The criminal who is illegally flying a drone at Gatwick Airport is being hunted by police and military personnel using cutting-edge technology. Gatwick has been brought to a standstill in the wake of the rogue drone terrorising the airport. Several methods have been developed, including laser-laden drones, high-tech jammers and tracking the signal via triangulation, which may be used to end the fiasco. Human snipers have also been brought in to help with the pursuit of the drone. The Army has been working on a'Drone Dome' or'kill-jammer' - which can'soft kill' a drone by knocking out its communications or a'hard kill' by shooting it down with a laser from up to two miles away - and may use this prototypical technology.
LONDON/WASHINGTON - The disruption of hundreds of flights at London's Gatwick Airport after it was buzzed by miniature drones shows just how easy it can be to disrupt advanced aviation networks with simple, inexpensive devices. Airports have been raided by drones before. Dubai International was briefly closed in 2016, and the main hub in Wellington, New Zealand, was shuttered for 30 minutes this year when a mystery craft was spotted close to the runway. But as thousands of travelers at Britain's second-busiest airport try desperately to salvage their holiday plans, the incident reveals how tough it is for authorities to combat the problem created by this game-changing form of aviation technology. Gatwick was still closed Thursday evening, about a full day after the drone sightings first shut down commercial flights.
Rogue Drone Pilots Face A New Foe: Deep Learning AI In the wake of airspace-invading drones causing the precautionary shutdowns of three major airports--London's Gatwick in December and Heathrow in early January, along with Newark Liberty International, NJ last week--aviation authorities the world over are now considering the acquisition of commercial drone detection, tracking, and capture systems, in a bid to keep airliners and passengers safe. However, they could be jumping the gun. Experts are warning that today's counter-drone systems are no cure-all, as they cannot defend against some types of criminal drone threat--especially the most determined airspace saboteurs using home-built, customized drones that may not respond to conventional countermeasures. However, a number of ingenious ideas are now being investigated to shore up some of the gaps in functionality, and some of them are even based on the technology of the moment: deep learning. Aviation safety authorities worry about drones because they can penetrate cockpit windscreens, injuring the pilots, or risk starting inflight fires by breaching the fuel tanks in aircraft wings, or causing sudden engine failure during a critical part of flight like takeoff or landing, perhaps leading to a crash.
The Army used a cutting-edge Israeli anti-drone system to defeat the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that brought misery to hundreds of thousands of people at Gatwick airport. The British Army bought six'Drone Dome' systems for £15.8 million in 2018 and the technology is used in Syria to destroy ISIS UAVs. Police had been seen on Thursday with an off-the-shelf DJI system that tracks drones made by that manufacturer and shows officers where the operator is (DJI is the most popular commercial drone brand.) However, the drone used at Gatwick is thought to have been either hacked or an advanced non-DJI drone, which rendered the commercial technology used by the police useless. At that point, the Army's'Drone Dome' system made by Rafael was called in.
Thousands of passengers have seen their flights from Gatwick Airport cancelled after two drones were spotted flying over the airfield within a 12-hour period. The runway is currently shut as officials investigate. So why has a drone caused so much disruption and what are the risks posed by these devices? The term "drone" for some prompts images of air strikes but the sophisticated flying robots used on the battlefield are unlikely to be what we are talking about here. The vast majority of unmanned aerial vehicles are actually small, remote-controlled quadcopters used by hobbyists and photographers.