Catching That Rogue Drone: How Cutting-Edge Tech Can Help

(DGIwire) – As drones increase in popularity worldwide, a small but dedicated industry is emerging with the aim of handling the threats they pose, according to a recent article on the website WeTalkUAV. These threats are being recognized not only by incidents of drones flying in restricted areas, notes the article, but by the knowledge that drones can be used to deliver contraband into prisons, to commit industrial espionage and to be weaponized for attacks committed by terrorists.

The article highlights a variety of anti-drone technologies in development. These include the use of actual birds of prey to intercept drones in mid-flight; a technology that fires a net attached to a parachute out of a bazooka to arrest the drone; and several technologies that jam a drone’s radio and GPS signals, causing them to crash. A final technology highlighted by WeTalkUAV comes from of Department 13. The company’s technology, called MESMER™, is a revolutionary commercial counter-drone platform, using sophisticated automated detection and mitigation strategies to stop, redirect, land or take total control of a target drone or radio-controlled device.

“There are many strategies being pursued to serve as effective counter-drone platforms,” says Jonathan Hunter, CEO of Department 13. “What we are working on is the potential to take command of a drone in a non-destructive manner so that it can be landed safely, to eliminate the risk posed by weaponized drones.”

MESMER enables protocol manipulation, which takes advantage of weaknesses found in all digital radio protocols. MESMER is also flexible, operating as a stand-alone system, or working in tandem with existing hardware solutions. MESMER is ideal for both commercial and defense/security organizations to deal with the emerging threat of ubiquitous autonomous systems. The company’s counter-drone solution offers the best of Department 13’s innovative technologies and deep experience.

Unlike other systems that use radio jamming and standard electronic mitigation techniques, MESMER uses signal features and metadata to select and apply strategies in order to curtail drone threats, regardless of how drone vendors may try and prevent this from happening. This protocol manipulation is low-power so it offers an advantage by not affecting non-targeted communication signals. This also allows MESMER to operate below one watt and within U.S. regulatory (FCC) constraints.

The MESMER platform addresses diverse threat scenarios and drone types. It allows the possibility of “non-kinetic mitigations” (i.e. drones are not shot down) that pose no public hazards. Its open software architecture integrates with other security applications. Furthermore, the platform is operational in multi-terrain (urban, remote and rugged) environments, and it is easily deployed to support mobile counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) operation.

“Whichever technology is implemented to mitigate the threat of drones, safety to everyone in the vicinity will continue to be the number one priority,” Hunter adds.

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