By overwhelming the communication line between a drone and the operator, Ohio-based technology company Battelle says it’s designed an effective anti-drone weapon that won’t send dead machines raining down from the sky. Called the Drone Defender, the device looks a bit like a weapon designed to battle xenomorphs, though all it zaps out is a powerful radio signal.
The radio pulse is meant to trigger the drone’s loss of control failsafe; for most commercially-available drones, that means the device hovers in place, slowly descends, or returns to the point of origin. The project’s technical director, Alex Morrow, says in a statement this should let the Drone Defender be used in scenarios as diverse as prisons, schools, and the White House lawn.
Battelle released a simulation of the device in action on YouTube, complete with shady drone operator.
The Drone Defender joins a host of new technologies that government agencies are evaluating to combat commercial or consumer drones, which can put planes at risk or drop contraband over prison walls. But don’t expect to get your civilian mitts on a Drone Defender — jamming radio signals is a federal offense enforced by the Federal Communications Commission.