were always Chinese. Philippines always had a Chinese population, even under Spanish & American rule. Cambodia has been a Thai province, Vietnamese protectorate and now a Viet/Thai vassal. No problem except the Yankees want them. The US is surveilled 24/7, phone tapped, jailed without charge or counsel, and blacks are routinely murdered by police. China's looking better than the shit hole run by Trump. 

In reply to by Nuclear Winter

Dragon HAwk Wed, 06/27/2018 - 21:36 Permalink

Damn, Dove hunting season all year round,  if you can't eat it, it wasn't real.

38 special, snake shot, for  your back pocket, when you don't have your shot gun with you

DaBard51 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

"Of course, only for your protection and benefit"

says the Peoples Republic... Worker's Paradise...


When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

booboo Wed, 06/27/2018 - 21:57 Permalink

I’m having trouble with believing the authenticity of this, nothing in that video proves shit, a guy throws a model and it goes out of view and flocks of birds with a circle around one at 200 yards

the energy required to produce mechanical movements of flapping wings. Next they will say it is powered by dilithium Chrystal’s 

how do you say bullshit in Chinese 

teslaberry Wed, 06/27/2018 - 23:08 Permalink

Bird-like-drones BLD's are now, but just you wait 50 years when our synthetic-biology gets perfected. 


then we will have Drone-Like-Bird's. Everytime you look up at the sky full of crows you'll wonder if they are spy-crows spying on you. or are they double-agent spy-crows spying For you? 


who will win the BLD's? or the DLBs? the answer is most certainly sharknado.p.s. also, if you hit that link and watch the video, the music is the best spy music i've heard , ever. completely hilariously happy.

brooklinite8 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

So a Chinese decorated military officer comes to the US and what is he doing there? Research drones? This is the shit US isu upto. Why can't the us say sorry we can't have you here doing this stuff. China is taking a page out of NSA's play book. One page at a time ...what could go

When China and America are at war we will have CNSA and NSA fighting each other with bird drones where? Just a thought...I love those fantasies.

Ghost who Walks Wed, 06/27/2018 - 23:52 Permalink

Apart from bird drones there are also spherical drones getting around at heights above the ground that make them hard to spot. I've seen a couple over the years and I am trying to work out what keeps them up in the air, as I can't see or hear any propulsion devices.

roddy6667 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 23:58 Permalink

China does not give the Muslims a very long leash. Like all Western religions, Islam is considered a superstitious fantasy that needs to be monitored and closely controlled.  China protects its culture. America invites in millions of people with opposing beliefs who have no intention of assimilating. 

You can believe in any religion in China, but you have to register. You absolutely cannot proselytize (recruit, convert, spread the word).

There is no right to be Bat Shit Crazy. America was founded by religious extremists, so they will always be welcome there.