As security threats grow, so do methods of safety. A San Diego, California based startup is preventing drone attacks from terrorists. SkySafe, which is a drone defense and airspace control solutions company, recently raised $11.5 million from a group of investors, and inked a deal through the Pentagon’s innovation lab to work with the Navy SEALs.
Drones can be a threat to public safety and military security if they are flown by an un-authorized person for malicious reasons or by a newbie pilot who is just not very good. As drones become more popular than ever, the threats that accompany them have become more serious too.
For example flying a drone for activities such as agricultural surveillance and disaster management may seem like great uses of UAVs, the thought of a drone dropping bombs on soldiers on taking in contraband to places where it is difficult for people to get through can be scary.
Hence there are various ways been used and developed to keep drones away from places from where shouldn’t be flying to. These include systems which can keep drones away and send them back to where they came from, physical protection like nets and guns, and other methods like using birds of prey.
SkySafe intends to keep unwanted drones away from public places where they can cause harm and have developed technology that can be used in prisons, war zones, airports and other such areas. The company says it focuses on the radio frequency technology that goes into the drones and uses signals coming in from the drones themselves or the controllers. With that they can identify the drones, track them and intercept them.
All of this is done in real time which means drones cannot do anything on the sly without being intercepted. Other companies too are working towards similar technologies and include ApolloShield, which uses similar technology and can detect drones which are flying as high as two miles above ground level.
However SkySafe is unique in its approach since its aim to develop a mobile solution to prevent rogue drones makes it an ideal solution for military uses. The company said news headlines about ISIS using drones for attacks was terrible and its technology was capable of preventing such potential attacks.
SkySafe particularly appealed to DIUx and Pentagon leaders because the company saw the business benefit of temporarily pivoting from an initial business model of focusing on keeping drones away from facilities like airports to the more mobile approach needed to protect soldiers on the go in combat zones, a company executive said.
The company soon won a contract that would help it develop a prototype system to test in relevant places. The technology will provide a ‘protective bubble’ around vehicles for security from drone attacks, the company said. The technology that can be attached to a military vehicle includes an array of sensors which can search for and locate drones. It can then takes control over un-authorized drones and force it to return to where it came from. It can do all this without distracting soldiers from their primary duties, company sources say.
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