The flashing lights and sirens of emergency vehicles provide an easily recognizable symbol – and applied to counter drone technology, they let operators know immediately that they’re flying in restricted airspace. Counter-drone technology firm Fortem Technologies has announced today “the application of “escalation of force” protocols, including a new “Warning Mode” feature on the DroneHunter,” says a company press release. “Rules of engagement and the Fortem SkyDome Manager software enables DroneHunter to shift from a silent Pursue Mode into Warning Mode, using flashing police-like lights and sirens to alert drone operators that they are in an unwarranted territory or that they are operating illegally.”
At safe distance, Fortem’s DroneHunter set to Warning Mode “is a legal deterrent for state and local police to track down and deter criminal drone operators.” That’s a significant step – it means that the same police that may follow wrongdoers in a car with blue lights flashing may be able to do the same with drones. In fact, the company says that “Waivers for flight over people or nighttime operations from the FAA using the onboard radar of the Fortem DroneHunter are available with submission.”
“In a statement released on August 17th by the Department of Justice systems, electromagnetic waves of sound and light, including the radar used within our software, are far less likely to pose concerns under federal criminal surveillance statutes,” said Timothy Bean, CEO of Fortem Technologies. “This opens the door for police or security teams to use the DroneHunter in the US under Part 107 guidelines to protect people and facilities from danger.”
Fortem’s DroneHunter is equipped with onboard cameras that allow the unit “to examine targets at a safe range and keep them in sight.” The color of the lights is also configurable to the team using the drone – police may use blue, for example, while firefighters may use red. DroneHunter is designed for a variety of uses – from military deployments to security of public spaces. Depending on the appropriate rules of engagement for each venue – and the laws of the each country – “Escalation of force allows the DroneHunter to move into Attack Mode or Defense Mode…Effectiveness of the Attack Mode and Defense Mode captures of rotorcraft and fixed-wing has soared over the last 12 months with over 4,500 in air captures,” says the press release.
About the Fortem SkyDome System and Fortem DroneHunter
The Fortem SkyDome System consists of distributed TrueView® radar to detect and identify uncooperative drones, and the Fortem DroneHunter, which is autonomously cued by SkyDome to further evaluate the threatening drone and remove or disable it from a safe location with no collateral damage. The SkyDome System digitizes, maps, and monitors the airspace so that all objects on the ground and air are recognized. This makes it possible to identify and mitigate UAS that are not approved for flight and that might interfere with critical communication systems, or that might have nefarious intent.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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