AT&T* and Dedrone, a San Francisco-based drone detection technology startup, are teaming up on a drone detection solution that helps protect military bases, venues, cities, and businesses, from malicious drones. As drones become more prominent, so does the misuse of the emerging technology. According to the Federal Aviation Administration¹, people purchased roughly 3 million drones worldwide in 2017. More than 1 million drones have been registered in the U.S. This creates a new avenue and threat vector for the community.
The Internet of Things (IoT) didn't just create smart houses and enable predictive analytics for industrial applications. Sometimes, all those things happen at once. At least, that's my takeaway from a new partnership between AT&T and Dedrone, a drone detection technology startup based in San Francisco. According an AT&T spokesperson, "AT&T and Dedrone are teaming up to deploy IoT sensor technology to protect against malicious drones. Powered exclusively by AT&T, and using sensor data like radio frequency, visual, and radar, Dedrone detects and classifies approaching drones, pinpointing their locations and triggering alarms to alert security."
Congress, however, has instructed the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a strategy to permit wide use of counterdrone technologies across airports. But like most airports, such entities generally refrain from publicly spelling out their plans. But the Southern California company soon switched gears to focus on sales to the Defense Department while it waited for commercial prospects to develop. "Unfortunately, innovation outpaced regulation," Mr. Williams said, and "it has put the market in a stalemate." To identify and deter drone intruders, companies are relying on a combination of mobile radars, video systems and acoustic devices, according to Pablo Estrada, vice president of marketing for San Francisco-based Dedrone Inc.
Or is it a remotely operated quadrotor conducting surveillance or preparing to drop a deadly payload? Human observers won't have to guess--or keep their eyes glued to computer monitors--now that there's superhuman artificial intelligence capable of distinguishing drones from those other flying objects. Automated watchfulness, thanks to machine learning, has given police and other agencies tasked with maintaining security an important countermeasure to help them keep pace with swarms of new drones taking to the skies. The security challenge has only grown over the past few years: Millions of people have bought consumer drones and sometimes flown them into off limits areas where they pose a hazard to crowds on the ground or larger aircraft in the sky. Off-the-shelf drones have also become affordable and dangerous weapons for the Islamic State and other militant groups in war-torn regions such as Iraq and Syria.
An estimated 7 million drones will be flying in the skies by 2020; Claudia Cowan reports on the new technology being developed to keep airports safe. But some people either don't care or use drones to intentionally disrupt airport operations. Last December, drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport forced a three-day shutdown, and canceled flights left thousands of stranded passengers scrambling. No one has been arrested in the case, and this past April, investigators said it could have been an inside job. In recent months, suspected or confirmed drone activity has grounded flights in Dubai, New Zealand, Israel, and at Newark Airport in New Jersey.