Same Sky, Same Story: Why the Drone Airspace should Learn from Aviation's History

February 1, 2019

It’s easy to mock stories of trial-and-error in history. 
The first method of air-traffic control was a single pilot in a field who wheelbarrowed around a lawn chair, umbrella, and signal flags to wave at the planes above. At the time it was revolutionary.

Any onset of new technology brings failure—aviation’s beginnings are particularly relevant to drone airspace security. The first time radio equipment was required onboard flights came in 1922 after a mid-air collision over the British Channel that killed seven passengers.

Emerging industries always bring rudimentary inventions that eventually extinct into memories of critical damage and death.

And for counter drone technology it’s time to choose what the future will say about now. 

The FBI, National Counterterrorism Center and Department of Homeland Security all have identified drones as an imminent threat to public safety and property. What’s especially troubling is a majority of the damage done is by reckless drones controlled by well-intentioned people who’re simply uninformed. 

Terrorists shouldn’t be the only focus; a kid flying their christmas present could be just as dangerous. If a car window gets broken or a power plant is forced to undergo an emergency protocol, it doesn’t matter the intentions of the pilot. Damage is damage.

Today, when a drone flies above a stadium or military base or prison, there’s still no standard for how to track it and what to do if you can. Who’s flying it? And why? Is it an enemy? How should we deal with it?

We have the right answer. Learn more about our intelligent RF technology here.

One option is directional jamming. Jammers lack precision and are illegal to market to the public because they can’t identify which signal is malicious. The effect of their stupidity interferes with friendly systems nearby like consumer electronics, business infrastructure, emergency services, law enforcement, military communication and more.

Imagine a single drone threat flying in the airspace of New York City. Every day millions of essential WiFi and Bluetooth signals criss cross into a lattice above: the alarm systems of banks and hospitals, internet for businesses and universities, cell phone and Skype conversations held by the world’s most successful industries.

Picture an airport having to stop operating for an hour or an emergency room needing to slow its processes. Not only would jamming cost millions of dollars in collateral damage, but could also kill people.

Jammers shut down society. 

Radars, another common tactic, are problematic because they’re expensive, require a human operator to identify the threat and are bad at seeing low-flying, small aircraft. They may detect a drone but always need to be paired with another product to mitigate it.

>Some critical infrastructures and prisons have tried multilayered solutions but experience high false-positive rates. This is because they piecemeal together acoustic and fixed-eye camera detection that are dependent on each other. When one part of the security hears a sound that might be a drone, it asks another to use a high-powered camera to find it. But, what if it’s just the buzz of a lawnmower? Or if it’s a foggy day?

And if you want to fly your own drone? Multilayered security, like jammers, can’t distinguish between good and bad vehicles. 

But let’s say the stars align and you’ve detected and located a drone threat. What actually is effective to eliminate it?

Current legal solutions are either unsustainable, inaccurate or both. Net guns are medieval by design--they require someone to stake out like a castle guard and shoot a net at a drone that could fly as high as 400 ft and fast as 100 mph, legally (people who disregard the law, like terrorists, could be flying it much quicker and higher). Plus, what is one net gun to a drone swarm?

It’d be like catapulting a bed sheet to stop a soaring pack of peregrine falcons. 

Good luck.

Missiles are more effective, but also more expensive and obviously dangerous. Recently a 3 million dollar Patriot missile was used to obliterate a 200$ drone, prompting General David Perkins to articulate the implications of such an absurd, unsustainable and overkill solution: ‘if I'm the enemy, I'm thinking, 'Hey, I'm just gonna get on eBay and buy as many of these $300 quadcopters as I can and expend all the Patriot missiles out there'."

None of the current attempts for drone airspace security are as highly accurate, legal, portable, sustainable and passively working without operator supervision like WhiteFox’s technology. 

Awarded the best counter drone technology in the world, Scorpion gives constant surveillance and mitigation of drone threats in your palm. It’s cheaper and safer than a missile, much more effective and less needy than a net gun, and smarter than a jammer—Scorpion selects by itself to interfere with only the signal of the threat and whitelists all good systems around it. 

Most importantly—unlike any other solution—Scorpion does it all on its own (well, you do have to put in the batteries).

Why select anything but the best? Even after radio was installed on international flights it took thirteen years of unnecessary deaths from American planes crashing into each other for the US to finally institute effective traffic control regulations. 

Unless we choose wisely and quickly—for drone security—it’ll be the same sky, same story.