Unauthorized Drones Bring Football Games to a Halt: New cUAS Technology Could Solve the Problem, Counter Drones, cuas, D-Fend, drones in sports, drones over stadiums, rogue drones, unauthorized drones
Twice this week, football games in the U.S. were abruptly halted while stadium security teams attempted to deal with rogue drones over the field.  In a crowded stadium, “just shooting them down” is not only illegal and unlikely to be effectively, it’s also extremely dangerous.  DRONELIFE get the inside view on new cUAS technology that could help protect sporting events from unwanted drone incursions.

Continue reading below, or listen:

DroneLife · Drones – Stop – Football – Games – CUAS – Technology September 25, a University of Washington Huskies game was interrupted late in the fourth quarter when Stanford coach David Shaw alerted security of an unauthorized drone flying over the field.  One day later, on September 26, a Seattle Seahawks game against the Atlanta Falcons was halted in the fourth quarter as NFL security cleared all players off the field when an unauthorized drone was spotted “over or near” the stadium.  While these drones did no damage other than cause an annoying delay, and may have been flown accidently or carelessly into the airspace, security must be concerned about deliberate sabotage or accident which could cause injury to players or crowd. Most counter UAS (cUAS) or counter drone solutions rely upon a three step strategy: detect, identify, and mitigate.  For stadiums, that means that a rogue drone must first be found in the airspace – hopefully before it flies directly overhead.  Then, it must be identified as unauthorized, as opposed to official or authorized aircraft taking footage of the game.  Thirdly, it must be safely brought to the ground. Current US laws prohibit the disabling of aircraft in all but the most extreme circumstances, by all but a very few authorized agencies.  This means, for example, that the DoD or Homeland Security may be authorized to disable a drone they identify as a terrorist threat at the Super Bowl: but local police or stadium security at pro or college football games may not legally bring a drone down. D-Fend Solutions is a cUAS technology firm that has protected public events and major figures including the Pope from drone threats.  Jeffrey Starr, CMO of D-Fend, comments on the recent events and explains the options for mitigating drone threats.

Why Worry about Rogue Drones?

“In recent years there have been numerous incidents of baseball, football, and soccer games halted for extended periods when someone sent unauthorized drones into stadiums and over fields,” says Starr. “In addition to delaying games, drones could also potentially be used to record unauthorized videos of game play, interfere with official broadcasts and in the worst case carry potentially dangerous payloads. Commercial drones are readily available, inexpensive and can cause serious problems at packed sporting events.”

What About “Jamming” Drone Communications Systems to Bring them Down?

While “jamming” sounds good, there are several inherent issues with that strategy, Starr explains.  “Conventional legacy counter-drone technologies such as jammers, or hybrid solutions that use jammers for mitigation, may not be an optimal solution for sports and entertainment venues, for several reasons,” he says. “Jamming can affect other communications, which could potentially hamper live broadcast and/or security and operational communications at the venue.

Another factor for consideration is the fact that many sports and concert venues today utilize drones to capture video footage of events. Some counter-drone methods may fail to distinguish between friendly and rogue hostile drones. Also, jammed drones can behave unpredictably, possibly dangerously plummeting to the ground. Finally, jamming is temporary and the rogue drone’s pilot may retake control when the jamming stops, bringing the situation back to square one.”

Jamming has issues – and “just shooting them down” is illegal, impractical, and dangerous.  “Kinetic counter-drone solutions, which involve physically shooting down or capturing the drone, are risky in crowded stadiums. The projectile, the falling drone, or the resulting created debris could injure players and fans and cause damage,” Starr comments.

New cUAS Technology for Crowded Areas: RF Cyber Takeover

“New generation technologies, such as RF Cyber takeover, can detect unauthorized or rogue drones, identify them, and then automatically take control over the drone and land it in a safe, designated area,” Starr says.

“An alert zone can be set on the outer perimeter of the stadium, with multiple protection zones blanketing the venue and surrounding areas. Such an approach empowers authorized security personnel with full control and protects players, fans, security personnel, concession staff, broadcasters, and everyone else involved. Continuity can be ensured, without interrupting a game or exacerbating the incident.”

As cUAS tech gets more sophisticated, and authorized drones performing legitimate commercial missions become more common, keeping unauthorized drones out of the airspace becomes ever more important.  With safer mitigation means available, cUAS technology needs to be implemented more widely.

