The use of drones for personal use has increased exponentially in recent years. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the Federal Aviation Administration imposes no guidelines on these individuals and there have been many mishaps. Drones crashing into buildings or nosediving onto sidewalks are some things that have not only happened, but are also incredibly dangerous.
There are also serious privacy concerns surrounding these unmanned aircraft. Because many drones are equipped with cameras and video-recorders, it’s not uncommon for pilots to record their flights along with anything else they want. If somebody wanted to fly a drone in front of your house and record you, it’s entirely possible. And the worst part about this is that it’s completely legal.
If you’ve ever wanted to do something about drones flying in your vicinity, then you may be able to really soon. APlus Mobile, a company that develops and manufactures computer hardware, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new endeavor: Domestic Drone Countermeasures. If enough backers pledge the modest $8,500 goal, the company will start producing its Personal Drone Detection System that will alert you whenever someone is flying a drone near you.
“The intent of [our] Personal Drone Detection System is not to counter military drones. They fly too high and are too sophisticated. Our intent is to keep your privacy safe from your neighbors and people you may not know who are flying small drones near your home or office. The Personal Drone Detection Systems are intended to counter small, personal drones with cameras and other sensors that are not being regulated.”
– Domestic Drone Countermeasures
Consisting of three units (a primary command box, a control module, and two detection sensor nodes), the Personal Drone Detection System creates a mesh grid network that can triangulate moving transmitters. Everything is connected to your personal Wi-Fi network and you’ll get notifications sent to the primary command box or your smartphone, tablet, or computer, whenever a drone is detected overhead.
Domestic Drone Countermeasures claims a wireless mesh network is optimal for drone detection for a couple of reasons:
1. Detection Grids are “self configuring;” [sic] the network automatically incorporates a new node into the existing structure without needing any adjustments by a network administrator.
2. Detection Grids are “self healing,” [sic] since the network automatically finds the fastest and most reliable paths to send data, even if nodes are blocked or lose their signal.
If you think you can shoot drones out of the sky because they are flying over your property, think again. According to US federal law: “whoever willfully sets fire to, damages, destroys, disables, or wrecks any civil aircraft, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than twenty years or both.” It’s this legal loophole that keeps drone pilots happy and flying, and civilians frustrated and confused.
Still, the Personal Drone Detection System is the first step in securing people’s privacy once again. By fighting technology with technology (instead of weapons), there are many potential upgrades that could possibly disable unmanned aircraft and create a “no-fly zone” in the future. Until then, you’ll just have to go inside the house whenever you hear the drone alarm.
What would you do if you knew a drone was flying over your house?