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Why is counterdrone technology needed?

Last updated on

June 15, 2018


    Modern technology has allowed a range of innovations and advances to transform the way in which we live our lives, and counterdrone technology is the latest onto the market. We have powerful computers on our person at all times. They are able to easily access all of the information the internet has to offer. Driverless cars are becoming an ordinary part of society, as well as the vast amount of payments occuring through contactless tapping.

    Amongst these innovations is the increase in drone technology. These devices allow us to extend the range of all that we see and hear. They act as extended eyes in which to view the world. We can access remote regions, stream information across the globe, as well as exploring and discovering things which were previously unknown.

    As with any technological advance, however, there are risks and disadvantages. Issues over privacy and data protection, stories of drones crashing into buildings, landmarks and people and the risk of drones colliding with aircraft are all very real incidents. Solutions have been proposed, and ideas have been trialled.

    One such example is counterdrone technology. This anti-drone technology has been developed as a backlash to the prevalent drone culture. It’s being used by businesses, organisations and individuals alike to try and tackle some of the issues negative drones use poses.

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    Options for counterdrone technology

    As technology has advanced, anti-drone technology has been forced to become increasingly sophisticated. This is in order to counter the advances being made every day. In addition, the need for it is also something which is constantly increasing. More and more incidents with drones are being reported every day, and this is driving the counter drone movement.

    It is undeniable that this technology needs to develop and evolve in a changing market. With drones becoming increasingly more complex, the risks they carry with them also increase. Risks of espionage, data leaking, smuggling and privacy invasion can only be on the rise.

    There are a number of options available to any business looking to invest in counter drone technology. Some are physical such as using trained eagles or nets to bring down drones. In addition to these very practical and physical methods are slightly more subtle options, which are proving to be very promising and successful; namely, GPS interference, radio interference and software exploitation.

    A number of systems have already been developed. In the future, this could prove a very promising and safe way for law enforcement or government and aerospace agencies to take control of drones from a safe distance and bring them down in a controlled manner.

    The Systems Available

    Drone detection systems, such as DJI’s AeroScope, are also a popular choice. This technology gives businesses and companies the opportunity to be warned and alerted when an unfamiliar drone, or one which is unwelcome, is entering the vicinity. This provides preparation time and can be extremely useful when it is feared that potentially sensitive data or locations may be compromised in some way.

    Whilst it is not designed to bring down the drone, it nevertheless offers preparation and warning time. Similarly, drone mitigation systems are also an option which many choose to employ. This offers the opportunity to scramble and redirect drones away from their intended location and back towards the source. Again, this acts as a very useful avoidance technique without doing damage to the drone itself.

    Where is drone detection useful?

    One example of a place where counterdrone technology is useful is festivals and stadiums. Operating a drone within 150m of open-air gatherings of over 1000 people is illegal in the UK, therefore they have the potential to cause great damage and be a serious nuisance.

    From violating broadcasting rights to transporting illegal substances to the risk of serious injury or damage being caused to bystanders, therefore the ability to access counter drone technology is a real boost for industries involved in staging open-air events. In addition, institutions such as prisons and other high-security facilities can massively benefit from this technology. It can be invaluable in maintaining security and preventing contraband from entering the prison grounds or building.

    Whilst there are a number of issues with drones and drone technology, let us not forget that, when used correctly, they can offer fantastic opportunities for research, observation and tracking. Like any technological advance, the negativity comes from the abuse and misuse of the tool. By using the resources available, it is possible to subvert the bad elements and celebrate the many ways in which drones can enhance our lives on a daily basis.

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