The Army has worried about small drones. Now Homeland Security is worried too.


At the dawn of the Department of Homeland Security, no one was thinking about how to manage flying robots. In the almost 16 years since its founding, air travel passengers adjusted to the swath of security changes put in place with the aim of lessening the likelihood of airline hijackings. It is the low sky, then, the space where airliners don’t travel except during landings and takeoffs, that a different sort of concern has emerged: what to do about cheap, easy to pilot drones, should they ever become a threat?

Last week, the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asked Congress for the authority to “identify, track, and mitigate drones that could pose a danger to the public and to DHS operations,” reports Reuters. Nielsen cited the specific example of ISIS using armed drones, though the technique is hardly limited to ISIS; irregular forces fighting in Ukraine also adapted quadcopters into miniature bombers. The Army is already investing heavily in solving this problem.

As fits the DHS mandate, Nielsen’s concern was focused not on the dangers posed by quadcopters to servicemembers fighting abroad, but that America’s enemies (specifically alluding to ISIS) will use drones as weapons stateside. This is a fear that has yet to materialize, though the technology to make it happen is certainly available, should a nefarious actor decide to pursue it. Additionally, Nielsen wants tools to protect against drones doing surveillance or smuggling drugs, which are at least things people have actually done with drones inside the United States. (Notably absent from the list of threats is the drone swarm that the FBI saysinterfered with a hostage rescue operation, perhaps the most novel use of drones for illicit behavior so far observed.)

Read the full article on C4ISRNET

Latest News

Obama Energy chief has a fix for INF Treaty

2019-02-18

The U.S. has a path to salvage the tattered INF Treaty, says former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Read More

Meet the Falcon, a new short-range air defense system

2019-02-18

Saab, Lockheed Martin, and Diehl Defence have teamed up to offer a new short-range air defense system. Read More

Elta Systems’ air surveillance boss on facing battlefield threats, global competition

2019-02-16

Eyal Shapira sketches out Elta Systems' challenges and its hopes for the future. Read More

It’s a cat and mouse game as militaries fight the big threat of small drones

2019-02-15

Small drones have grown from a niche ISR capability to "a favored tool of the non-state actor," a think tank says in its new report. Read More

Navy looks to expand the reach of its information warfare teams

2019-02-15

The Navy is building upon a foundation of information warfare established nearly a decade ago. Read More

571-348-1160

Have questions?
Give us a call!

Call

38° 44' 2.632"N
-77° 11' 55.86"E

7426 Alban Station Boulevard, Suite B218
Springfield, VA 22150

Directions

email

Contact

Want to start a dialog?
Email us.

Mail