A British engineering firm has unveiled an anti-drone system practically ripped from the pages of a James Bond script.
According to an OpenWorks press release, the solution is a simple concept — it “physically captures a drone in a net and brings it to the ground safely under a parachute.”
“Capturing a drone is the best way to ensure control of a situation is maintained,” a company spokesperson said. “Once captured it can be impounded, forensically investigated or simply handed back with some words of education where appropriate. Perhaps more importantly, the potential legal implications of damaging the pilot’s [UAV] are mitigated.”
The device resembles a missile launcher and can deploy an “intelligent projectile with on-board countermeasures” up to 100 meters. After the launcher’s targeting AI calculates a drone’s trajectory, the launched projectile hunts down the errant drone, apprehending it with an on-board net/parachute apparatus.
“OpenWorks Engineering believes that security enforcement authorities need a cost-effective and proportionate way of protecting the public and high profile individuals and we wanted to put a system on the market that offered just that,” said Chris Down, the start-up’s managing director.
SkyWall will likely find a willing market among British security agencies. According to recent media reports, 23 near drone/aircraft near misses were recorded by the UK Airprox Board last year between April and October with 12 incidents rated as a “serious risk of collision.”
Publicized drone-safety incidents have fueled a growing anti-drone sector. A recent study predicts the emerging market will to grow to a billion-dollar industry within six years with predicted compound annual growth rate of 23.89 percent across 2017-22.
Manufacturers are touting a variety of drone hunting solutions – from the “anti-drone rifle by Batelle Innovations to the Orwellian-sounding “anti-drone death ray” Anti–AUV Defense System. The Dutch company, Guard From Above, announced a recent anti-drone partnership with the nation’s federal police force that would deploy eagles and other raptors to identify and take down drones (despite cries of “fowl play” by wildlife experts.
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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