A UK-based firm has developed a technology to force drones to the ground

Drone-downing tech ready to enter market

Sussex-based firm Chess Dynamics, which is developing anti-drone technology for military and civilian purposes, is about to sign its first customer in what has been described as the opening of a new market.

The Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) developed by a consortium of three companies uses long-distance video and tracking technology to detect drones from a distance up to 8km, disrupt their communications and force them to the ground.

"We expect to get an order in the next six months," said Julian Moir, business development manager at Chess Dynamics in the wake of recent trials in France, Britain and the United States.

Moir said the technology, developed in response to South Korea's need to control enemy drones entering its air space, could be used in conflict situations and to protect airports and nuclear power stations.

With the proliferation of small drones not only for commercial purposes but also for recreation, the need to safely integrate the technology into the airspace is increasing.

In the past 18 months, incidents have been reported in the UK and Poland of small UAVs flying dangerously close to passenger airplanes.

Earlier this year, drones caused alarm in France when several flights were spotted operating over sensitive sites in Paris.

Chess Dynamics’ main business is developing vision and tracking technology for ships. It counts giants such as BAE Systems, Lockheed and Thales among its customers.

The firm also developed the Hawkeye surveillance product, which can fit into the back of a land cruiser and detect a single person from about 12km away.

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