February 10, 2013

The Anti-Drone Drone

Last week Fox News reported on how the British were deploying tiny drones that can now fit in the palm of one's hand. The Black Hornet Nano is only 4 inches long, weighs about half an ounce, and carries a camera that can take stills and video and transmit them back to a remote terminal. 

Drones are becoming ubiquitous weapons of war, homeland security, law enforcement and more. 

As other nations advance their drone programs, our efforts must not only be offensively, but also defensive--The Guardian reported (22 April 2012) that Iran has already claimed to have reverse engineered the Sentinel drone they captured in 2011 and are making a copy of it--lending some credence to this perhaps, this past week, they also showed surveillance footage that they claim came from the captured drone. 

So how do you protect against drones-big and small?

While you can lock on and shoot down a big Predator drone out of the sky, drones as small as tiny bugs are going to be a lot harder to defend against. 

The bug-like drones may not only carry surveillance equipment in the future, but could even carry a lethal injection, chemical or biological agents to disable or kill, or perhaps even weapons of mass destruction. 

Moreover, they may not attack onsies-twosies, but in mass swarms like locusts ready to swoop down and destroy our crops, our lines of communications, and all sort of critical infrastructure. 

The Atlantic (6 Feb. 2013) describes the idea for a "Drone-Proof City" of the future that someone came up with for an extreme architecture class. 

Like cities in World War II that camouflaged entire sections with green military netting and other subterfuges, the idea here would be to create a "sanctuary" or "compound" that would provide a safe-zone from drones. 

Whether using tall Minarets, cooling towers, other high-rise buildings and even window grills to obstruct the drones, or a "latticed roof" to create distracting shade patterns, or a climate-controlled city interior that could confuse heat-seeking missiles--all good ideas are welcome. 

Of course, their are other options too such as anti-drone laser system that could shoot them down, electronic countermeasures that could confuse, self-destruct, or other take control of them, or even anti-drone drones--that would be specialized drones that could seek and destroy enemy drones in waiting or about to attack. 

Drones everywhere--and nowhere to hide--we will need some extreme architecture to take out these buggers. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Ars Electronica)


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