The U.S. is increasingly worried about the weaponization of commercial drones. So it is working on technology that will allow it to take them over in flight.
A number of government agencies are working with industry to develop an emerging technology designed to take over the signal of attacking enemy drones, enforcing perimeter security at sensitive U.S. sites and Forward Operating Bases in high-risk combat zones.
The technology, called Mesmer, does not “jam” an attacking drone but rather manipulates its protocol, at times allowing users of the system to completely take over flight of the drone.
Despite the promise of Mesmer, the technology only works upon the protocols used by “known” drones and would likely be ineffective against signals emitted by unknown enemy drones such as those from certain potential adversaries around the globe.
At the moment, Mesmer can access and take over the signal of at least 10 drones as part of their system, a number which represents about 75 percent of the marketplace, Hunter said. Within six months, Department 13 plans Mesmer to have an ability to take over 90 percent of known commercial drones.
See my other work on “drone terrorism” and the rhetoric of threat inflation: