As drone numbers rocket across the world, concerns mount over their safety in the wrong hands.
With even ISIS reportedly using shop-bought drones to drop hand grenades on Western troops in Iraq, anti-drone technologies are on the rise.
Enter the DroneGun, a signal-jamming rifle capable of taking out an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from 1.2 miles (2km) away.
The DroneGun is the brainchild of tech firm DroneShield, a self-proclaimed ‘worldwide leader’ in drone detection and protection technology based in Sydney and Virginia.
The gun is designed to stop drones with explosives or other weapons strapped to them using radio waves.
The weapon works by jamming a Radio Frequency signal in the drone, taking away control from the pilot and gently landing the drone safely on the ground.
This controlled vertical landing stops weaponised drones from flying into targets even when disabled.
‘Most modern drones are equipped with a protocol that they come back to their operator when the Radio Frequency signal is jammed, and land when Radio Frequency and GPS are both jammed,’ company spokesman Mr Oleg Vornik told MailOnline.
‘The jammer doesn’t control the drone, it’s an automatic response from the drones themselves.
‘You don’t want something that takes control of the drone, as that’s manipulating drone comms protocols, which is individual to each drone, and pretty hard to do.
‘This is especially true for radio ‘frequency hoppers’ like the DJI Phantom 4, which is the most popular drone model out there – think of it like the iPhone of drones,’ he said.
The DroneGun will block video transmission back to the pilot, as well as the drone’s GPS, halting any chance for the pilot to regain control.
‘DroneGun provides a safe countermeasure against a wide range of drone models,’ the company, which is based in Sydney and Virginia, says on its website.
‘It allows for a controlled management of drone payload such as explosives without damaging common models or the surrounding environment.’
On top of its impressive 1.2 mile (2km) range, the 6kg (13lbs) weapon can disable drones over two common signal frequencies – 2.4 and 5.8 GHz.
As terrorist groups such as ISIS have reportedly been using shop-bought drones to drop explosives in Iraq this year, and with fears growing over the aerial vehicles’ safety around commercial aircraft, it’s little wonder countermeasures like the DroneGun are in development.
The DroneGun is not yet available in the US, with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yet to approve it.
But it is far from the only anti-drone solution to have surfaced in recent months.
Drones that can carry nets to capture and neutralise other drones were developed by Michigan Tech University earlier this year.
They were designed to capture and remove explosive or weaponised drones to a safe area.
A British ray gun will soon to be tested at US airports to take down drones flying too close to commercial airliners.
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