The Press is reporting daily about the horrors and dangers of drones, and we are now seeing a growing number of stories about counter measures to bring down drones.
These reported counter measures include projectile-firing bazooka canons that send a net into the air, a net-carrying interceptor drone, and trained eagles that pluck rogue drones out of the air.
Recent drone headlines from around the world include:
- Passenger aircraft in a near miss approaching Heathrow in November
- Bradford City football match stopped in September
- Drone crashes and disrupts the US Tennis open in New York in September
- Drone hits a car on Sydney Harbour Bridge in August.
Other drone services stories concerning terrorists and criminals appear most weeks.
Then last week a company called DroneShield announced a new Drone Gun, a rifle-style handheld drone jammer aimed at government departments, police and larger organisations, that think they need to counteract any drone threat.
With airports, prisons, and other important facilities dealing with a growing number of drone incidents, hardware and software tech firms are been formed to counteract the problem.
DroneShield the “self professed” market leader recently listed on the Australian ASX with an IPO raising $7 million for a market capitalisation of £27 million.
This is a company with a turnover of only $123,862 last year, reporting a loss in their accounts of $120,000. DroneShield develops sensors and software to acoustically detect drones,
The company’s propriety listening technology monitors drone noise. It matches the drone sounds to its growing library of drones droning.
When a new drone is launched DroneShield runs it through their proprietary audio-signature software and adds it to their database. They claim that the drone sensors can pick the sound of a drone up to a kilometre away, in nearly all situations.
This listening technology has been active in Boston for two years following the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013.
The New Drone Gun
Now DroneShield has launched a 13-pound, rifle-shaped drone gun that can jam drones from a distances up to 1.2 miles away. The company says it is designed to protect restricted airspace; prisons and any other civilian prohibited or controlled property.
The DroneGun works by jamming the radio and/or GPS frequency between the drone and its remote controller / pilot. The gun operator can then land the drone immediately or signal it to return home.
DroneShield is based in Australia and the US but at the launch last week it was not approved for any normal use in the US. It can only be used by federal agencies.
Currently in many countries including the US, Australia and Europe it is illegal to have and use any drone counter measures. DroneShield are hoping and planning on this legislation changing soon, especially with the perceived drone terrorist threat.
The company has appointed some very high powered and influential board members including Robert Hill former Australian defence minister, a former a UK Field Army commander Lieutenant General Robin Brims, Carol Haave Former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, and an angel investor who spent five years advising US vice-president Dick Cheney on national security.
DroneShield’s press releases, website and other marketing information emphasises the “substantial need” for their product, because of an increase in drone use in terrorism in recent months.
Peter James, CEO of DroneShield, says is their target market includes “a wide range of customers from government and military agencies to civil infrastructure to VIP protection.”
It would be good to have a real life independent test of all of these “anti drone systems” rather than just view the controlled marketing video of the manufacturers. This would show us if they really do work.
It is obviously a hot topic this next video has had over six million YouTube views.
Roy Horton writes about the latest aerial photography in Cornwall for Drone Photography Services