Not in my airspace: Airbus rolls out anti-drone system

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Credit: Airbus Defense and Space

Airbus system spots, tracks and then can jam drone communications

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Unwanted unmanned aircraft in your airspace? Zap ‘em with a new anti-drone system from Airbus Defense and Space.

As the drone world seems to be exploding -- along with increased reports of close calls with other aircraft and privacy invasion complaints -- the inevitable backlash against the unmanned aircraft may also be growing.

Perhaps one example of that backlash came in the form of Airbus’ counter-UAV system rolled out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

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The Airbus anti-drone system employs infrared cameras, radar technology and sensors to spot and track drones over six miles away, the company says. If the incoming drone is considered suspicious, the system can use electronic signals to jam the drone’s communications and more:

“Based on an extensive threat library and real-time analysis of control signals, a jammer interrupts the link between drone and pilot and/or its navigation. Furthermore, the direction finder tracks the position of the pilot who subsequently can be dealt with by law enforcement. Due to the Smart Responsive Jamming Technology developed by Airbus Defence and Space, the jamming signals are blocking only the relevant frequencies used to operate the drone while other frequencies in the vicinity remain operational. Since the jamming technology contains versatile receiving and transmitting capabilities, more sophisticated measures like remote control classification and GPS spoofing can be utilized as well. This allows effective and specific jamming and, therefore, a takeover of the UAV,” the company stated.

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The Airbus system follows a recent Layer 8 post that detailed the US Federal Bureau of Prisons looking for such as system to protect federal prison guards and prisoners from incoming threatening drones.

The group, which is an agency of the Department of Justice issued a Request for Information in November specifically targeting what it called a fully integrated system that will allow for the detection, tracking, interdiction, engagement and neutralization of small -- less the 55lb -- unmanned aerial system.

“Recent advances in unmanned air vehicles have presented a new and evolving threat to the BOP’s mission. From small devices of less than a pound that can provide unauthorized imagery and surveillance to larger systems that can carry 20 or more pounds of contraband, these devices represent a new and unprecedented challenge for BOP personnel” the agency stated.

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