Drone jamming system for the protection of European airports and public spaces

Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and destroying drones entering their airspace, said Dan Hermansen, Chief Technology Officer of the Danish anti-drone company MyDefence.

The company has developed a drone alert and protection system that will be installed at several major sites in Europe, including one at an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruptions that have recently occurred at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Why are drone jammer a growing problem in our skies?

If you go back maybe five years, the first incidents came up. At this point nobody really cared about the airspace below the normal flight level. So if you fly below 200 or 300 meters, nobody really cares, because there is no other aircraft at this level, unless you are near an airport.

In the last five years, regulations have come into effect in various countries to ensure that drones do not fly near airports, prisons, military installations or other critical infrastructures. But more and more people are using the technology. They get drones as toys at Christmas, so of course they’ll go out and fly them.

Is it on purpose or because people do not know any better?

In some cases, it’s just ignorance. People who do not know the rules and regulations. I think if you look at some of the recent cases at Gatwick and Heathrow (airports) this could be the case. (People) want to try their new toy and do not know they need to be at least one kilometer from an airport. Then someone reports a drone that flies near the airfield, causing the kind of shutdowns we saw recently.

“But there are also people who do not care about the regulations, which in our view is a more worrying problem.”

How are drones used in these cases?

“Some use them for criminal acts. For example, drones are used to smuggle drugs, phones or other things into prisons. This is a very specific use case where the pilot intentionally violates the rules.

“There is another category in which we classify it as terrorism or harassment. We have looked at that in recent years. For example, the military is concerned about direct attacks. There are soldiers being attacked by commercial drones retrofitted with grenades or other explosives.

At the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were many road bombs using improvised explosive devices or IEDs. Now that the IED actually flies. It is not dug into the dirt at the roadside, but strapped to a simple drone and flown into a vehicle or a crowd.

“With an airport, you do not even have to put a bomb on the drone, you just have to fly it in. The pilot can be hidden in a tall building so no one can see it.”

How can the impact on airports affect?

“There have now been several airports closed for drone sightings – in the past there have been reports in Dubai, Copenhagen and Heathrow in London, where airports were closed for half an hour to one hour to make sure the drone had disappeared but during the recent incident in Gatwick, it was more than a day on which no aircraft could take off – about 900 flights were canceled and 120,000 passengers were affected – imagine how expensive that is. ”

Why are airports not better protected?

“Few airports have countermeasures or even procedures to detect and defeat drones, and they have been left miserably as technology has allowed people to control these things.”

Do you need more regulations?

“I am not sure if it will really help to regulate more.” In most countries there are now regulations, and to fly a drone in an urban area, for example, you need a license. The problem is that there are people who do not follow the rules. ”

Can anti-drone technology help here?

‘Yes. We have developed a drone alert and protection system called KNOX. It uses radio frequency sensors to monitor the radio spectrum and to search for control signals or video transmissions used by drones. (Algorithms) can give an indication of which direction the signal comes from and how strong it is, and an indication of how far away it is