Detect, deploy, destroy: The art of drone defence

Barry Clack

Owner, Box Cottage Photography

Author Bio ▼

Presenter, film maker, drone operator, aerial cinematographer.
May 8, 2018

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Want a Future-Proof Cyber Security Strategy? Look at Physical Security Now

The use of drones as part of an integrated security offering brings real benefits, both operationally and financially.

The range of purpose-built and flexible commercial drone solutions is growing all the time, and the growth in interest in the sector has been particularly visible with the increase in scale of the IFSEC Drone Zone year on year.

But alongside this increased demand for drones to augment traditional security assets has come a growing need to secure against the hostile use of drone technology against the assets we need to protect.

Drone detection and defence solutions have seen huge leaps in technology over the past three years. As consumer drone technology falls in price and increases in capability, these ‘off the shelf’ units could pose a real threat to the security of private and civil property, as well as privacy concerns for at-risk individuals or VIPs.

Event security

A key area is event security. Large scale outdoor events can be easy targets for those looking to make illegal recordings, or worse.

Even benign drone users can cause disturbance or distraction, and the consequences of an unintended crash can be serious. For those intent on causing harm, the need for early detection is even more important.

Based on early demonstrations of physical security measures, including manual or automated ballistically launched nets to bring down drones at close range, and even eagles and other birds of prey trained to attack drones on sight, defensive systems are now much more high tech and more effective.

Systems have been developed that track the acoustic signature of drones, using a range of microphones to accurately plot location

Systems have been developed that track the acoustic signature of drones, using a range of microphones to accurately plot location. Also available are radio frequency tracking systems, locating signals that all commercial drones emit during operation, even tracing the remote control unit being used to control the drone.

And there are radar-based systems, as well as high definition optical cameras with software that differentiates drones from other air traffic or birds.

The passive systems all provide your operatives with advance notice of a potential threat, buying them time to react in the most appropriate way. For civil defence, key infrastructure, and VIP protection the next step is to deploy drone countermeasures.

These include active jamming, causing drones to lose their control signals and either automatically return to their launch point, or begin a controlled landing sequence. Other more drastic solutions are also available for protecting the most high-risk assets.

Several commercial anti-drone drone systems are already in an advanced prototype stage. The power of the autonomous drone has been harnessed to work against itself, by automatically detecting, tracking and intercepting drone threats.

Interdicting the transgressors can be by deploying a net or similar to tangle the rotor blades, sacrificing itself by crashing in to target, or using a range of counter-measures including RF jamming and even lasers.

So whilst adding drones to your security portfolio brings tangible benefits, exploring the variety of anti-drone technology available offers real advantages over competitors who are unable to defend against unauthorised UAVs. At IFSEC 2018 you will be able to discover the range of anti-drone technology on offer today from some of the cutting edge suppliers in the industry.

IFSEC International 2018, which takes place between 19-21 June at ExCeL London, will once again feature live demonstrations of security drones in the Drone Zone. Register for your free pass.

‘Secure by Default’ in the Age of Converged Security: Insights from IFSEC 2019

From data security to the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence, the conversations at IFSEC International shape future security strategies and best practices. This eBook brings you exclusive insights from these conversations, covering:

  • A Global Political and Security Outlook from Frank Gardner OBE
  • Surveillance Camera Day: Tony Porter launches ‘Secure by Default’ requirements for video surveillance systems
  • Using Drones to Secure the Future
  • Autonomous Cars and AI: Relocating human incompetence from drivers to security engineers?
  • The Ethical and Geopolitical Implications of AI and Machine Learning

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