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FAA to begin trials of drone-jamming gun

The Federal Aviation Authority is working a on signal jammer which can bring down drones flying near airports.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Federal Aviation Authority is due to begin trials on a "drone-freezing" gun which can detect and bring down remote-controlled aircraft in restricted airspace.

The FAA's Pathfinder Program began as a military effort and will now use technology sourced from the private sector.

The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) includes a thermal imaging camera to identify drones and once it identifies a target the system it can emit a high-powered radio signal, reported the BBC on Wednesday. This "signal jammer" blocks communication between a drone and the operator rendering it unresponsive.

In a trans-Atlantic effort five companies from the UK and the US, including Gryphon Sensors in the States, have worked on the technology for use in the trials.

"Detecting these threats is challenging because most of them are very small, fly low to the ground and can be pre-programed to fly autonomously," said Tony Albanese, president of Gryphon Sensors, in a press release last month.

Representatives for the FAA did not respond immediately to our request for comment.

(Via BBC)