A new line of defense is needed as off-the-shelf home-use drones are being adapted for use as lethal explosive droppng devices by both domestic malcontents and foreign terrorist organizations.
US nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute has developed and tested the unique anti-drone beam-gun called the “Drone Defender.” The drone jamming system is a portable ray-gun designed to beam radio linkage between a UAV and the operator with consequent safe landing of the intercepted drone.
As engadget reported:
It’s well-known that ISIS uses weaponized drones, but new images out of Mosul confirm that the group is now using quadcopters as bombers. Kurdish media network Rudaw reported last week that the explosive-dropping drones have killed civilians and damaged equipment. So far, ISIS has not used these drones to deliver chemical weapons, Rudaw said.
Iraqi forces have anti-drone weapons, including gun-like jammers that can drop many commercial models to the ground. They’ve taken down at least a dozen armed drones so far, Rudaw reports. The ISF also uses off-the-shelf drones in its military operations, mainly for scouting and helping to call artillery strikes.
On the other side of the world, Swiss authorities added another security measure at last month’s World Economic Forum: anti-drone guns.
According to Bloomberg:
Swiss police were prepared to use Counter UAV Jammers to make sure no unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) got too close to the venue, whether it’s sent by a spy organization or just a nosy onlooker. Jammers were also used by the German police in Berlin when President Obama visited the country. The publication says authorities decided to bring in an anti-drone technology, because people with malicious intent could use UAVs to monitor security positions or even to launch attacks.
WEF spokesman Georg Schmitt explained:
“While drones have great potential, they have — just as every new technology or aspect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — also a potential downside. The forum takes the safety and security of its participants seriously. It is therefore normal that we take any potential issue into account and prepare for it.”
A sophisticated jammer can block drones up to 1,000 feet away from sending data, including video feeds, back to their operators. They can also disable operators’ remote access to their UAVs, as well as trap the machines within an invisible fence. Once the drones are trapped, authorities can either capture them with a net or shoot them down with the help of snipers.
A consulting firm told Bloomberg that it’s much too early to estimate the size of the anti-drone market, but jamming devices are clearly becoming more popular as drones become more common. Both the military and private companies are developing their own guns and jammers. The Dutch National Police, however, resorted to training eagles to take down drones during emergencies.
VIDEO: Counter UAV Beam Rifle “Drone Defender” In Action
sources: youtube, bloomberg, twitter, rudaw, engadget, wikipedia