Read more about D-Fend and cUAS technology:

  • White House Summit on Advanced Air Mobility Addresses Security Concerns, and the Need to Authorize cUAS Systems
  • Oklahoma State Counter UAS Center of Excellence Will Support Homeland Security
  • D-Fend Drone Incident Tracker: Just How Big is the Rogue Drone Problem?
  • Preventing a Drone Attack on the Pope: D-Fend Solutions Deployed During Open Air Mass

Miriam McNabb

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

TWITTER:@spaldingbarker

Subscribe to DroneLife here.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Apple and Nvidia to be first TSMC’s Arizona chip plant customers

TSMC plans to open a chip plant in Arizona are in full swing. The manufacturer will have Apple, Nvidia, and AMD as their first customers. For Apple, specifically, the Cupertino company is trying to diversify its supply chain as it wants to rely less on China. On Tuesday, US ...

View more: Apple and Nvidia to be first TSMC’s Arizona chip plant customers

6 Ways To Fix “We Found Errors In File History Settings“ Error

A pop-up error “We Found Errors In Your File History Settings“ prevented some users from accessing the drive they were using to store their File History when they attempted to choose it. These issues in File History settings, require changing your drive which is not convenient. This article will assist ...

View more: 6 Ways To Fix “We Found Errors In File History Settings“ Error

Where to find Trail Thrasher Dirt Bikes in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

Image via Epic Games As longtime Fortnite fans know, every new chapter brings never-before-seen vehicles with mechanics of their own. In Chapter 4, the latest form of transportation to be added to the mix is motorcycles. These rides are otherwise known as Trail Thrasher Dirt Bikes on the battle ...

View more: Where to find Trail Thrasher Dirt Bikes in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

How to Save Songs on Instagram in 2022 (Full Guide)

Instagram has a TikTok-type feature called Reels that’s very addictive. You can watch shorter videos on Instagram Reels or create and share your own videos. With TikTok getting banned in many regions, Instagram Reels has become a go-to choice for watching shorter, unique videos for free. If you are ...

View more: How to Save Songs on Instagram in 2022 (Full Guide)

All NPCs that can hired in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

Screenshot by Gamepur As Fortnite has skill-based matchmaking, those who have seemingly found themselves in more difficult lobbies may need an extra hand facing opponents. That is where hire-able NPCs come into play. These are characters that can be given a small amount of Gold in order to make ...

View more: All NPCs that can hired in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

Set Custom Alert Tone for WhatsApp Contacts on Android Phone

WhatsApp provides the option to Set Custom Message Alert Tone for Specific Contacts. You can find below the steps to Set Custom Alert Tone for WhatsApp Contacts on Android Phone. Use Custom Alert Tone for Specific WhatsApp Contacts If you have numerous Contacts in WhatsApp, you can assign Custom Ringtone ...

View more: Set Custom Alert Tone for WhatsApp Contacts on Android Phone

Where to find Heracross in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Screenshot via Gamepur Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has a lot of Pokémon for players to find, making the process of creating your team or completing the Pokédex a lengthy one. To help speed things along for you, we’ve put together this short guide on where to find and how ...

View more: Where to find Heracross in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

All Exotic weapon locations in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

Screenshot by Gamepur Exotic weapons have returned in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1, giving its users unique powers that cannot be discovered anywhere else in the game. For instance, those who find the Unstable Bow will be able to shoot Primal Flame, Stink, Explosive, and Shockwave arrows. However, these ...

View more: All Exotic weapon locations in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

All NPC and character locations in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

Many DAOs and Web3 Projects Are ‘Decentralization Theater’: Tezos Co-Founder

How to craft TM 022 Chilling Water in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

SBF Publicly Punts on U.S. House Hearing Invitation

How to get Larvitar Claw in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Genshin Impact: Toukabou Shigure – how to get it, stats, and ascension materials

Windows 11 Will Soon Get These 4 Interesting Features

TIMEX Launches $2,500 Bored Ape Watches and Matching NFTs

Deals: Record Low Prices Hit Apple's 2022 iPad and iPad Air (Up to $99 Off)

How to complete the Iron Will Challenge in Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Where to find Hot Spots in Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 1

Deals: AirPods Pro 2 Return to Black Friday Price of $199.99 on Amazon

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News