One hundred portable drone jammers are being bought by the U.S. Government. The jammer affect the radio control of the drone causing them to hover in place and land. The jammers are being used to protect government facilities, property, and personnel.
According to Defensetech, Battelle Labs is selling its DroneDefender portable drone jammer to the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. The jammer, which looks like a cross between an old-school TV antenna and an assault rifle, can stop drones more than 400 yards away.
The DroneDefender works by directing radio energy at the drone, disrupting the remote control link between the drone and the operator. The jammer operates at common industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency bands. 2.4 GHz, one of the most common drone control frequencies, is part of the ISM band.
The jammer can also disrupt GPS signals, an important feature as self-guiding drones rely on satellite navigation guidance. Once jammed, the drone can then be directed to hover in place.
DroneDefender’s “soft kill” approach of disabling the drone by cutting control and navigation links is preferable to a more kinetic approach—a shotgun loaded with birdshot, for example. A stream of radio wave energy won’t injure people or damage property.
The system weighs fifteen pounds, including a battery backpack, and can be operated continuously for up to five hours
DoD and DHS are buying a total of one hundred DroneDefenders, but would not discuss specific unit cost or what agencies would be receiving them.