Education and Perimeter Protection as Drone Countermeasures
Privacy and security violation by Rouge drones are being viewed seriously across the world. A recent article by Ken Dunlap, managing partner of Catalyst-Go, a U.S.-based drone and autonomous vehicle consultancy focuses on the security threat aspect of drones in the US.
In his article series, Ken Dunlap, has elaborately explained two commonly available countermeasures to protect facilities and people from rouge drones. Education or public awareness and perimeter protection have been identified as the primary tools in countering rouge drone activity.
Public Awareness – It is a good idea to educate the local community and develop awareness through messaging campaigns aimed at drone operators, before resorting to exotic, and likely expensive counter drone technology. FAA figures show that nearly eight out of 10 drone operators are amateurs or who are most likely unaware of the restrictions and potential dangers caused by their operations. It would be safe to assume that the threats from this hobbyist group are more of reckless operation category than malicious intent.
This means that a targeted messaging campaign—social media, public-service announcements, signage, etc.—can be very effective. Additionally, 75% of drones purchased in the U.S. are from a single manufacturer and in the price range between $500 and $1,500. Identifying and targeting these buyers is likely to help reduce illegal nuisance operations.
Perimeter protection – As per Dunlap’s observation, most people don’t evaluate and exploit drone vulnerabilities. For instance, considering specific factor that govern drone operations- battery life of the drone and its radio link with the operator, standard locations for drone launch can be identified.
The weight of an aircraft is proportional to its power usage and inversely affects its range meaning as distance to be flown increases; the weight the drone can carry decreases. Thus denying close-in locations to your facility, problems for all drone operators will rise. Active patrols or passive CCTV monitoring can be employed around these areas both as a deterrent and active countermeasure and provide effective backup for security forces.
By studying factors like the type of threat anticipated, the locations that need protection and the type of drone to be neutralized, a fairly detailed map of probable launch locations can be made. The need for a drone operator to remain in contact with his aircraft can also be exploited in order to steer the device through onboard camera systems via a command link. Buildings, trees, hills, foliage and a host of other structures all interfere with a drone’s lifeline—its command-and control signal.
Use of terrain maps to identify areas with a clear line of sight to the parts of a facility to be protected can be worked out. This can be reversed-engineered to identify potential launch points. This information combined with the map, battery life and drone performance, presents datasets that can be developed into robust maps integrated into perimeter protection plans. Dunlap’s approach seems not only effective but also inexpensive compared to complex technologies being considered to counter illegal or unauthorized drone use.
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