With the rapid development of the drone industry, there has also developed a need to be able to identify the location of drones and also administer a drone defence policy, dealing with malicious intent in an expert and effective way through anti-drone detection technologies is one way.
The emergence of illegal drone activity has resulted in the rapid growth of several drone mitigation companies, which aim to develop technologies able to alleviate any threat from drones in the hands of those that wish to break the law.
An excellent example of malicious drone use is the delivery of drugs and mobile phones to inmates in prisons. This has resulted in the company SkyFence developing its drone defence technology which is already being used at Guernsey prison.
The technology is 100% fail-proof and identifies drones when they cross a certain perimeter line. When this occurs, the technology is then able to locate the drone and also, importantly, the location of the person who is controlling the drone. This means that they can be quickly apprehended and the drone prevented from completing its malicious mission.
Another example of a developing drone mitigation company is Rafael, an Israeli company. Not only can this drone defence technology identify the location of another drone, but it also has the capacity to shoot it out of the sky with a laser, which is mounted on the back of a 4×4.
Again, this system is 100% fail-proof because neither the tracking nor the accuracy of the laser is dependent on humans – both are automated, and the technology has been developed to such an extent that it does not miss.
Following the chaos at Gatwick and Heathrow airports from drones flying across or near to planes’ flight paths when they are taking off or landing, the industry has received a lot of publicity, and investment has resulted in even faster development.
Locating the drone is now no problem, but shooting it down is an issue, marine marksmen struggle to do so from a kilometre and blocking the frequency between the drone and the pilot’s handset is not an option in the UK due to a 1974 law that prohibits the blocking of such frequencies without police permission on a case-by-case basis.
However, the ability to locate the pilot of the drone to within one square metre means that as soon as a drone is identified as hostile, the pilot can be quickly apprehended and so the development of future drone defence technology should ensure safety in years to come.