▲ ▼ area denial counter-drone technology
Drone technology, apart from numerous peaceful use cases has become a force multiplier for offensive operations. Drones capable of inflicting damage on infrastructure, lives are not only limited to nations with large defence budget, but has been effectively used by unorganised groups to cause large scale damages due to the low cost of developing and operating a drone force.
Malicious or accidental use of drones in airports have wreaked havoc. Drones are not limited only to air, explosive laden drone boats have already been used in the conflict.
Current counter-drone or anti-drone tech involves blocking signal to the drone for forcing it to land, hacking and use of physical force to destroy drones. The rise of auto pilot, anti-jamming/hacking, swarm tech would render existing counter-drone measures obsolete and hence the need gap for efficient area denial counter-drone technology.
You can disrupt local wifi networks my getting a router to spam de-auth tokens at all of them. If you can collect a list of the most common drone wifi drivers, I wonder if you could do the same thing. That way you don't need to actually interact with the physical device, but you still disrupt their ability to communicate with the pilot if they come within range.
True, that's exactly what Samy Kamkar did to disconnect Parrot drones and hijack it in 2013 - https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/12/flying-hacker-contraption-hunts-other-drones-turns-them-into-zombies/.
But newer drones have 802.11ac and they are protected against deauth attacks using Protected Management Frames (PMF) - https://www.wi-fi.org/knowledge-center/faq/what-are-protected-management-frames .
Wouldn't current anti-aircraft defense work against drones? Also I found these current counter drone technologies - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOKM-aezMdQ .
Anti-aircraft technologies rely upon radar, things which fly at low altitude are tough to track and hence cruise missiles skim above ground or sea to avoid detection. The small size of drones make it even harder to detect, cheap 3D printing technologies has also made easier to print composite materials with radar absorption/deflection properties for drones.
The shortcomings of current counter-drone tech was briefly mentioned by me in the need gap. Jamming radio signals to drone is useless when it has auto pilot, even time based or primitive mechanical auto-pilot would defeat this attack. GPS spoofing attack could deter drones using GPS based navigation, but it cannot be used in the areas which are sensitive to GPS usage such as cities, airports etc.
Physical attacks on drones itself is effective, provided the area is uninhabited to prevent injuries from falling debris. But if the adversary is a drone swarm consisting dozens of drones, physical attacks might not be even possible. Besides, the cost of deploying these measures are multi-fold compared to cost of deploying a home-brewed drone for attacking vital installations.
Hence I feel there is a large need gap for efficient area denial counter-drone technologies.