While a great deal of the news recently has been concentrating on new FAA legislation requiring the registration of drones and drone pilots, the question now turns to policing such legislation. In addition, with drones having substantial capabilities of flying at great distances from the pilot, what can be done to stop a drone when it is flying in a restricted area when the pilot cannot be seen?
However, the Dutch police seem to have come up with a radical, yet remarkably effective solution to capturing drones that are flying either illegally or in restricted areas, and that is through the use of a trained eagle. As you will see from the video we have included, this fearsome bird of prey seems to have no fear of this strange flying object and instinct from its training takes over and the drone doesn’t have a chance.
Of course this does have many advantages, the principal one being safety. If a drone is being flown above a crowd, the last thing that any deterrent needs to achieve is having the drone drop out of the skies. With the talons of this beautiful raptor, that seems highly unlikely to happen. More to the point and unlike the net-firing drone, in a situation where more than one drone is breaking the law, the eagle is perfectly capable of capturing one drone, landing and then returning to the skies in just a few minutes, ready to capture another.
Finally, if you haven’t already worked it out for yourself, the eagle doesn’t need to keep changing batteries or running out of energy. It will keep going all day long and as long as there are drones in the skies. Clearly the Dutch police ar on to something here and we reckon it won’t be long before an eagle is in attendance at all major sporting events and open-air concerts.
In the past the police have been using jamming frequencies to block control of the drone, though that doesn’t necessarily guarantee it a soft landing. Remarkably, drones have also been developed which are capable of firing capture nets, trapping wayward aircraft in mid-flight. With the ability to fire a net from a distance of 40’ and use of a super-effective capture net, this video shows just how effective anti-drone policing can be. The question now is which is worse. Trying to get your drone back from an eagle or a policeman?
Of course the use of eagles is only one of a number of measures which have been trialled, some more drastic than others. While Airbus have been developing software that will allow their planes to target and disable any drone which comes too close to any of its aircraft, at the recent World Cup in Brazil snipers were posted to shoot down any drones seen overflying stadiums during matches!