American directional signal jammers snipe at Iranian drones

Which means that while LMADIS apparently fried the circuits of the Iranian drone last week—the first-ever “kill” by a US directed-energy weapon—that’s not always the expected result. “The UAV will typically go into some kind of default pattern, to return to base or to go land somewhere,” says Clarke. “The system is powerful enough that for a smaller UAV, if it gets close enough, the energy from the cell phone jammer will disrupt the electronics on the drone, and cause it to just fail. But normally the jammer would be used just to jam the communications.”

As more industries — like law enforcement and transportation — rely on GPS-enabled devices, jamming has the potential to interfere with business-critical operations and data. In fleet management tracking, GPS information can be connected to data such as fuel use, driving behavior, engine health, vehicle synchronization and safety metrics. Therefore, GPS jammer can disrupt all of this information and cause major outages.

MADIS uses jammers to block a drone’s communications which forces it to crash. There are also some versions of the MADIS which are capable of actually firing at drones. The report doesn’t clarify which version of the MADIS was used in this instance.

The Marine Corps’ dune buggy drone jammer may have downed two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military have officials announced.

For all its advantages, the LMADIS does have some blind spots. It’s relatively ineffective against a fully autonomous drone, for instance; jamming’s not very useful if there’s no communication in the first place. It inconveniences bigger UAVs rather than destroying them. And there’s the potential for friendly fire; a nearby US helicopter could see its own communications disrupted, for instance, if it gets winged by an RF blast. Which is why the LMADIS system, despite its recent success, should be seen as the first phase of a much more ambitious project.