From the Drone Rodeo that stormed the nearby Las Vegas desert, to Qualcomm’s new drone development platform to breakthroughs in longer UAV battery life, drone technology proved to be the talk of the Consumer Electronics Show (Note: Check out DRONELIFE’s expansive CES 2016 coverage)
However, the anti-drone tech sector also made a splash in Vegas after aerospace giant Airbus unveiled a new UAV defense countermeasure at CES. Touted in a company press release as a “counter-UAV system designed to detect and marginalize invasive drones,” the system employs sensor data from different sources with the “latest data fusion, signal analysis and jamming technologies” to spot drones from as far away as six miles and provide a threat assessment. The technology would likely be used to equip both military and commercial aircraft.
Drones deemed to be a threat to aircraft can be jammed, severing the radio link between user and drone (leading to the obvious fall of the drone). Airbus says the technology can also triangulate the location of the drone pilot in non-military cases, “allowing law enforcement to follow up on the ground.”
“All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to critical installations such as factories, airports or nuclear plants,” Airbus head of Electronics and Border Security Thomas Müller said. “As a specialist in defense electronics, we have all the technologies in our portfolio and the integration knowledge which are needed to set up a quick-response protection system with extremely low false alarm rates.”
“Since the jamming technology contains versatile receiving and transmitting capabilities, more sophisticated measures like remote control classification and GPS spoofing can be utilized as well. This allows effective and specific jamming and, therefore, a takeover of the UAV,” the company said.
Anti-drone technology is growing almost as quickly as the drones such tech seeks to stop. As noted in a previous DRONELIFE report:
“There has been a significant rise in security concerns over reckless use of drones. At the beginning of this month, there were multiple sightings of drones around John F. Kennedy International Airport, which led towards the issuance of a terror warning from the Department of Homeland Security. Such reckless usage of drone technology can disrupt the activities done by law enforcement agencies to ensure security.”
In October, Liteye Systems unveiled the Anti-AUV Defense System (AUDS) at the commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas. The system has been described as “an anti-drone death ray, a drone zapper and a drone freezing ray, and it looks and sounds like something out of an early Flash Gordon episode.”
That same month, Batelle Innovations, the world’s largest non-profit research and development firm, announced the development of an anti-drone rifle. “DroneDefender is a rifle that shoots radio pulses at a drone, disabling it at a distance of 400 meters. The radio pulses disrupt the communication systems of the drone, confusing both the GPS capabilities and the remote operation systems.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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