Anti-drone forces have arrayed a massive arsenal to keep the skies UAV free. From specialized rifles to robotic net-drones to “drone death rays,” the nascent anti-drone industry seems to be willing to try any new technology to police the skies. But one company is turning to a solution as old as nature – raptors.
A Dutch company, Guard From Above, is partnering with the nation’s federal police force to deploy eagles and other raptors to identify and take down drones. The company claims it is the first such organization to release birds against UAVs.
“For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones,” Guard From Above CEO Sjoerd Hoogendoor said in a press release. “Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems,” he added. “This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat.”
In a process similar to the ancient practice of falconry, a raptor was trained by police and Guard From Above to identify and locate a DJI drone, snatching from the sky and taking its prey back to its trainer.
While the possibility of injury to the birds from a drone’s rotors is a concern, Hoogendoor says the police asked the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientiﬁc Research (TNO) to “research the possible impact on the birds’ claws.”
“The results are not yet known. We are working closely with the Dutch National Police on the development of our services,” he added. “In nature, birds of prey often overpower large and dangerous prey. Their talons have scales, which protect them, naturally, from their victims’ bites. Of course, we are continuously investigating any extra possible protective measures we can take in order to protect our birds.”
Longtime DRONELIFE readers are no doubt aware of the power and precision raptors bring to bear against drones. In 2014, we published this amazing footage of a hawk taking down a drone followed by footage of a wedge-tailed eagle going postal on a drone in 2015.
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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