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In recent years, drones have come a long way from being a rare pastime amateur playing thing to its ubiquity now. Drones are being used everywhere, from people taking their own selfies, through commercial photography all the way to aiding in search and rescue missions.
Because of said ubiquity, accidents started to occur. The skies have become drone-infested and laws has to be made to keep order in the air, mainly over cities and airports. They have also become a threat reviewed by security specialists as a serious one, because of their numbers and their ability to carry baggage of all sorts.
As was written before, stories of drones nearly colliding with airplanes are not uncommon, and drones equipped with video cameras (or worse, explosives) can pose a unique threat to grounds and facility security. However, there aren’t many safe ways to counter them in most settings.
Now, a new device that looks like a weapon out of science fiction uses electromagnetic signals to quickly and safely knock drones out of the sky.
Enter the DroneGun Tactical from DroneShield, which is described as providing “a safe countermeasure against a wide range of drone models. It allows for a controlled management of drone payload such as explosives, with no damage to common drone models or [the] surrounding environment.” This anti-UAV device weighs about 8 kilograms, has an effective range of up to 1 kilometer, runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and as for design, well, it wouldn’t look out of place being wielded by a stormtrooper in a Star Wars movie.
As totalsecuritydailyadvisor.blr.com reports, “It works pretty simply: You point the gun at the drone and pull the trigger. A burst of electromagnetic signals is emitted and jams the connection between the drone and its pilot. It uses radio frequencies to stop a drone from transmitting video and jams the drone’s signals, forcing it to return to its launch point or land on the spot.” If the UAV’s response is to return to the starting point, this offers an opportunity to track it back to the operator.
Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to get your own DroneGun Tactical anytime soon. Currently, it is manufactured only for government or commercial use and its ownership or operation outside of these limitations is strictly prohibited by federal law.
Of course, there are plenty of lower-tech ways to bring down a drone. The French air force is using a squadron of golden eagles to provide anti-UAV security to great effect, and a gentleman in Kentucky shot down a drone with birdshot in 2015.