Drone use is becoming more prominent than ever, which is forcing the government to take action in beefing up their anti-drone technology.The Secret Service will begin conducting tests in the dead of night creating a defense system against the incoming drones. In the coming weeks, controlled drones will be flown over different parts of Washington DC between 1 AM and 4 AM.
The airspace is normally a no-fly-zone, but the FAA has granted the Secret Service a waiver for their tests. Just this past January, the White House had to go on lockdown while President Obama was out of town due to a drone landing on the White House lawn at 3 AM. It was determined to have been accidental, not a security threat.
Drones have gone from an underground exotic technology to a readily available gadget in recent years thanks to companies like DJI and 3D Robotics. Even an unexperienced flyer can pilot the drone with relative ease.
“There are basically three ways to stop a drone,” said Jeremy Gillula, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “Block the radio signals linking the drone to its controller, hack the aircraft's control signals and trick it into believing it is somewhere else, or physically disable it. Some drone manufacturers program a ‘geo fence’ - location coordinates that their drones treat as off limits, and refuse to fly past - into the drone's programming. Police also could physically knock a drone out of the air with a projectile or use a net to catch it.”
While the final option sounds primitive compared to the others, Gillula goes on to state it would be the most effective way of doing it.
"If it were me that would actually be the first thing I would think about doing," Gillula said. "You would have to basically encase the White House in this net. It sure wouldn't look pretty, but in some ways it would be the most effective way."
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