If you're like me and you're sick and tired of the Drone Takeover, this state-of-the-art weaponry is for you. In an effort to defend the airspace around you, the Ohio-based, nonprofit Battelle has created the DroneDefender as a way to keep videographer drones at bay during that next wedding shoot. There will be no more swatting at poor-resolution cameras buzzing about your head; simply pull this bad boy from your quiver and "bang!" Drone down.
It seems like every day, there are new stories of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) being where they shouldn't. They seem to be more readily used for unregulated, illegal, and potentially dangerous (but mostly stupid) situations than for legitimate pursuits. This foolish use of drones has been the center of countless stories in the last few years. From the individual who was detained for trying to fly a drone over The White House to the imbecilic pilot who brought his RC aircraft up to 4,000 feet, nearly colliding with a commercial airliner, the issue of drone prevalence has reached far beyond the world of photography and straight into human idiocy. Cameras aren't the only payload these potentially annoying devices are capable of carrying. One report from a prison in South Carolina cited that a criminal network was using quadcopters to smuggle contraband over prison walls. These drone-driving derelicts were only caught when their DJI Phantom was discovered hung up on the razor wire at the top of the twelve-foot perimeter fence. Stories like these creep into my news feed everyday; however, there's now a collateral damage-free solution.
The biggest challenge for combating these scenarios boils down to effective defense weaponry. Shooting down a UAV with conventional firearms is just not possible, or even legal, in many scenarios. The Battelle DroneDefender uses targeted radio waves to disable the vehicle and force the drone out of the sky. This technology is said to “utilize a non-kinetic solution to defend airspace up to 400m against UAV, such as quadcopters and hexacopters, without compromising safety or risking collateral damage." According to the linked video that shows the DroneDefender in use during a mock exercise at a U.S. Federal Facility, it seems to operate as a radio-frequency tractor beam.
So, whether you're planning a "super rad flyby" shot or taking your criminal activity up a notch, just remember that drone snipers could be anywhere, ready to take you down.