Anti-Drone Rifles Could Knock Your 'Copter Out of the Sky

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.

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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.

[via BGR]

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11 Comments

And if used by anyone other than law enforcement could be considered grand theft, depending on the worth of the drone and attached gear.

Joe Schmitt's picture

People shooting my quadcopter down or, in general just f**king with it, is the main reason I'll never buy one. It's like there's no respect for the quadcopters and people think taking them down is a novelty (all concerns of privacy aside). I'm just not willing to invest thousands of dollars into the quadcopter I want with the large risk of damage looming...which sucks...cuz I'd REALLY love to have an Inspire1.

Bill Peppas's picture

Knock down my drone without a reason ( anyone but FAA/police ) and I will knock you down.
Simple as.

Rodford Smith's picture

Would these things work on those cars with the huge bass speakers?

Or the electronics of an airliner?

Jeff Colburn's picture

I wish they would work on the neighbors stereo. To do that you need something that fires an EM pulse that would fry the electronics. But if that exists, let me know where I can buy one.

Have Fun,
Jeff

Anonymous's picture

"On tonight's episode of Forensic Files..."

It is basically blocking the drone from receiving remote control and GPS signals which seems to force most drones into some kind of emergency landing. You could just program your drone to stay at the same spot and law enforcement would have to wait until it FALLS down because of depleted batteries.

If you had a drone which does not rely on GPS and uses a different frequency range for remote control than the usual 2.4 GHz stuff, it would just be immune to this device. Of course not so easy to get or practical for some guy shooting video in your neighborhood but definitely imaginable for people who want to do some criminal things.

It really looks like some magical scifi stuff but in reality it is way to easy to overcome with a drone which is prepared. They should not spend a ton of money on this.

Anonymous's picture

In first i like it ..... but in second .. jamming of GPS signal is illegal ......

Chris Cavallari's picture

You just know this is going to end in physical violence. Dude A shoots down Dude B's drone, Dude B does something to Dude A he'll probably regret.

Brad Barton's picture

It is against federal law in the U.S. to interfere with or otherwise damage an aircraft in flight - including drones.