As aircrafts become smarter, cheaper and smaller, it is easier for rogue adversaries to evolve. This makes tracking them far more difficult than it already is. Moreover, with the integration of AI and the coming out of 5G in the future, the risks are likely to be graver than ever before. With this, it is crucial that we rethink the idea of human control over aerial robots.
First of all, an effective technology should be in place that would detect and identify anomalous systems in the airspace. So far, most of the initiatives for tackling the risks posed by unregistered aerial robots, are rather disorganised. Therefore, adopting an approach that would facilitate an organised development of a robust counter-solution is imperative. In India, research organisations like Bharat Aero have been working on the same through collaborations with OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
While jamming is often the most commonly adopted method, it may not always work, especially in big cities. This is because of the heavy air traffic that leads to a difficulty in detecting small aerial robots. With that said, an approach that amalgamates detection and defence would be relatively more promising. This involves taking control of the network between the aerial robot and its remote control operator and then jamming that session. With the aircraft finally in your control, you can command it to take a route that would keep your organisation out of harm’s reach.
The aforementioned solution sounds quite doable and promising indeed, but the larger problem still remains – autonomous aerial robots that can operate even without a radio connection. Moreover, with the merging of both small and large autonomous aerial robots, the implications can get worse. For instance, China has been a global leader in small consumer aerial robots but in the recent times, it has been rapidly moving into the production of the larger types.
Thus, whether it is to protect the asset of an organisation or ensure security of a certain territory, equipping oneself with the technology that would tackle both small and large autonomous aerial robots is the need of the hour.