As technology continues to grow, our expectation of privacy unfortunately shrinks with it, especially in the wake of the development and deployment of drones. In an effort to keep drones at bay, Airbus Defense and Space Inc., has created a Counter-UAV System capable of detecting prohibited Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over paramount regions at long distances. The system also provides electronic countermeasures to reduce the threat of collateral damage.(1)
“The outlook for civil liberties grows bleaker by the day, from the government’s embrace of indefinite detention for U.S. citizens and armed surveillance drones flying overhead to warrantless surveillance of phone, email, and Internet communications and prosecutions of government whistle-blowers,” explains attorney and author John Whitehead in his book “The War on the American People.”(2)
In an effort to keep some of these technologies in check, Airbus Defense and Space, Inc. has created the Counter-UAV System. The device’s main features include early detection and identifications of UAVs coupled with accurate countermeasures.
A menacing threat to society
“All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to critical installations such as factories, airports or nuclear plants,” notes Thomas Müller, head of Electronics and Border Security at Airbus Defense and Space, Inc.(2)
“As a specialist in defense electronics, we have all the technologies in our portfolio and the integration knowledge which are needed to set up a quick-response protection system with extremely low false alarm rates.”(2)
Many people simply resort to a shotgun barrel if a menacing drone happens to trespass on their private property. Nevertheless, there are laws that prohibit the destruction of property, depending on the nature of the threat and the use of firearms based on the location. Furthermore, taking down a menacing drone suspended 300 feet in the sky requires a level of precision and skill that few gun owners possess. Consequently, an alternative technology capable of destroying drones is most needed.
How does the Counter-UAV System work?
The Counter-UAV System integrates sensor data from various sources with the newest data fusion, signal analysis and jamming technologies. It utilizes operational radars, infrared cameras and direction finders at Airbus Defense and Space Inc. to pinpoint the drone and determine whether its threat ranges between 3.1 and 6.2 miles.(1)
The jammer then severs the connection between the drone and its pilot. Afterwards, the direction finder locates the position of the pilot for law enforcement to take care of.
The jamming technology implemented by the system contains adaptable receiving and transmitting capabilities so that it can get a better grip on the drone with remote control classification and GPS spoofing, enabling specific jamming and takeover of the UAV.(1)
Airbus Defense and Space is still in the process of testing the Counter-UAV System. The technology is expected to be available starting mid-2016. The device will be on display until January 9 at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to estimates, approximately 30,000 drones are expected to occupy U.S. airspace by 2020.(1,2)
“The government—local law enforcement now being extensions of the federal government—has trained its sights on the American people,” writes Whitehead. “We have become the enemy. And if it is true, as the military asserts, that the key to defeating an enemy is having the technological advantage, then ‘we the people’ are at a severe disadvantage.”(2)
Military drones used to spy on the American people may occupy a technological high ground at present; however, with the counter-UAV system soon to hit the shelves, we are given the chance to gain the upper hand against these often invasive technological contraptions.