Drones can go just about anywhere – which is a problem for airports, government facilities or anywhere that airborne intruders aren't welcome. In the past, net guns and drone-hunting eagles have been used to keep them at bay, but two new systems, soon to launch in the US, might offer more permanent protection. DroneSentinel will detect unauthorized UAVs and, if local laws allow, the companion DroneSentry system will jam their signals to ground them.
The two systems are built on the same base technology that is designed to detect incoming drones through a variety of methods. DroneSentinel and DroneSentry both pack radar, radio frequency, acoustic, thermal and optical sensors, and once a potential intruder is spotted, the information is compared against an internal database of drone signatures before alerting the user via SMS, email, or through an existing security network.
But DroneSentry goes the extra mile, with the option to unleash a radio frequency countermeasure. Like the company's standalone DroneGun, this system can engage an intruder from up to 2 km (1.2 miles) away, scrambling the signal between the drone and the controller and causing the aircraft to either land or return home. This could be particularly useful for places like prisons, which are increasingly struggling with drones dropping contraband to inmates.
The problem is, in many parts of the US it's still illegal to jam these signals. Users looking to set up this kind of system should make themselves aware of the local legislation first, and if it's a no-go, DroneSentinel's detection package is a decent alternative. If the laws change down the track – and they probably will – the technology is modular, so the countermeasure system can be added later.
DroneShield has just started taking orders for DroneSentry, and the company expects production will begin by the end of 2017.