Companies looking to safeguard their operations from rogue drone operators are now turning to ‘anti-drone’ weapons to neutralise the threat mid-air, Flight Safety Australia (FSA) reports.
One piece of technology recently showcased in Las Vegas by Liteye Systems combines electronic-scanning radar, electro-optical tracking and a directional RF inhibition with directional antennas, can ‘detect, track and defeat Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ engaged in hostile airborne surveillance and potentially malicious activity’ up to a mile away.
‘If I can see it, I can kill it,’ said Rick Sondag, executive vice-president of Liteye Systems, as reported by The Guardian.
FSA notes that new technology comes after countless reports of recreational drones flying in areas where they shouldn’t, including airports, sport stadiums, and bushfires as well as over prisons and private property.
A drone even managed to crash its way onto the lawns of the Whitehouse sparking security concerns about the technology and the risk it posed. Despite this initial incident making global headlines, it didn’t deter another member of the public from flying his Parrot Bebop outside the Whitehouse a few months later.
The use of drones by activists to ‘spy’ on intensive agricultural operations such as feedlots has also raised legal questions about what rights landholders and businesses have to privacy.
But despite the much-publicised incidents, FSA says regulators often struggle to prosecute rule breakers due to the anonymous nature of the technology, with reports of illegal flying often lacking the sufficient evidence for prosecution.
It’s for this reason that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States recently signed an agreement to test technology that could detect radio frequencies, pinpointing the location of operators illegally flying near airports.
The FAA and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia have recently taken to social media to remind would-be rogue operators of the safety risk they can pose to other members of the public and emergency responders.
“But no matter the level of public awareness, it seems there will always be people willing to forgo common sense and fly when they shouldn’t. This ineptitude, or as 3D Robotics chief executive Chris Anderson puts it‘mass jackassery’, has given rise to the ‘anti-drone’ industry that is now set to flourish,” the FSA states.
Source: Flight Safety Australia
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