The influx of easily affordable drones makes it easy for the average consumer to acquire one and use it how they see fit. Unfortunately, the increase in commercial drone technology has seen several counter-drone measures become available to consumers interested in combatting the potential menace. They are based on either physically shooting the drones out of the sky or scrambling their electronics so that they crash. The potential for disruption is high as these counter-drone measures threaten commercial interests, not just private users.
Commercial Counter-Drone Tech in its Nascency
While the military utilizes counter-drone technology in its regular operation, commercial companies are only now entering the game. As a result, the technology to interact with and destroy drone threats is still experimental or only rudimentary in many cases. Even if they could sort the problems with functionality out, however, there is another significant legal roadblock that counter-drone manufacturers need to overcome. US legislation strictly prohibits the use of counter-drone technology within the country, with the only exception being federal agencies.
Two New Problems for Counter-Drone Systems
Counter-drone systems are likely to encounter a couple more issues in addition to their grey legal coverage. Many detection systems for drones don’t cover a wide range, so they can’t pick up on threats from too far away. With smaller, more agile drones, the systems might not even be able to shoot them down because of their sluggish response times.
Also, the use of counter-drone technology risks producing a dangerous positive feedback loop if these systems become widely commercially available. Manufacturers will start developing methods to work around the counter-drone threat, which will prompt those companies to combat the latest drone advances. Current advances already make the devices safer against existing counter-drone tactics. Counter-drone systems don’t yet prove a significant threat to commercially produced drones. Still, as retail companies start using them for deliveries, the technology might become useful for intercepting those deliveries with little risk to the perpetrators.