Drones are increasingly crowding the airspace, so it's only natural that the counter-drone market is growing as well. The wide arsenal from DroneShield just got a little wider with the DroneGun Tactical, a new handheld jamming weapon that disrupts more frequencies from a more compact, portable package.
They may be great for photography and pizza delivery, but swarms of drones can't just be buzzing around overhead without a detailed air traffic control system. A key part of any strategy in that regard will be no-fly zones. Unauthorized drones are dangerous around airports, government facilities won't want prying eyes in the skies, and prisons around the world have reported the growing problem of drones airdropping contraband to inmates.
Already there are creative solutions like net guns and trained eagles, but DroneShield's systems are a little more elegant. The original DroneGun, unveiled in 2016, could scramble an airborne intruder's radio signals from up to 2 km (1.2 mi) away, and the Mk II was released last November. To save the trouble of having armed guards on alert 24/7, DroneSentinel and DroneSentry can be used to set up a permanent anti-drone bubble around a facility.
The newly-revealed DroneGun Tactical works like the other DroneGun models. Jamming frequencies are blasted at incoming drones to send them scampering back to the point of takeoff, leading you to the pilot in the process. There's also the option to mess with the drone's GPS signal, in which case the craft will land on the spot, allowing it to be retrieved for possible "forensic investigation."
The main difference compared to the original model is that the DroneGun Tactical measures just 1,041 x 415 x 122 mm (41 x 16.3 x 4.8 in) and weighs 6.8 kg (15 lb), making it much smaller than previous models. Even better, the rifle is completely self-contained, eliminating the need for a backpack full of electronics.
But that smaller package comes at the cost of range: DroneGun Tactical can secure targets up to 1 km (0.6 mi) away, but that's probably enough for many users. To make up for it, the new model can disrupt a wider range of frequencies, adding the 433 MHz and 915 MHz bands to the existing 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz.
The DroneGun Tactical is available for purchase now "to qualified end-users, where lawful." That means it's likely only certain government agencies will be able to get their hands on them for now.
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