As technology advances and drones continue to become more easily accessible to people, many fear that the devices will become an invasion of privacy or even safety. While there are laws set regarding the proper use of drones, not all are obeyed. Devices known as “Drone Killers” were invented as a way to stay protected from drones that can be perceived as a threat to safety.
As intimidating as they sound, Drone Killers are not exactly weapons. They are, however, meant to be used only by trained professionals on a larger scale. An option to protect privacy using equally advanced technology, a Drone Killer can effectively cancel the actions of a drone that is already in flight.
How Do They Work?
Drone Killers resemble bullpup rifles in the way that they are short and easy to shoot. These devices are designed to take down drones that are a potential threat to safety or privacy. Unlike a rifle, a Drone Killer utilizes radio waves instead of bullets to disarm its target.
IXI Technology manufactures the Drone Killer, relatively new devices, and it is able to take down Class 1 and Class 2 commercial drones. Though it resembles a toy with its exterior shell, it is far from one. These devices are used to take down drones operated by criminals and attackers.
Once the connection between the drone and whoever is flying it has been disconnected, there are a couple of different outcomes. Some drones will simply begin to land once disarmed, while others return to their home base. Even if a drone has been programmed on an autopilot type of mode, the Drone Killer can thwart the remainder of its path.
Because a Drone Killer is so lightweight and compact, you can see why defense forces love to utilize them. As a civilian, it can be tempting to purchase one for your own use, but Drone Killers are only meant for use by first responders, security teams, and soldiers in war.
In less than 3 seconds, drones are disarmed by the Drone Killer. They can take down drones that are up to 800 meters away. Because it doesn’t require much additional training to use, it is easy to get an entire team up to speed on how to use them.
How Much Do They Cost?
At only 7lbs, the Drone Killer device costs around $27,500. This is another reason why the systems aren’t suitable for civilian use just yet. Many police forces have already purchased their fleet in 2018, though.
A costly investment, viewers at the Border Patrol Expo in San Antonio last year were greatly impressed. Who wouldn’t be when the Drone Killer can theoretically take down any drone it meets? Arming our teams with these resources would provide an advantage if the costs could be afforded.
If the proper funds are available, a wide distribution of Drone Killers could benefit not only the emergency teams who will utilize them but also the civilians that they will protect. The more that these teams experience such devices, the more equipped they will be in the future.
What Are the Specs?
Drone Killers work by using something known as a “passive detector.” Instead of searching for a wide range of frequencies, the Drone Killer hones in on the specific one that is being used by its target. It does this by way of its 6 circuit boards.
Because it works carefully, battery life is great on this powerful device. There is much less guesswork involved than any other anti-drone devices that have been used in the past. In case the drone is on a frequency that “hops,” the Drone Killer is also programmed to recognize and disarm them just the same.
No matter if the operator is right-handed or left-handed, the Drone Killer provides an ambidextrous grip. It will work in all types of climates, from negative temperatures to sweltering heat. It lasts for 8 hours while in sensor mode and 4 hours while in active mode.
In case the device is dropped, it is protected by its picatinny rails. The Drone Killer also has anti-shock and anti-vibration technology. The battery is rechargeable, but it is also interchangeable for missions that are time consuming.
What Are Other Drone Countermeasures?
In order to sense a drone, it is sometimes useful to have some sort of radar detector present. While this does nothing to stop a drone from flying physically, it can alert you to the presence of one. These devices are normally made on a larger scale, meant for use by military and security teams.
There are also devices known as jammers that are able to block the signal being reached from the operator to the drone itself. Once the signal is blocked, the drone will become inoperable. As mentioned previously, this doesn’t always work due to the fact that some drones are on rotating signals.
Unless you are in a warzone setting, shooting at a drone is not legal. This is, of course, one of the easiest ways to ensure protection from a drone. Fully disarming a drone is a hard task to accomplish without the use of ammunition.
Certain devices that are made for use by officials only incorporate both detection and weaponry. They are set up similar to a radar detector, but with a micro weapon attached, intending to strike down any drone activity that it senses. Again, these are not suitable for average use each day by civilians.
Technology advancement has both positive and negative impacts in relation to how easy it can be to have your privacy disrupted. The best drone countermeasure is simply using your awareness; you can then report any suspicious activity to the authorities, who can properly handle the situation.
What is the Purpose of a Jammer?
While they are illegal in many states, jammers are made to block many different signals: WiFi, GPS, and cellular. Useful devices, only officials are normally granted permission to have them.
To some, drones are annoying and bothersome more than anything. But in some cases, drones that are coming from unknown territory can prove to be very dangerous. This is an instance when law enforcement would greatly benefit using a jammer.
They cannot always have a clear path to shoot down a drone, so using a jammer is a safer alternative, especially if it is flying over a residential area.
What Can a Civilian Do For Protection?
The question that many have that is left unanswered is — What can the average person do to protect themselves from drones? Using a powerful, targeted light is an option. In order for a drone’s camera to photograph the area, it must be able to sense the area.
Blinding these drones with a light beam is almost like a way to confuse them. Naturally, you must be very careful, because it is illegal to shine lasers into the sky constantly. You wouldn’t want to blind a pilot or other innocent civilian accidentally.
Laser pointers are legal to purchase and can be used in a cautionary way. If you sense that something is invading your privacy on your property, you can shine the light into its sensor so that it doesn’t record you.
Several manufacturers of drones have banded together to create a “No Fly Zone.” This is perfect for those who wish to have their property protected. Think of this as a Do Not Call list. Keep in mind that the two operate very similarly, and unfortunately, not everyone obeys the rules.
On a larger scale, if you are trying to push for even more drone laws, you can vote on local ballots. Many civilians have been pushing for more protection against the devices. The last six years have been a time where citizens have vocalized their need for more action to be taken to maintain privacy laws.