Wednesday March 01, 2017

Method to Bring Down Malicious Drones is Effective, but Illegal

What once seemed like science fiction, people either accidentally doing harm with unmanned aerial drones at airports, or intentionally causing harm through terrorism, is not quite as far fetched as it once was. The FAA receives more than 100 reports every month of drones flying too close to aircraft, and ISIS has reportedly already been using small cheap drones for surveillance in combat areas.

The good news is that there is a solution in the works for this problem. Wired has an in-depth article up about a new system with the capabilities to effectively identify, track and take down malicious drones by interrupting communication signals. The bad news? Interrupting the communications signals is currently illegal per FCC regulations put into place long before current drone tech was a reality.

While I hope they are able to get the attention of congress and regulators to carve out a narrow exception in FCC regulations on the subject, it seems to me that one major weakness of this system is that it would likely be unable to deal with autonomous drones. Given the cool things that are being done by hobbyists in this area, consumer ownership of real autonomous flying drone technologies can't be that far from reality, and that will require a different solution.

Thanks to forum user dethklokworkorange for the link.

News Image

Up in a skybox, Lamm and Romero, cofounders of Black Sage Technologies, monitored the drone-tracking equipment they’ve spent the past few years developing. Almost immediately after the drone lifted off, Lamm and Romero’s radar detected it. Their AI-آ­powered software identified it as a drone (and not, say, a bird), and their tripod-آ­mounted cameras tracked it as it made its way over the crowd. As they heard the ominous buzzing overhead and watched the college kids pretend to die, Romero and Lamm allowed themselves a small measure of satisfactionآ—Black Sage’s tracking system worked, and in the event of an actual attack it could give authorities a few crucial extra minutes to mobilize.