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Science & Technology

'Death ray' could stop drones over Heathrow

By T.K. Randall
April 27, 2016 · Comment icon 7 comments

Drones represent an ongoing threat to airplanes. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nicolas Halftermeyer
Authorities are investigating new security measures to stop drones being used to attack airplanes.
As drones become increasingly sophisticated and affordable, the potential for unscrupulous individuals to use them as makeshift weapons becomes an ever-greater concern.

Just last weekend, police chiefs in London were investigating an incident at Heathrow Airport involving a plane that was struck while coming in to land by an object believed to be a drone.

Fortunately the British Airways Airbus A320 didn't sustain any damage, but it isn't the first such incident at the airport and it certainly won't be the last.

In a recent statement, the National Police Chiefs' Council said that they were "working with partners to better understand the threat posed by drones and to develop an appropriate technical response."
One of the countermeasures that could make its way to Heathrow is the Anti-UAV Defence System - a weapon that has already been used to down unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan.

Described as a "death ray", the system uses advanced tracking to pinpoint a drone's heat signature and then jams the signal so that authorities can take control of it.

"It allows us effectively to take control of that drone to control whether we force a crash landing or return it home to the take off site so the police or security forces can intercept the operator," said Mark Radford, chief executive of Blighter Surveillance Systems.

"One of the scenarios is use at airports and in urban areas."

Source: Evening Standard | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Nothing can go wrong with this idea.
Comment icon #2 Posted by David Thomson 8 years ago
No drone hit a plane. Just more misinformation being used to scare the public into more regulations. https://www.yahoo.com/tech/drone-hit-heathrow-plane-may-091552913.html
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
No drone hit a plane. Just more misinformation being used to scare the public into more regulations. https://www.yahoo.co...-091552913.html The plastic bag theory is speculation as well, but more plausible based on the evidence of no damage to the plane. I'm surprised the UFO group isn't calling this a cover-up.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
No drone hit a plane. Just more misinformation being used to scare the public into more regulations. https://www.yahoo.co...-091552913.html There are already regulations in place making it unlawful to operate a drone in or around an airport. Are you saying that is an unnecessary regulation? Also, there have been a LOT of drone aircraft close calls so wouldn't it be prudent for the airport officials to test and deploy some kind of anti-drone tech in order to lessen the chance of the inevitable mid-air collision between an aircraft and a drone? Right now airports go to extraordinary lengths to l... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
It seems obvious that is drones can get in that close, then it is a threat, and a hole terrorists will exploit when their dumbasses realise what is in front of them. Good that it was closed before we had to close it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
Drones attacking airplanes? Well at least now every Jihadi out there with a computer now has another good idea to run with. Maybe 5% of these backwards Muslim yokels have even one good idea, but NOOOO, now the internet is full of articles on how to protect yourself from something someone never did, and NOW the idea is out there, and DOES have to be protected against.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Hawkin 8 years ago
I've always said that any aerial objects (known or unknown) hovering around airports should be taken seriously with today's terrorist activities.

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