The advent of the drones in society provided as many advances as problems to day-today life, and in the field of live events it is not very different. If unmanned aerial vehicles have brought to the organizers the possibility of new insights into the parties or sporting matches they host, they have also increased the possibilities for pirate transmissions, with private drones “invading” the airspace of their events to allow thousands of people to watch the happenings live without paying for the privilege of doing so.
To deal with the problem, NASCAR are following the suit of other major event organisers by contracting Droneshield, the Australian company who have developed technology to jam and down unidentified rogue drones.
Last weekend, Texan police made use of the technology during a race on behalf of NASCAR. The “DroneGun,” is a system that blocks device commands, making it possible for it to be disabled and knocked down – in extreme situations – safely.
This follows the use of the technology at the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, where a DroneGun was used to down a random drone that a spectator brought to the event.
The solution does not exist just to shoot down those streaming the event illiegally, though; by enlisting Droneshield’s help, NASCAR hopes to prevent serious accidents from being caused by the technology. Faulty drones, for example, can fall on the track and stop the race, hitting pilots and causing a very serious accident.
The technology works buy jamming the transmission signal passing between the drone and the user who commands it, forcing the device to follow its preprogrammed standards to safely descend to the ground.
“We are proud to be able to assist a high-profile event like this,” said Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s CEO, in an announcement to the press. “We also believe that this is significant for DroneShield in that this is the first known live operational use of all three of our key products – DroneSentinel, DroneSentry and DroneGun – by U.S. law enforcement.”
The main purpose of this new stance by US law enforcement agencies is to prevent unauthorized exposure of people, especially public figures, and prevent accidents from being caused by large events.
DroneGuns have been used at several for security and safety at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and other events by police and has been issued a stock number by NATO meaning it is suitable for military use.