Drones deliberately flown over London’s Gatwick Airport prompted chaos and widespread disruption for more than 110,000 passengers on Thursday.
Britain’s second-biggest airport was forced to close whilst police pursued the drones’ operators.
Sussex Police described a game of cat-and-mouse, with the flying gadgets zig-zagging across the airfield before disappearing for short periods.
But how might police catch the drones? Dozens of products have been developed to help defeat rogue flying objects, known as “counter UAS”. Here are just some of the options available.
A military-grade cannon
A military-grade cannon that fires a net attached to a parachute towards a moving drone has been used to protect US President Barack Obama.
The SkyWall 100 system is a handheld device which hurls a projectile towards a drone, which then captures the moving device before gently bringing it back to Earth.
It was deployed for Obama’s visit to Berlin, Germany, and has also been used by prisons to combat deliveries of contraband. A more advanced sentry-style version is also available.
A remote control jammer
Devices which jam signals used by drones, such as GPS, could prove effective in immobilising the threat posed by rogue gadgets.
Many of these devices do not require kinetic weapons, and instead use radiowaves to disable drones completely.
One example, the DroneDefender, promises “fast-acting” signal jamming against remote controls and GPS – effectively killing the drone stone dead.
Another, dubbed the DroneCannon Tactical by makers DroneShield, offers “a lightweight, soft kill, drone jamming solution” – though the manufacturer recommends it is used alongside a gun.
Start-up SkySafe announced plans to help airports ward off drones by enabling enforcement officials to “take over” – or hack – a drone’s controls completely,…