Drones are increasingly being used across sectors as they can acquire ready to use imagery quickly and can reach places where humans cannot reach. However, drones can also be a threat if not used with due caution. In recent times, there have been many cases where drones have risked people’s lives and have breached safety and security. This has led to the evolution of counter-drone technology. Also known as counter-UAS, C-UAS, or counter-UAV technology, it is a system that is specifically designed to track and intercept drones.
The technology depends on a variety of techniques for detecting or intercepting drones. Mostly drones are spotted using techniques like Radio Frequency (RF) detection, Electro-Optical and Infrared and are then destroyed with techniques like RF Jamming, GNSS Jamming, Spoofing, Laser, nets, projectile or Combined Interdiction Elements.
Today, there are many players in the market who are providing techniques to counter drones. Let’s have a look at the top five riveting pieces of counter-drone technology.
Dronegun has been developed by Australian company DroneShield. It jams the signal between drone and drone pilot. It is a rifle shaped device that uses radio frequency jamming and GPS jamming to counter drones. The system breaks the link between the drone and its pilot, activates the “fail safe” to send the drone home and has the capability to jam signals. DroneGun allows coverage up to 1 km in a wide range environment condition.
DroneCatcher is a net gun armed multicopter designed by Delft Dynamics. The system safely eliminates illegal drones from the air. With the use of multiple onboard sensors, the net gun locks on the target the drone is then swiftly caught by shooting a net. After the catch, DroneCatcher carries the captured drone on a cable to a harmless place and release it there. If the caught drone is too heavy to be carried, it drops it with a help parachute to ensure low impact on the ground.
SkyWall 100 an automated net launching system that physically captures a drone intact with low risk of damage to the drone or surrounding area. It has been designed by OpenWorks engineering. The system uses compressed air to launch a projectile up to the drone after the operator has targeted it using the onboard SmartScope. SkyWall100 can be used as a standalone drone defense solution but can also be integrated with a wider security system, using the skylink module, to offer a highly capable counter drone package. A single SkyWall100 system can protect an area or multiple systems can be deployed from mobile units to protect a large site.
SkyDroner detects, distract and disable drone from flying into a protected area. The system consists of multiple sensors to monitor the range of radio signals and identify the different characteristics of a drone’s signature. The system monitors the activity of a drone within 1km range, identify types of drones, and provides real-time tracking of flight path by pinpointing location of drones and its operators. After detection, the system can distract a drone by taking over the command and control frequencies and then disables communication links to the drones
Sky Fence system
Sky Fence system is built especially for prison security. It incorporates a number of signal disruptors, designed to jam the flight control signal of a drone and prevent from flying over installation and disrupt their navigation transmissions. Sky Fence system uses multiple low power radio transmitters located strategically around the protected site. Once these transmitters are activated they transmit signals that interfere the radio transmissions of a drone and thus preventing their control from their operator. It is fully programmable and activated automatically through a series of sensors or by manual action.