New technique freezes drones in midair

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LONDON: Three UK firms have created a new technique that uses radio beams to freeze drones in mid-flight to prevent them from entering sensitive areas. 

The Anti-UAV Defense System (Auds) covertly jams a drone’s signal, making it unresponsive. 

A drone flying in sensitive airspace can be detected by the Auds radar and then sighted via a camera equipped with thermal imaging capabilities so that it can be targeted visually. 

Then, a high-powered radio signal can be focused on the drone – essentially overriding the connection to whoever is operating it, the BBC reported. 

The Auds operator can choose to freeze the drone just for a short time – to convince its owner that there’s something wrong with it – or for a longer period, until its battery dies and it crashes. 

The whole process takes as little as 25 seconds, according to Paul Taylor of Enterprise Control Systems, which developed the product along with Blighter Surveillance Systems and Chess Dynamics. 

“It’s a radio signal. There are a number of frequency bands that are used by all of the manufacturers,” explained Taylor. 

“We transmit into those frequencies in the direction of the UAV using a directional antenna,” he told the BBC. 

“There’s quite a lot of radio power on to the UAV – so much so that it can only hear our Auds signal,” he said.

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