The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to evaluate technology capable of taking out drones flying above cities.
Counter-unmanned aerial systems are among the emerging technologies the department wants in the hands of first responders, according to a recent post by Michael Hoffman, executive editor of the Tandem NSI tech blog:
Technology solutions that are able to detect, identify, track and/or defeat Group 1 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in domestic urban environments. Group 1 UAS are considered under 20 pounds, have a nominal operating altitude of less than 1200 feet and speeds of less than 100 knots.
DHS is soliciting ideas for those and others as part of a plan to hold an "urban operational experimentation" in October, according to the post.
The department isn't alone, of course.
The U.S. Army wants a new style of weapon designed to stop an imminent threat of terrorists using drones to fly bombs into military and government facilities, as my colleague Matthew Cox reported earlier this year in a story on Military.com:
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, commonly known as drones, have become an effective, reliable tool to help commanders gather battlefield intelligence. They have also exploded on the commercial market, flooding toy stores and hobby shops with inexpensive, multi-propeller drones.
..."It's a tough mission set because of the size and the altitude of these devices ... you can buy them off the Internet; you can buy them in a store," said Col. Steve Sliwa, director of the Army's Rapid Equipping Force. "They are not really that expensive. The ones that could threaten an installation, they are a little more expensive, but we are not talking about big dollars here."
The REF has teamed up with several Army commands such as the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Fires Center of Excellence to find a weapon that can detect, classify and disrupt a weaponized drone from reaching its target.