In Brief
A new device built by UK firms shoots high-powered radio signals to immobilize drones.
Jamming the radio signal

A device called Anti-UAV Defense System (Auds) has been developed by three British companies to freeze drones in mid-flight. The Auds works by disrupting a drone’s signal to make it unresponsive. According to the manufacturers, the whole process takes as little as 25 seconds, from detecting, targeting and disabling a flying drone. The system is equipped with radar for detection and a camera with thermal imaging. A high-powered radio signal is focused on the drone to override its connection with its operator. “It’s a radio signal. There are a number of frequency bands that are used by all of the (drone) manufacturers,” says Paul Taylor of Enterprise Control Systems, which developed the system together with Blighter Surveillance Systems and Chess Dynamics.”We transmit into those frequencies in the direction of the UAV using a directional antenna. There’s quite a lot of radio power on the UAV – so much so that it can only hear our Auds signal,” he explained.

Drone deterrent

The Auds operator has the option to freeze the drone for a short time or for a longer period until its battery runs out and it crashes. Taylor adds that the device has been tested in the UK, the USA and France, and that government organizations in all three countries had been involved in those tests. With the proliferation of hobbyist drones, the drone deterrent system is looking to address concerns such as the safeguarding of skies over sensitive government installations and airports.