Arthur Holland Michel and Bard College’s Center for the Study of Drones has released its second edition of Counter Drone Systems. It provides an introductory overview of drone technology as well as an open-source database of all current counter drone detection products.

Key takeaways from the document include:

  • In 2015 there were a dozen counter drone products on the marketplace. In 2019 there were 537.
  • The kill chain steps include: 1) Detecting 2) Identifying 3) Locating 4) Tracking and 5) Interdicting the drone.
  • No one detection method was 100% effective. No one interdiction method was 100% effective.
  • Layering multiple detection and interdiction products and methods was effective.
  • Response time windows for law enforcement to make a kill/no-kill decision were very tight – less than 1 minute from detection to interdiction decision.
  • Radio Frequency (RF) signal jamming was the most common approach to drone interdiction, but it is illegal. Drone manufacturers are making it harder to jam a signal and are developing miniaturized inertial navigation systems that enable drones to navigate long distances in GPS-denied environments. In addition, once the mobile telephone companies implement their 5G networks, drones will be able to be controlled from cell phones where the operator may be thousands of miles away from the drone. Jamming of this particular Rf frequency would interfere with cellular communications for everyone on that network.
  • The advent of drone technology immediately made several existing laws obsolete. The issue is complex with overlapping authorities, so very little progress has been made at the federal level. For example, it is currently illegal to jam radio frequencies. Four federal agencies have been authorized to mitigate the drone threat. They are the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security.

The complete document can be downloaded at:  https://dronecenter.bard.edu/

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