1. Donationmwmiller
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    02 Jan '16 18:41
    If airports are having problems with these radio-controlled devices and they are a safety hazard, why don't they just send out a high power jamming radio signal on their control frequency and fry the receiver on the drone or copter? Or they could just override and crash it. Surely they can overpower the signal strength that is sent from the hand-held controller.

    Once the word gets out that if you fly one around an airport it will get turned into a crispy critter, the problem will stop.
  2. Standard memberDeepThought
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    02 Jan '16 19:36
    Originally posted by mwmiller
    If airports are having problems with these radio-controlled devices and they are a safety hazard, why don't they just send out a high power jamming radio signal on their control frequency and fry the receiver on the drone or copter? Or they could just override and crash it. Surely they can overpower the signal strength that is sent from the hand-held cont ...[text shortened]... f you fly one around an airport it will get turned into a crispy critter, the problem will stop.
    ECM for drones. The obvious hazard is FOD - foreign object damage if a drone is sucked into a plane's gas turbine engine. I suspect the problem is one of limiting the range of the jamming signal - if one sends out a high powered signal it will jam the control of drones far beyond the range where they can be a problem to the airport and there are legitimate uses for these things, beyond their use as toys.
  3. Cape Town
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    02 Jan '16 20:57
    Originally posted by mwmiller
    If airports are having problems with these radio-controlled devices and they are a safety hazard, why don't they just send out a high power jamming radio signal on their control frequency and fry the receiver on the drone or copter? Or they could just override and crash it. Surely they can overpower the signal strength that is sent from the hand-held cont ...[text shortened]... f you fly one around an airport it will get turned into a crispy critter, the problem will stop.
    As DeepThought says there would be a major problem with limiting it to the intended target. It may even interfere with flight systems. Besides, drone probably have a wide range of possible frequencies as well as in some cases techniques to filter out interference. There may also be many other devices near airports that could be affected too.

    Once the word gets out that you will get arrested for flying your drone around an airport, the problem wont stop. People are stupid that way.

    One possibility would be to include GPS maps in drone software (at least the larger more expensive ones) that prevents them from entering restricted airspace. It could be made a requirement of all commercial drones capable of flight above a certain height.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Jan '16 21:00
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    ECM for drones. The obvious hazard is FOD - foreign object damage if a drone is sucked into a plane's gas turbine engine. I suspect the problem is one of limiting the range of the jamming signal - if one sends out a high powered signal it will jam the control of drones far beyond the range where they can be a problem to the airport and there are legitimate uses for these things, beyond their use as toys.
    With the proper design of antennae that should not be a problem, they would be stopped well before they could get to the runway. The signal would be designed to go out from the perifery of the airport and up in the air where it would soon be weak enough not to bother anyone's communications.

    It's a matter of good design. Antenna theory and application has come a LONG way in the last 40 years.
  5. Donationmwmiller
    RHP Member No.16
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    02 Jan '16 21:59
    I would imagine the control units that come with the drone or coptor have a maximum power limit and the frequency range would also be controlled.
    So all the airport needs is to have a power limit that is just slightly higher than those allowed by the handheld unit.
    The signal transmitted by the airport would cause no more damage to anything within range than the handheld unit is already doing, in that way.
    It's effective range would be close but just slightly more than the drone operator, but would be strong enough to override the operator and take over the drone. It would not even need to destroy it. Just send the appropriate overriding signal to bring it down.
    Plus it would not have to be wired in. All it would need is to be in a mobile unit that can prowl the inside perimeter of the airport and bring the drones or coptors down when found.
  6. Standard memberDeepThought
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    03 Jan '16 02:39
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    With the proper design of antennae that should not be a problem, they would be stopped well before they could get to the runway. The signal would be designed to go out from the perifery of the airport and up in the air where it would soon be weak enough not to bother anyone's communications.

    It's a matter of good design. Antenna theory and application has come a LONG way in the last 40 years.
    This will work for many airports, but for places like Heathrow I doubt it will. A drone could quite easily get to 500 or so feet and be in the flight path of aircraft while still being over housing. So any signal could interfere with all sorts of things. Also one has to be certain that any jamming will beat any plausible transmission, including ones from terrorists intent on bringing down an airliner, who could have modified their transmitter to be more powerful, their drone to respond to a specific signal, or even have made it semi-autonomous.

    They could use a maser to specifically target a drone and totally fry any electronics on board (*). The problem then is detecting it, these things are small and not made of metal so won't have that much of a radar cross-section. There's a problem with using really powerful radars near people so I think there's a tricky problem to be resolved.

    (*) I don't know if that would be the effect of a maser on a drone. It does have the advantage of having a fairly tight beam so the interference problem wouldn't be so big.
  7. Cape Town
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    03 Jan '16 07:25
    I believe that in the US you are now required to register drones over a certain size as well as put your registration number on it. That way if a drone is seen where it shouldn't be the owner can be identified and prosecuted.

    Of course the most fun solution would be to have a drone that patrols the perimeter of the airport that takes out any other drones it finds (with a net for example). Of course it would have to ensure that it does not itself pose any threat to aircraft.
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    03 Jan '16 12:08
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Of course the most fun solution would be to have a drone that patrols the perimeter of the airport that takes out any other drones it finds (with a net for example).
    Net? Laser beam!
  9. Cape Town
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    03 Jan '16 15:45
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Net? Laser beam!
    That would be a hazard for aircraft.
  10. Standard memberDeepThought
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    03 Jan '16 17:011 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    That would be a hazard for aircraft.
    Definitely a potential problem for the pilots. I might add to the above that a drone being sucked into an aircraft engine probably wouldn't be enough to bring down the plane, but the engine would be wrecked.

    You could have a ring of giant spring loaded fly swatters around the perimeter to knock 'em down.
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