Monday, February 22, 2016

Airbus Creates Anti-Drone Technology

This article discusses the issue of drones interfering with planes and flying into restricted air spaces, such as airports, and new technology that may solve this issue. A company called Airbus has created technology that will be able to detect drones up to 6.2 miles away, determine whether it is in restricted airspace, locate pilots nearby to alert them, and allows for the user of the technology to take control of the drone. Whether or not this technology will be useful or used by United States federal agencies has not yet been determined.

Airbus presented this anti-drone technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but will not have an operational version until mid 2106. The technology used in this product is a “jamming” kind of technology, meaning that it sends signals to the drone that “jams” the information that connects it to the user of the drone so that someone else, like the US government can use it. They used jamming technology that helps US soldiers in Afghanistan prevent road side bombs from exploding as the basis for their product.

Airbus’ technology is already being used by the German military, and they hope to sell it to the US military and other federal agencies. They know that their product will be costly, however they hope that it will go down as they continue to innovate. Airbus also knows that there is a need for this technology as there have already been complaints from authorities about drones interfering with planes and drone sales are expected to increase greatly over the next year. The US federal government has expressed a desire for this kind of technology. They have announced a competition among engineers and researchers to create a similar kind of technology as Airbus has.

Some engineers believe that the technology that Airbus has created will not be useful. An engineer at MIT is among the non-believers because he feels as though drone producers would easily be able to enhance their products and have them not respond to this jamming technology if they wanted to. Also, jamming technology is currently illegal in the United States, because it could be used against the greater good if it is made available to the wrong people. Although this product provides a solution to threat that drones present to air safety, it may not be allowed in the United States and may not be useful to the government as drone technology improves. 
One thing that the articles was missing was specific data and incidences of how drones interfere with planes. The writer also could have added reviews of the technology from the Consumer Electronics Show and how successful/helpful it has been to the German military.


  1. Courtney presents some very valid points in her analysis of the Airbus Anti-Drone Technology article. Drones have gained popularity in the past five years and have been viewed as a progressive form of technology, allowing normal users to gather images from all over the world. This technology has made it possible for a person to take video and picture images from hundreds of feet in the air. While this new technology is a prime example of innovation and progression, it has proved to be dangerous in air traffic. Drones can interfere with the flying of air crafts and can potentially get caught in the engines or wings of an aircraft. If this results, the effects could be detrimental and can result in serious damage and possible fatalities. Courtney discusses how Airbus plans to use a different technology to gain control of these drones, so that they do not interfere with air traffic. While this idea does present benefits to the safety of air crafts, it poses its own problems. Technology that allows for the government to gain control over another person's equipment raises concerns of property rights and even privacy laws. If the government can access this equipment, other individuals can too. This can lead to thievery of other drones or an adaption of the technology so other forms of devices can be hacked into. While Airbus is providing the opportunity to avoid air craft accidents caused by drones, it also presents issues with privacy and property.

  2. Hey Courtney,
    Your article has me thinking. We are living in a changing world on a daily basis, where technology poses new threats for our society everyday. Drones seem to be the most recent technology that has amazing capabilities, but needs regulation. With people posing new threats and security issues, there is a real need to make sure drones are regulated. These jamming capabilities are supposed to be ensuring our safety, but have you thought about these new regulations as too restricting? Drone owners who live near airports, historical landmarks, city landscapes, and other places of interest are being restricted where to and where not to fly their piece of property. The government and outside companies trying to gain control the operations of drones only creates a dangerous precedent that we have never faced before. I personally, would rather have my drone shot out of the sky for breaking regulations, than being potentially hacked into. Like Miranda has said, sure our safety is being protected in terms of air safety, but what is more important, privacy or safety? Lastly, if something like jamming is allowed to stop drones, we must be cautious of the other ramifications. Jamming could be put into the wrong hands, and made more powerful to interrupt aviation at a larger scale like commercial airplanes. In all we must have our voices heard, and protect our safety along with our privacy.


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