US regulator tests drone detector

Image: © iStock | DanBrandenburg

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is testing a drone detection system at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

This month the FAA tested the effectiveness of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) drone detection system. About 40 tests took place using five different rotorcraft and fixed wing drones. The tests expanded on research performed in January this year at Atlantic City International Airport.

Drone detection systems can involve radio monitoring of the frequencies used to control drones, using triangulation from a network of detectors to establish the drone’s position. They detect the radio signals a drone gives off when it sends video to the operator. Other systems can involve radar and infrared cameras, to detect drones that are flying autonomously, without emitting radio signals

Other agencies involved in the research included the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice, Queens District Attorney’s Office and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Washington Post estimated 700,000 toy drones were sold in the US last year.


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