UK defense firm Selex ES on Tuesday unveiled an electromagnetic shield designed to defeat commercial drones.
After three years of development, Selex’s Falcon Shield system made its public debut during the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London.
The firm did not explain in great detail the proprietary technology, which was developed with military customers, but said drones can be detected, taken over and then flown to land safely away from the target being protected.
“Electronic warfare is the ability to control the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Stephen Williams, C-UAV capability manager at Selex ES.
“It’s about passively sensing an enemy target using radio frequencies so that the enemy doesn’t know you know they are there, and then finding a way to counter that target.”
The Falcon Shield system is scalable to provide protection to any size of location – from a small group of people, to a convoy of vehicles, to large-scale critical infrastructure or military bases.
“What we are looking to do is harnessing multiple layers of technology to counter this evolving threat from mini- and micro-UAS,” Williams said. “Our solution is not one-size-fits-all … it can address the full scope of what our customers need from operating in the middle of London to protecting large nuclear facilities.”
As the sale of commercial drones has risen, so have instances of people flying the aircraft into restricted areas. Security experts are concerned about the threat of armed commercial drones.
A commercial drone reportedly alarmed the Secret Service in March when the aircraft flew too close to President Barack Obama during a round of golf in Florida. And a man was detained in May for trying to fly a drone near the White House.
Perhaps most famously, there was the drone which a drunken US government employee plowed into the White House lawn in January.
In Japan, a man landed a small drone on the rooftop of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office in April.