We’ve grown accustomed to seeing police or soldiers armed with assault rifles at transportation hubs and public events. In the near future, we may see additional security members carrying these:
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That’s the Skybeam, a handheld anti-drone jammer that targets remote-piloted drones. The attached radio modules can jam “the most popular Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems control, video and GPS frequencies,” has a one-hour battery life and is operated via a single on/off button. The range is up to 3km, and the entire rig weighs 6kg (13.2 lbs).
It’s manufactured by Mistral Group subsidiary Skylock, an Israeli developer of counter-drone technologies. “As technologies advance, drones are becoming faster, smaller and deadlier,” the company writes. “The need for anti-drone counter-measures to mitigate threats is imperative. With the ability to easily add a payload, the use of drones and UAV’s operated by malicious or criminal organisations poses a wide array of threats to public safety and national security.”
With the ubiquity of drones, and with U.S. and global unrest at an all-time high, I’m kind of surprised that drone attacks on civilians hasn’t become a thing. It doesn’t take an overt pessimist to assume we’re just a few events away from objects like the Skybeam becoming a common sight in public venues.