Danger! Drones can be Shot Down Over U.S. Military Bases

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drones can be shot down
Chetty Thomas | Shutterstock.com

Drones have become commonplace in 2017.

The remotely operated whir machines can capture gorgeous photographs and video footage. However, mechanical malfunctions and increasing regulations plague their growth.

Is the military taking aim at drones now?

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Drone Users Take Note

image of Phantom drone from DJI drones line
DJI Phantom

Drone flying certifications in the U.S. require robust knowledge these days. You have to learn many similar things due to FAA regulations and laws for “small unmanned aerial systems”. Restricted airspace and coordinating flight plans matter for Boeings, Cessnas, and now: your Mavic.

Personal drones come in all sizes ranging from tricopters to octocopters along with military drones. Despite the seemingly harmless nature of these aerial machines, many people and countries find them annoying or even dangerous. The powerful aerial copters are useful, if fragile. On top of external factors leading to ruin, your drone could just randomly fail. In addition, the military will now shoot them down over military airspace if they so desire.

No Fly Zone: You’ve Been Warned

It stands to reason that the U.S. military would take precautions in an era of increasing real world and cyber security concerns. For that reason, the Pentagon recently issued new guidelines specifically targeting drones operated by civilians. Domestic military installations enacted these guidelines this August.

image of truck mounted laser to shoot down drones
Office of Naval Research

Drones can be incapacitated by a variety of means. They could also “be seized as well as part of investigations.” The FAA is coordinating on how to enact the National Defense Authorization Act with the Departments of Defense and Energy. US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters: “We always have had the right of self-defense, but this I think makes it a little bit more solidified what we are able to do, and it’s been completely coordinated with the FAA.”

Drones Vs. Lasers

Image of aftermath from truck mounted laser against drones
HELMTT Aftermath | U.S. Army

In addition to traditional weaponry, the military debuted a new toy for drone defense. There’s even a truck mounted laser with the specific function of shooting down drones. Radiance Technologies helped designed HELMTT for defense against UAVs, but not necessarily your DJI Phantom. Of course….there were a few casualties.

What are the implications of the new FAA, DOD, and DOE guidelines against drones?

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