Flyin'Dutch' wrote:There is no doubt that military capability to deal with this sort of stuff is available.
All sorts of capabilities are available and none of them are exactly rocket science. This sort of vague 'military capabilities' terminology is the sort of dumbing-down that I don't like in the media, and also gives the impression that military = height of technology, which is not really the case.
You can divide up relevant capabilities as follows:
1. Communications jamming and/or pinpointing the source of the signal. This is not exactly new technology, indeed the principles were well-known prior to WW2 and the practicalities of it thrashed out during that conflict. Completely useless if the drone is flying a pre-programmed path and there are no comms to jam or pinpoint.
2. Geofencing. Will keep mainstream retail drones out but completely useless if the software in the drone is non-compliant. Non-compliance is and always will be totally trivial.
3. GPS jamming. Fairly impractical as a means of defence - what are you going to do, jam all the time?
4. Identify, track and follow using another drone. Quite evidently, any capabilities the police or the military have in this area are ineffective. Either that or no-one involved in the Gatwick response actually saw a drone.
5. Shoot it down or otherwise disable it. Birds of prey apparently proved ineffective, nets need another drone to get close, weapons come with the risk of collateral damage. Only a shotgun really ticks the boxes, and it seems the authorities can't even spot the rogue drone let alone get close enough to shoot it down.
All of these provide some capability, but none cover all the angles. Any of us on this forum, with a few thousand pounds and information available via the web, could copycat Gatwick tomorrow with almost zero risk of detection and there is absolutely nothing the authorities could do to prevent it. Your drone can be in and out in less than a minute, zooming over the runway and sitting there at a hundred feet before zooming away again on its pre-programmed flightpath, dropping down to treetop level where no radar can follow it and no-one can possibly keep tabs visually. Lands in the corner of a field, you know exactly when and where it will land, you scoop it up and shove it in your car.
As usual the response to someone doing something illegal is to make more things illegal, and extend restrictions and Police powers in that general area. Because you must be seen to be doing something.
Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.