Is it reasonable conceivable that a internet cellular (or even sat) connected, ever uploading video, drone could overfly this base relaying everything it sees to the internet connect public without the government’s intervention?
Yes, just another question that we are not suppose to ever ask.
Although I understand they operate under a continuous satellite tracking protocol these days and never, ever move anything into view when a spy bird is above the horizon. Craft are moved around at night, under hard shrouds, in sections if necessary and never exposed to foreign sat cameras.
I also understand one technique for shielding them during flight tests is to park a refueling tanker over them during satellite passes.
I flew F-16s at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas in the 1980s. So I & my squadron mates flew around Area 51 daily. We all had fancy security clearances and all the rest.
But we had no business dealing with Area 51 or the stuff in it. Period, amen. Getting too close to Area 51 was not a joking matter. It was a life-changing mistake. It was treated with the utmost seriousness, right up there with misplacing a nuke.
So I have to assume ground-level & low-altitude security there is pretty tight. Especially given the intervening 30 years technological progress in surveillance systems.
It would be an interesting test - make damn certain thee is nothing on the bird that sys YOU were the one who bought that toy at Toys-R-Us store 1478 on Oct 22nd 2013. And certainly don’t have remote connection to it.
I’m guessing they first try to track the radio signals it is receiving, then shoot it down.
I don’t want to be holding the controls when the big guys with even larger guns come following a triangulated position.
Now just figure out how to program it to track the GPS (would civilian GPS even be allowed over it, or would the satellites know to transmit only the secured, military signal to an area that size?).
Back to dead reckoning or ADF/DME (old, still-used directional radio signals used by aircraft).
You only get one pass, so get it right. Of course, such equipment would mean a bigger bird, which makes detecting and destroying it that much easier.
Maybe get a swarm of them, pre-positioned during a leisurely drive just outside. A crude compass would be enough to tell it which direction, and height is going to a limit of the bird and its equipment.
Say 50 of them from all directions might make for a nice test.
Of course, being nice people, the cameras wold have their lens caps (OK, the phone is in an opaque case) secured. You know - this is purely a helpful test of their ability to track and destroy small camera-carrying toys.