A signal-jamming system to deter unwanted drone flights was unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Developed by Airbus Defense and Space, the Smart Responsive Jamming Technology can disable signals between a drone and its operator or, in some cases, jam its navigation system. Since some drone flights in prohibited areas have required law enforcement to intervene, the system has a feature that allows users to track the operator’s position. The technology also is capable of allowing a “takeover” of a drone’s operation, Airbus said.
Airbus plans to make the system available in mid-2016. Given its purpose, it’s sure to draw interest from businesses and government agencies — along with discussions about electronically disabling or confiscating drones. Airbus says it already has one interested buyer, an energy company, under contract. The system has been “tested extensively at Airbus Defense and Space’s own premises and during customer presentations in Germany and France,” the company said. Thomas Muller, head of Electronics and Border Security at Airbus, called it a “quick-response protection system with extremely low false alarm rates.” Small drones, he said, “have revealed a security gap with regards to critical installations such as factories, airports or nuclear plants.”