In a world where drones rule the airspace–I assume this will be five to seven years from now–the number of drones showing up where they aren’t supposed to and becoming a security risk (or just really annoying people) will increase exponentially. As a result, the question of how to deal with drones and UAVs in dangerous (or annoying) locations have become a hot topic.
However, Gizmodo and the Navy Times recently reported on a system designed to help deal with pesky UAVs. The DroneDefender, which was created by the applied science and tech development non-profit Battelle Memorial Institute, utilizes a non-kinetic solution to disrupt the GPS and remote control aspects of any UAVs within 1200 feet. The company is marketing the directed-energy unmanned aircraft system countermeasure as a solution to dealing with pesky quadcopters or hexacopters without actually shooting the drone down, which is fairly dangerous and limited.
The 15-pound gun can operate up to five hours, and according to the company “neutralizing [UAVs] so no remote action, including detonation, can occur, minimizing drone damage and risk to public safety.” It’s a point-and-shoot system that jams the drone’s systems via GPS and common ISM bands and renders it essentially useless. It offers a cold start time of less than .01 seconds and an effective diameter of a 30° cone, which means it is actually useful in an emergency
Before you get too excited, as per the Federal Communications Commission, since the DroneDefender has not been authorized it can only be sold to the U.S. government and other government agencies and can only be used by employees of the Federal government and its agencies. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense have apparently purchased 100. Given what the DroneDefender is capable of, it will probably not make it to the consumer market for a while (if ever.)
Officially, ECN neither encourages nor endorses destroying the your neighbor’s drone when these bad boys hit the market. But remember, shooting down your neighbor’s drone never ends well.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense