Anti-drone tech’s tangled regulatory landscape

Staff test a system to keep drones away from Beijing Daxing International Airport on July 12, 2019, before putting the technology into service.

The market, and the military, have yet to settle on the best way to stop a drone.

Relatively small, easy-to-acquire drones have been implicated in everything from attempted political assassinations, to airspace incursions that have forced major airports to shut down, to smuggling contraband into prisons. The widespread availability of easy-to-pilot drones with good camera capabilities raises security issues that have fueled a growing market for technology to stop such remotely piloted aircraft.

While regulations for the flying of drones are far more settled in 2020 than they were in 2010, the regulatory landscape for technology to stop them is more unsettled. While many technologies exist that can variously track, identify, and disable drones in flight, these countermeasures risk either jeopardizing communications, violating Federal Communications Commission rules,

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