Security Hardware and Technology

Blaster-Like Device Will (Safely) Shoot Down a Drone

In a relatively short period time, drones have evolved from an interesting tech hobby into a growing nuisance and further into a legitimately serious security concern. A new device that looks like a weapon out of science fiction uses electromagnetic signals to quickly and safely knock drones out of the sky.

Shooting down a drone

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Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs for short, have increasingly been encroaching into areas where they are considered a security threat. Stories of drones nearly colliding with airplanes are not uncommon, and drones equipped with video cameras (or worse, explosives) can pose a unique threat to grounds and facility security. However, there aren’t many safe ways to counter them in most settings.

Enter the DroneGun Tactical from DroneShield, which is described as providing “a safe countermeasure against a wide range of drone models. It allows for a controlled management of drone payload such as explosives, with no damage to common drone models or [the] surrounding environment.” This anti-UAV device weighs about 15 pounds, has an effective range of up to 1 kilometer, runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and as for design, well, it wouldn’t look out of place being wielded by a stormtrooper in a Star Wars movie (that is to say, it looks cool).

As CNET reports, “It works pretty simply: You point the gun at the drone and pull the trigger. A burst of electromagnetic signals is emitted and jams the connection between the drone and its pilot. It uses radio frequencies to stop a drone from transmitting video and jams the drone’s signals, forcing it to return to its launch point or land on the spot.” If the UAV’s response is to return to the starting point, this offers an opportunity to track it back to the operator.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to get your own DroneGun Tactical anytime soon. Currently, it is manufactured only for government or commercial use and its ownership or operation outside of these limitations is strictly prohibited by federal law.

Of course, there are plenty of lower-tech ways to bring down a drone. The French air force is using a squadron of golden eagles to provide anti-UAV security to great effect, and a gentleman in Kentucky shot down a drone with birdshot in 2015.