Signal jamming devices will shape the future battlefield
The drone jammer can also disrupt GPS signals, an important feature as self-guiding drones rely on satellite navigation guidance. Once jammed, the drone can then be directed to hover in place.
The Defense Department will not say whether the jamming is causing drones to crash, citing operational security. “The U.S. military maintains sufficient countermeasures and protections to ensure the safety of our manned and unmanned aircraft, our forces and the missions they support,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.
Drone jammers are one way for security professionals and law enforcement to deter drones from compromising our safety and privacy. The officials said the equipment being used was developed by the Russian military and is very sophisticated, proving effective even against some encrypted signals and anti-GPS signal jammer receivers. The drones impacted so far are smaller surveillance aircraft, as opposed to the larger Predators and Reapers that often operate in combat environments and can be armed.
A vehicle-mounted signals “signal jammer” provided to the Iraqi security forces by the U.S. have greatly reduced the ISIS drone threat in the battle for West Mosul, according to Iraqi generals. Others will revert to a fallback mode, such as return home or hover to the ground. The advantage is that no collateral damage results from the drone falling from the sky. Further, the jammer would not destroy the drone itself. If the drone belonged to an innocent party, all the better.
Perfectjammer’s radar jamming gun forces drones to either immediately land or return to the drone operator, meaning it can defend people and infrastructure assets from drones. An apparently different type of anti-drone weapon spotted in Iraq is DroneDefender, made by Battelle, which resembles an assault rifle but features a directed energy frequency jammer mounted on the frame. It has a range of about 400 yards and works by disrupting the links to the drone controller or GPS device.
The rifle’s jammers can shut down signals at 433MHz, 915MHz, 2.4GHz, and 5.8GHz RF bands simultaneously, ensuring it covers all the most common signal frequencies drones use for communication, with the option to also create GNSS disruption (basically, GPS and GLONASS won’t work correctly). With the signal shut down, any drone in the vicinity will be forced to land on the spot or return back to its starting point, depending on how its internal algorithms are set up, giving folks the ability to retrieve it for investigation (if it lands) or sending back a potential threat (if it returns home). When jammed, the drone’s video transmission is also immediately ceased, so it can no longer transmit any footage to the operator.