How to Stop Weaponized Consumer Drones

Drone-hunting during the 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory Commanders Challenge at the Nevada National Security Site in Las Vegas.

U.S. Air Force / Wesley Farnsworth

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Drone-hunting during the 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory Commanders Challenge at the Nevada National Security Site in Las Vegas.

Have a drone you want removed from the sky? Grab your wallet, some patience, and probably a lawyer — because so far, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Just a few months ago, a head of state was attacked with off-the-shelf consumer drones — an apparent first. It happened in broad daylight on August 4 in Venezuela. According to police, a pair of drones exploded and missed their target, presumed to have been the embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Experts break counter-UAV technology into four broad categories: 1) tracking, 2) jamming, 3) kinetic, and 4) hybrid, hijacking, and cyber-focused approaches.

There are rather a lot of options in Categories 1 to 3; and virtually none that have been proven effective in Category 4. That means if countering drones is your mission, you’ll need a good deal of money — and perhaps even more, patience — to diversify and work through numerous systems and gadgets and digital tools that might do the job.

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