From being used in military and commercial sector for security purposes to being used as a means of medicine delivery in healthcare, the applications of drones are advancing day by day and so is the technology behind it. However, with the surge in drone traffic in civilian airspace in the recent times, there is a higher possibility of the malicious use of these unmanned vehicles. Especially when it poses a threat to the safety of public and critical assets, it is imperative that effective countermeasures be put into place to ensure their security.
Several counter-drone technologies are available in the market today. Among the most effective ones are those that work on electromagnetic waves and are used in detection and jamming of unregistered drones, possibly used for malicious purposes. Radio frequency analysers for instance are used to detect communication between a drone and its controller through their antennas that receive radio waves. Some high-end analysers can even identify the models of these drones. Their affordability and accuracy in detecting more than one drone as well as their controllers are some of their major perks.
Other than these, microwave devices also help in disrupting the functioning of drones. The electromagnetic waves that they generate interfere with the radio links of the drones and help in stopping them effectively. Optical waves also play a crucial role in countering UAVs given their ability facilitates drone identification through visuals. An effective optical sensor will be able to display the exact features of drones, thus helping operators to classify the target accurately and respond to them accordingly.
While counter-technology is available, it is to be noted that not all of them may be allowed to be used, depending on the regulations from country to country. Moreover, each of these technologies has drawbacks of its own. For instance, optical sensors may not perform accurately in dark lightings or under fog. Similarly, some radio frequency analysers tend to be less effective in areas with increased traffic of radio frequency waves.
In this regard, research organisations like Bharat Aero have been analysing the impact of electromagnetic waves on drones to tackle any prevailing challenges in countering unregistered UAVs. Bharat Aero in particular has been working with various OEMs and scientific labs to facilitate robust asset protection services to the vulnerable sectors by adopting the practice of simulation and prototyping.