Jamming: Good Bob Marley Song, But Insufficient Core C-sUAS Strategy

January 21, 2021 | Eric Danis

I love the song “Jamming” by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It instantly relaxes me and puts a smile on my face, and gets me thinking about a traditional counter-small, unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) approach:

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Jamming-based solutions, or hybrid solutions featuring jammers for mitigation, emit large amounts of energy to block drones’ controller signals. Looking at a specific sector, such as critical facilities and infrastructure, shows why jamming is not the ideal core for a comprehensive counter-drone strategy.

Jammers can interfere with radio communications, which could hamper communications in the vicinity during an intrusion, such as a potentially hostile rogue drone rapidly approaching a power plant. Think such an intrusion is a far-fetched scenario?

Two different drone swarms invaded the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in September 2019, according to David Hambling, a Forbes contributor: “Security forces watched, but were apparently helpless to act as the drones carried out their incursions before disappearing into the night.”

Jamming solutions do not provide full control, as drone operators can regain access to the drone once the jamming ceases. This means that a critical facilities security team member could temporarily disconnect a hostile drone from its remote control, only to watch the operator regain access to that threatening drone the second the jamming ceased!

Also, drones that get jammed can behave unpredictably, sometimes plummeting to the ground, which could endanger the facility’s employees or machinery.

To be clear, jamming can be a nice complement to radio frequency (RF)-based takeover technology as part of a multi-layered, holistic defense.

During a high-stress situation, a critical facilities security team needs a dependable counter-drone solution that will not only quickly neutralize the threat, but also preserve their operational continuity and communications. Takeover technology will offer critical facilities personnel, as well as organizations in other sectors, peace of mind:

Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.

– Bob Marley, Three Little Birds

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