With a projected one million drones sold during the holidays, the potential security risks to everything from military installations to energy plants to airports increased as well. Bearing that in mind, Airbus Defence and Space recently introduced its Counter-UAV System as a way to detect potential UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) threats from a distance of between 5 and 10 km (3 and 6 miles) and bring them down with electronic countermeasures.

The system uses a combination of radars, infrared cameras and direction finders to identify drones and determine their threat potential. A human operator compares the data from the system to a threat library and realtime analysis of control signals, to determine whether or not to jam the signal and interrupt the link between the drone and its pilot and/or its navigation system. A direction finder within the system can then be used to detect the location of the pilot for apprehension.

The company's Smart Responsive Jamming Technology ensures that only the signals used to operate the drone are jammed while other nearby frequencies remain unaffected and operational. The jamming technology is also designed to allow the user to both identify the UAV and initiate a controlled takeover if necessary.

Depending on the required configuration, the company said an operational system could be available by the middle of this year.

The Airbus Defence and Space Counter-UAV System joins a growing number of anti-drone systems that includes Battelle's DroneDefender and the Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) from Blighter Surveillance Systems.