Drone Wars: Anti-Drone ‘Gun’ Used to Protect World Leaders

(Photo: Bloomberg)

Remote-controlled drones are everywhere these days. I might be paranoid, but I always wonder: what, exactly, are they doing up there?

Maybe they’re innocently filming their kid’s soccer game, or maybe not…

But now my tinfoil hat and I can have some peace, thanks to the HP 47 Counter UAV Jammer.

The HP Jammer made headlines earlier this month as Swiss police officers donned their Hoth Snowtrooper outfits and prepared to fight off the impending drone attack at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Swiss law enforcement didn’t get an opportunity to use their new toy (as far as we know), but I was intrigued by the weapon (?), and I wanted to learn more about it.

Sadly, it doesn’t shoot projectiles from the three black tubes on the front half of the gun. Instead, it emits disrupting signals that disable a drone’s ability to communicate with its radio controller. This causes the drone to hover in midair until it can be taken out by sniper fire or a rocket-propelled net.

It sounds like overkill, but small, remote-controlled drones have turned into a serious security threat over the last few years.

(Photo: Bloomberg)

In Davos, authorities were concerned that drones could be used to map police and security positions and conduct surveillance. And, as everyone’s favorite Youtube star proved last summer, arming a drone is well within the realm of possibility.

The U.S. Secret Service dealt with two drone incidents at the White House earlier this year. While no one was injured and the drone operators did not seem to have nefarious intent, their ability to fly so close to the White House demonstrated the potential risks security forces face from these unmanned flying machines.

Bloomberg.com reported that, while the market for commercial applications of drone technology is estimated at $2 billion, it could be worth $127 billion by 2020, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Such rapid growth could mean that the HP Jammer becomes a common sight at any large gathering of people. Its small, lightweight design allows it to be carried and operated by a single person. It also features narrow bandwidths, which, with the help of its sighting system, allow it to be precisely aimed and keep it from disrupting other radio signals the area.

Michal Mazur, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ drone division, told Bloomberg.com that in the past anti-drone technologies have been primarily used in the Middle East to protect against terrorism. But terrorist organizations like ISIS have brought the fight to countries outside the Middle East, and law enforcement agencies are beginning to take the necessary precautions.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Wade Brown February 3, 2017, 1:20 pm

    Unfortunately, there are many work arounds to systems that jam RF frequencies over a narrow band all the drone needs to do is move away from the frequencies the jammer can use. It is very possible and done many times is to use cellular networks to control the drone, imagine the uproar if the cell frequencies were jammed. Another way is to just use a comprehensive autopilot that tells the drone to go to this GPS locations, these autopilots can had for less than $30, a drone outifitted this way needs no command and control radio so it just turns its radio off.
    Given the speed people can ingest and put into practice devices and software they get from the internet, defending against drones will get harder and harder, they are a serious threat to high value soft targets.

    • Slingblade February 3, 2017, 5:40 pm

      The only serious threats are mindsets such as yours…please don’t feed the hype!

  • Cardboard February 3, 2017, 11:55 am

    Everybody needs to jump up and run skeered because somebody is outside having fun flying a drone.

    Jump up and call the police and say I don’t know what they are doing.
    Like you own the air space above your house.

    We all need to be alarmed over everything now days and call the police like they don’t have anything to do.

    • Slingblade February 3, 2017, 5:41 pm

      YEP!!!

  • Mister Ronald February 3, 2017, 11:53 am

    My dog took out the kid up the streets drone last year. He was flying it and it was in my back yard, You would never realize a Corgi could jump so high but he sure caught that $200.00 drone and destroyed it.
    My chihuahua was having his fun helping by chewing on it when the kid knocked on my door to go into the back yard to get the drone.
    I never seen a 15 year old kid cry so much. His dad came over that night to ask what happened and after I told him his kid may have been teasing the dogs with it, Laughed and said “GOOD” no more drones for him.
    I see he did get another one for Christmas but don’t fly it near my house at all.

  • Zupglick February 3, 2017, 11:49 am

    I wonder how much RF exposure that cop is taking to his head.

  • Tj2000 February 3, 2017, 6:18 am

    Ah Drones, “The other white meat”

  • Winston February 3, 2017, 4:23 am

    Civilians worldwide need AA devices to protect themselves from the neo-liberal bloodsuckers politicians and billionaires who attend Davos.

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