March 15, 2013

Do you want to keep drones out of your backyard?

An Oregon company says that it has developed and will soon start selling technology that disables unmanned aircraft.

The company, called Domestic Drone Countermeasures, was founded in late February because some of its engineers see unmanned aerial vehicles—which are already being flown by law enforcement in some areas and could see wider commercial integration into American airspace by 2015—as unwanted eyes in the sky.

"I was personally concerned and I think there's a lot of other people worried about this," says Timothy Faucett, a lead engineer on the project. "We've already had many inquiries, a lot of people saying 'Hey, I don't want these drones looking at me.'"

Domestic Drones Countermeasures was formed as a spin-off company from Aplus Mobile, which sells rugged computer processors to defense contractors—though the company won't discuss its specific technology because it is still applying for several patents. Faucett says that work has helped inform its anti-drone technology.

The company will sell land-based boxes that are "non-offensive, non-combative and not destructive." According to the company, "drones will not fall from the sky, but they will be unable to complete their missions."

Though Faucett wouldn't discuss specifics, he says the boxes do not interfere with a drone's navigation system and that it doesn't involve "jamming of any kind." He says their technology is "an adaptation of something that could be used for military application" with the "combat element replaced with a nondestructive element."

"We understand the nature of the equipment drone manufacturers are using and understand how to counter their sensors," Faucett says. "We're not going to be countering Predator drones that are shooting cruise missiles, but we're talking about local law enforcement drones and commercial ones that people might be using for spying."

For now, Faucett admits the technology is "expensive," but the company is already ready to design custom anti-drone boxes for customers.

"We envision it could be cheap enough for residential use very soon," he says. "It's quite possible to deploy it if you were shooting a movie and wanted to protect your set, or if you had a house in Malibu and wanted to protect that, we could deploy it there. If a huge company like Google wanted to protect its server farms, it can be scaled up for a larger, fixed installation."

As drones become more commonplace, Faucett says more people will begin searching for a way to protect their privacy.

"The thing that brought it home for me was Senator [Rand] Paul doing the filibuster, there's a lot of unanswered questions," he says. "We think there might be as much business for this counter drone stuff as there is for the drones themselves."

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  • Its probably a roof.

  • Moderator

    This is what I'm using.  I've disguised my house as a house!


  • This is most likely a laser dazzler with an optical tracker and gimble mount system. Interesting to see what happens to the owner of such a device when a manned police heli, searching back yards at low level, looking for a fleeing robbery suspect. Pilot temporarily blinded with possible eye damage or worse yet he looses visual orientation and crashes. Great idea! Not, and probable very illegal if it locks onto a maned craft.

  • In Greece lazers are being used against cameras AND the police themselves for years.

    Cameras are not damaged as far as I know but temporarily blinded.

  • Did any body see the Movie 'Up in Smoke " You could mount a large mylar tarp over your house that looks like a swimming pool from the top or get some surplus smoke shells from the surplus store when a drone comes along set one off . or project a 3D holograph image of the open desert over your property . maby just a badminton racket or a couple of extra pool skimmers sitting  by the lawn chair . did I hear some one say sling shot? or potato canon ? Garden Hose? Auto tracking laser . You could also unleash the power lying dormant in a pet rock!

  • "Though Faucett wouldn't discuss specifics, he says the boxes do not interfere with a drone's navigation system and that it doesn't involve "jamming of any kind." He says their technology is "an adaptation of something that could be used for military application" with the "combat element replaced with a nondestructive element.""

    "Doesn't involve jamming of any kind."

    GPS interference is most likely defined as jamming, but this is a matter of interpetation I guess.


    "Replacing the combat element replaced with a nondestructive element."

    I have not tried to aim a laser beam into my gopro, but I Guess it would screw up the image. Or can it be an IR beam?? If you are wondering if Your TV Remote is working, you can film it With an iPhone while pressing keys. The IR beam should show.


    Anyway, it is something for People With a lot of cash, or a lot of Secrets, or both. So I do not think that we as normal hybbists have anything to fear. Except from a redneck With a shotgun of course ;-)

  • I guess their product is something like GPS interference device. It can be very small, cell phone size, and will be able to interrupt GPS signal.

  • Interesting.

    What they didn't say is more important than what they said.

    They didn't say they would disable the aircraft (thus causing a flying danger to anyone/anything around).

    My gut response: Massive photo flash lamps directed in overlapping regions that would overload the camera sensors.

    My gut rebuttal: The concept is best at night. Day use may be tougher. Possible wide beam laser energy, pulsed would be better to achieve the same level of 'camera blindness' in day light.

    Where there is a product, there is usually a counter-product, or service.


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