It's an unfortunate fact of life: As technology advances to make our lives easier and better, there will inevitably be those who look to exploit a given advancement for their own, often illicit, purposes.
The rise of computers and the Internet brought with it the new phenomenon of cyber crime. The solution was an equal and opposite rise in security technology.
It may be impossible to completely eliminate someone from using a new piece of technology for unintended purposes, but the next best option is to attempt to stay one step ahead in the safety and security department. This is exactly what Denmark-based MyDefence Communication is attempting to do for one of the hottest new technologies on the market: drones.
Drones have found a loyal following among hobbyists and have found a regular home in many AEC firms' toolkits for their ability to easily take aerial photos and videos. But they have also wreaked havoc on regulators trying to prevent them from being used for illegitimate purposes, such as a privacy-invasion tool or a weapon. In Iraq, the Islamic State has used drones carrying explosives on the battlefield. Prisons around the world have documented cases of people attempting to smuggle contraband to inmates via drones.
MyDefence Communication’s anti-drone system, KNOX, is being tested in two prisons in Denmark and two stadiums in England. KNOX monitors the airspace over a specific site for foreign objects. When an object is detected, KNOX starts jamming the signal to prevent the drone operator from controlling the device. Concurrently, an alarm goes off that indicates where the drone operator is located.
The stadium tests are being used to fine tune the system to be able to find a specific drone signal among thousands of other signals from cell phones and radios. Once identified, the specific drone signal, and no others, needs to be manipulated so that the drone is forced to flee or is rendered incapable of transmitting data.
“We do not simply stop at intercepting signals, as the current solutions on the market do,” says Christian Steino, MyDefence’s CEO. “We are capable of jamming the drone signal and thereby blocking it.”
KNOX is intended for sites with large crowds or where critical infrastructure, such as a power plant, is in place. The system can be scaled up or down depending on the size of the site.