If you’ve been keeping up to date here on sensorsmag.com, you no doubt have read a bit about drones lately. You’ll remember that, if Wal-Mart and Amazon get their ways, there will be stockroom blimps floating around that carry a fleet of drones waiting to deliver retail goods (see It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, OH-NO, It’s the Wal-Mart Blimp!). You’ll also recall that the RAND Corporation believes we all need numerous drone terminals spread throughout our neighborhoods to cut down on energy costs and speed up consumer-goods deliveries (see Exactly What Are Your Neighborhood Drone Needs?)
For the sake of variety, now would be a good time to look at some drone developments on the military and law enforcement fronts. A platform that’s been around for a while, mentioned back on May 16, 2017, that has proven to be successful in disabling unauthorized drones is Battelle’s DroneDefender. It is the first portable unit of its kind and can be operated accurately by a single user.
Described as an easy-to-use system, DroneDefender is also reported as an inexpensive, lightweight point-and-shoot system with demonstrated effectiveness. Basically, it is a directed-energy unmanned aircraft system (UAS) countermeasure that quickly disrupts control of a drone, neutralizing it so that no remote action, including remote detonation can occur. You can see the technology in action via a video.
DroneDefender technology is restricted to use by federal authorities and under a strict permit process. However, the company reports sales are brisk with more than 200 units sold to the US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and international agencies.
Another company, Dedrone, offers a platform that alerts users to the presence of rogue and unauthorized drones in protected airspace. Considered expert in airspace security, Dedrone offers a software platform that detects drones in protected airspace. The company’s machine-learning DroneTracker software analyzes data from passive sensors to identify the characteristics of each drone, provide warning of their presence, and maps their flightpaths. You can also see this technology in action via yet another video.
If you surmise DroneDefender and Dedrone would make for a heavenly marriage, you’d win the two-dollar cigar. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow them to create an end-to-end solution for complete airspace security. The agreement is a non-binding, non-exclusive partnership to collaborate and explore technology synergies. Battelle remains in active discussions with potential customers and companies in Counter Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) markets.
The end results look very promising for all involved in terms of both safety and security. Hopefully, the Wal-Mart and Amazon blimps won’t accidentally drift into restricted airspace. ~MD