Delivering aerial security through drone monitoring
The use of drones – also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – is becoming ever more widespread across multiple industry sectors. While the majority of users of drones are doing so responsibly, and most applications and uses are having a positive impact, their use isn’t without issues. Because drones can be used as a mobile ‘flying eye’ to deliver video footage or pictures from the sky, they have the potential to be used in corporate espionage or to identify security weaknesses. They can also be used as a mobile and remote delivery tool for illicit goods, such as delivering drugs into a prison, or even present a direct attack threat.
A growing risk, and the need for drone monitoring
More innocently – but no less dangerously – drones can present a safety risk when unwittingly flown into airspace where other airborne traffic exists, or to personnel on the ground. As such, organizations need to recognize this new threat, and put in place measures to monitor drones and control them from ground level.
The potential risks associated with drones is now coming under the scrutiny of regulators. In the UK, the Government is introducing new legislation to govern the use of drones. The legislation will mean that drone users need to pass online safety tests, and places restrictions on drones being flown higher than 400ft (122m) or within 1km of airport boundaries. The penalties for breaching the regulations are potentially severe, with unlimited fines and up to five years in prison.
Detecting, monitoring, and dealing with drones
While legislation will help, whether intentional or accidental it is still likely that drones will still find their way into restricted airspace and be used with criminal intent in mind, so organizations at risks need to take suitable precautions. One effective solution to the issue is the combination of network video cameras with detector sensors and analytics software to detect, monitor and control drones entering an organization’s airspace.
Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) Dedrone has developed a platform solution that aggregates data from its detector sensors and advanced video analytic algorithms on video footage from our network cameras that establish a wide area detection, enable visual localization and allow for mitigation. The solution’s user interface can provide automated visual alarm and notification, while mitigation can take several forms: for example, jamming of the drone’s radio-frequency, signal disturbance by laser, counter drone deployment, and fog bomb.
The solution allows for the protection of sensitive sites; detecting, tracking and monitoring for drones 24/7, providing real-time alerts and identifying potential threats, even if these are several hundred feet above ground.
While the benefits of drone technology are potentially significant: a new report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK estimates that drone technology has the potential to increase UK GDP by £42 billion (or 2%) by 2030, and that there will be more than 76,000 drones in UK skies by the same date, the threat presented by the growth in the usage of drones – whether entirely innocent, or planned with malicious intent – is real and increasing. From both a safety and security perspective, it’s essential that organizations of all types recognize the risks to their business, employees and customers, and act now.