DRONES are emerging as a new frontier in location-based services, along with IoT and Driverless Cars. News, articles, and analysis posted here will focus on the intersection of Drones and LBS.   

Last Updated: 3/15/19

Weapon Makers Declare War on Drones

A new arms race in anti-drone technology is emerging, as airports and militaries face an increasing menace from unmanned aircraft (The WSJ, March 15, 2019)

Arms makers are targeting the growing menace of drones at airports and on battlefields with a rush to develop new missile systems, radar jammers and laser cannons.

U.S. forces, along with Middle East allies and Russian troops, have been forced to confront hostile drone operations. Commercial flights at some of the world’s busiest hubs—in New York, London and Dubai—have been grounded in recent months amid concerns that nearby drones could endanger airliners.

The rising number of incidents has put the threat in the public eye and propelled interest in anti-drone technology. Defense industry officials say armed forces still account for most spending.

The anti-drone market should exceed $1.2 billion in annual sales next year and top $1.5 billion in 2021, Frost & Sullivan estimated. While that is a fraction of the spending each year on combat aircraft, the fast-growing category could become a lucrative new revenue stream for weapons makers.

Drones are “starting to become a really big problem,” said Hakan Buskhe, chief executive of Swedish defense company Saab AB. Anti-drone equipment “is something we are in discussion on with many countries and authorities around the globe.”

For airports, the principal way to counter drones is to disrupt their radio and navigation links. Industry executives say few tech suppliers have invested in the technology so far, although London Gatwick airport has said it has bought unspecified military-grade counter-drone equipment. Gatwick endured three days of disruption in December because of malicious drone use, during which police were cleared to shoot down the drone. The opportunity never arose.,,

...Counter-drone systems designed for armed forces vary in complexity because the unmanned-aircraft threat is diverse, ranging from modified hobbyist equipment to sophisticated military systems...

...Singapore’s ST Engineering Electronics Ltd. sells a 6.6-pound radar gun powered by a 24-pound battery backpack that can jam a drone’s GPS signal and disrupt the radio link to its operator. The system has a radio-frequency detector with a range of 1.2 miles and comes with a camera that can identify drones 550 yards away....

Diehl Defence, in addition to its work with Lockheed, has developed a system to fire electronic bursts at a drone to fry its electronics. It has a range of more than 0.6 miles and comes in a smaller, civil version with about half that range.

The military version can be vehicle-mounted to move with front-line troops and protect their camp, and can take down sophisticated drones that don’t depend on GPS or links with an operator...

...The U.S. and others are already experimenting with even more futuristic technologies.

Boeing Co. in 2015 used a laser to shoot down a small drone and it has since delivered such equipment to the U.S. Army. The Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser was mounted on a Stryker combat vehicle and used in exercises, including last year. Boeing says the system, demonstrated with up to 10 kilowatt of power, functions like a welding torch that can heat up a target hundreds of yards or more away...

...So far, no technology has emerged as a clear winner...

....Other counter-drone systems are designed to be carried by individualsRead More

Analysis: This last point is grossly understated. We predict a thriving black market of drone-killers once the technology (and price points) become feasible. Potentially with GPS "spoofing" prior to the kill to disguise the location of the kill....