Aerial and pilotless drones are suddenly changing the face of both technology and security. Originally seen as just hobby toys and later graduating to camera-wielding reconnaissance or patrol vehicles, today’s drones can be anything ranging from a ground attack aircraft to a spy plane to a disaster relief delivery vehicle. So when drones are suddenly posing both a threat and danger to the safety or security of a certain area, it’s only a matter of time that anti-drone weapons would be invented. After all, anti-aircraft weapons had to be invented to stave off the threat of air power. Since not everyone has access to a flock of drone-hunting eagles as trained and maintained by the Dutch police force, a new weapon called The Dronegun will be a very viable option with the ability to ground unmanned drones at a range of up to 1.3 miles or 2 kilometers away.
The danger from unmanned drones is a reality today. One example is the danger of collision between drones and aircraft when drones violate an airport’s exclusive airspace. Another danger was shown clearly in the news when Daesh (ISIS) fighters began using drones armed with explosives to attack Iraqi and Allied vehicles and groups of troops. Another danger is that drones can be used by terrorists or criminal elements to spy on facilities or areas they want to penetrate. The Dronegun takes the same approach and concept as a number of drone-jamming systems that fire radio waves into the distance to confuse the drone’s control channels, such as the shoulder-mounted Battelle DroneDefender and the larger Anti-UAV Defence System.
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The A-UAV DS is capable of picking out drones as far away as 5 miles or 8 kilometers, but is a somewhat heavy set of equipment that comes mounted on a vehicle. The Battelle is more portable like the Dronegun, but with a lesser range of only 400 meters or 1,300 feet. The Dronegun is a creation from the Virginia-based Droneshield and promises a more portable option that can quickly be whipped out in the case of an incoming threat. The present Dronegun feels more akin to whipping out an extravagant laser-tag rifle. The Dronegun hooks up to a backpack and when adequately aimed, blasts the drone with electromagnetic noise with the same frequencies that is used for video transmission and control communications. This will typically cause the drone to return to its take-off point. Since the Dronegun can also block GPS, this may cause the drone to likely land near the spot it was “shot down.” The Dronegun promises a decidedly larger drone-free radius, especially for areas where drones should not be allowed to get near such as airports and sensitive national security facilities. It is not, however, intended for civilian use, at least not for the time being, anyway. The Droneshield company is not offering it in the US, other than to government agencies, in the hope that they deem it a safe and appropriate anti-drone tool.