Drones can assist you in many ways. However, what if another person uses them against you like taking photos they aren’t supposed to, transporting biological agents, explosives and dangerous substances or intervening with your privacy through video recordings?
Over the past years, many negative things have been done by individual using noncomplex technologies. If such people start to use the drone technology seriously, then you, authority and governments need appropriate tools that will help you to offer personal protection against such threats. However, shooting down those unfriendly drones in large crowded places or near people’s residences, unaware of the drone may be carrying can turn out to be very risky.
This is particularly why various firms are developing a viable solution of capturing such drones while they are in light then carrying them to secure locations as fast as possible. One such viable solution has been the development of the drone catchers system.
Drone catchers mostly refer to the multi-copters that are armed with net guns which can be used in hunting down and safely removing the illicit drones in the air. Once the illicit drones are detected, for instance by an acoustic, radar or vision system, the drone catcher quickly approaches the moving or hovering threats. By using the many sensors on board, that net gun is then locked towards the target.
The drone catches also have tracking capabilities enabling them to catch the drone by shooting the net swiftly. The drone that has been captured by the net is then transported on the cable to secure locations where it is then released. The most interesting thing happens when the drone that has been captured happens to be too heavy. If this is the case, a parachute can be used to drop it to ensure that it has a low impact once it hits the ground.
Some companies which create these drone catchers have specialized in creating helicopters that are small and unmanned so that they can be controlled easily and so that they are stable platforms of aerial sensors. They can accomplish this by brilliantly combining the sensor and computer technology.
Features of the drone catchers
Most of these drone catchers have very innovative features incorporated within their system some of these features include; high capacity and long lasting batteries, powerful and efficient motors, foldable arms to facilitate easy transportation, a GPS that is reliable, pneumatic net guns that are quickly rechargeable, encrypted data links, fast tilting devices and image recognition that have detection, track and tag functionalities.
Applications of the drone catchers
Currently, it’s relatively cheap and easy to purchase a drone. This has therefore created new ways that criminals and terrorists can use for smuggling and disturbing security and public order. To counter these threats, drone catchers have been introduced, and they can be used to secure various places like prisons, airports, parliament buildings and military bases.
As we previously stated, the drone hunters are designed for catching or disabling the cameras of the drones. So, maybe you have noticed many drone cameras flying above your property. Some people are even excited about it and look towards the sky and waves hand at it saying ‘HI’ with a smile on their faces. However, what you don’t realize is the fact that, the cameras on the drones can record your privacy and may even be spying on you. This is particularly why drones have been banned in many private and public places such as parks, tourist places, Beaches among others.
How can drones be stopped?
As technology continues to advance, the drones are also improving. This has inspired experts to create the drone catchers so that they can be used to stop the illicit drones.
Types of drone catchers
We will look at different and effective types of drone catchers. There are three types of drone catchers that are widely known namely; the nets drone hunters, net drone catchers, and the robotic falconry. We will briefly go through each one of them and see how they function.
• NETS drone hunters
These are the easiest and the safest drone catchers among all the others. It’s a safer option for capturing the drones instead of using guns to shoot them down. Police departments in various places are aiming to implement these nets drone catchers so that they can use them to intercept the smaller drones that are suspicious flying above certain places.
A Robotics tech lab in Michigan is working on a particular project that involves developing the drones catcher system to remove the suspicious intruding drones with their development of a net cannon that is mounted on a drone that can be able to capture another flying drone which is at a maximum distance of forty feet. Additionally, there is a technology of anti-drone which can be assembled using items from a hardware store. This net gun has a slingshot made up of the plastic material which releases the net from its user located at the ground level so that it can capture a flying drone.
• Net drone catchers
This is another drone catcher that utilizes the concepts of nets to capture the drones. The nets used in the catchers are similar to the one used in animal control. There however close range weapons that can only be able only to reach a maximum distance of 50 feet.
• Robotic falconry
These are drone catchers that provide a new alternative of dealing with those drones which should be removed from air especially if they pose any threats or appear suspicious. What is interesting with this solution of controlling the illicit drones within your air space, is that fact it has a certain system which utilizes a net which is fired to the targeted drones from another flying drone, captures the intruder then hauls the captured drone to safe place where any payload like explosives or drugs are dealt with.
Price of drone catchers
The price of various kinds of the drone catchers tends to vary from one to the other based on various things such as the features of a particular device and the complexity of the technology used to manufacture the drone catcher.
Safety of the drone catchers
As we previously stated, the net gun shoots the net up to a maximum range of forty feet and carries it to the ground where it waits for the ground team to investigate it without worrying whether it may be destroyed or get lost during the process. These drone catchers are piloted either by an individual at the ground level or by an independent control system and sometimes by a combination of both. Unlike using the falconry robotics to attack the drones, there is minimal risk of causing bodily injury when capturing the drones using the drone catchers.
There are many anti-drone weapons that have been in the market for some time meaning the drone catcher is not the first or the only one available. It is also not the first weapon for anti-drone that involves using nets to capture the drones. For instance, there are the jamming tools which are popularly attached to the other guns or placed in large sensor systems.
However, nets have also become popular too and they can either be used by people at the ground level to capture the drones, or the can be fired or carried by the other drones. Other experimental methods may include training the eagles so that they can attack the illicit drones or firing lasers. The drone catchers can be considered to be an anti-drone tool and can be very effective in capturing the suspicious drones and eliminate them from the airspace.
Benefits of using the drone catchers
Using the drone catchers instead of other methods of capturing the illicit drones has demonstrated to have certain advantages. Some of these advantages include;
• They do not lead to any collateral damages
• The captured drones are rapidly moved to distant secure locations
• The drone catchers can take off instantly from any place
• The intercept time of the drone catchers is very short
• The drone catchers do not impose any damages to the captured
drones meaning they can easily be investigated forensically after they have been deposited to the ground.
• Since the captured drones are not destroyed, one can be able to avoid the legal hurdles
• The drone catchers are simple and very effective in capturing the suspicious drones
• There is minimal risk of causing bodily injury when capturing the drones using the drone catchers as opposed to other methods.
Some countries take drones very seriously and have even banned them unless you have permission or a license so that you can be allowed to use them while in these countries. Such countries should, therefore, consider extensive use of the drone catchers since they are very effective in stopping any threat that may be imposed by the illicit drone catchers.