Safer Way to Disrupt Small UASs Communications

small UASs

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Small UASs pose danger to the military, government agencies, officials and assets. The US military has considered to train its soldiers with DroneDefender, a point-and-shoot, electromagnetic, rifle-shaped weapon that disrupts communications of a remote-controlled drone and its operator, the army announced.

According to, the DroneDefender can target the drone’s control signal. The system provides a safer and more accurate alternative than other methods, such as shooting drones with a rifle.

Staff Sgt. Richard Recupero, a cyberspace electromagnetic activities noncommissioned officer with the 29th Infantry Division, shared his expertise in disrupting drone operations when discussing enemy devices currently in the Middle East. “Yes, it can affect drones used by ISIS,” Recupero said.

Drones are classified by weight and range from light commercial-off-the-shelf to heavier, military grade varieties. Counter-drone technologies can have a variety of effects besides dropping them from the sky.

“You know it’s working because the system is no longer responding appropriately to the operator and doing something the operator doesn’t expect it to do,” said Capt. Michael Torre, an electronic warfare officer for the 29th Infantry Division said, describing multiple visual disruption indicators. “From the time I pulled the trigger, it was almost instantaneous.” Torre added.

The DroneDefender is manufactured by Battelle. According to the company’s website, traditional defense mechanisms against small UAS, such as shooting them down, pose safety risks in many situations. DroneDefender system are non-kinetic solutions developed to instantaneously defend airspace against commercial drones without compromising safety or risking collateral damage. The system quickly disrupts an adversary’s control of a drone, neutralizing it so that no remote action, including detonation, can occur, minimizing drone damage and risk to public safety.

The handheld units are portable, intuitive and man-in-the-loop. The system employs two different defenses to disrupt unwanted UAS—remote control disruption and GPS disruption.

The Ground-based Unit leverages the technology developed for the handheld system for a more capable cUAS solution. The remote control defeat capability can be paired with a detection and tracking system and integrated with almost any 360° positioner.