May 31, 2016

Eagles and Falcons being used to intercept drones is seeing 3000 year old falconry applied to modern drone problems

Dutch company, Guard from Above, intercept bad drones using of birds of prey.

Not every location has the same threat of drones. A drone doesn’t have be a threat at all. Is a drone carrying a HD-camera? This could be a threat but doesn’t always have to pose a threat.

The first step is always to do a Threat analysis.
The next step is to select the best combination of contra drone solutions. Detection and classification and of course neutralisation (interception).
After a drone incident it is important to investigate the background of the incident and to share the incident data.

They are working on a Database with global drone incidents and future threats (also Red teaming).

Guard from Above (GFA) trained birds and GFA-trained Birdhandlers are stationed at High Risk Locations. Their services are like security dog handler services. They also train staff of Police, Defense forces and Security companies to handle GFA-trained birds.

Their training program is based on -over 25 years’ specialist experience in working with birds of prey combined with experience in international consulting.

Falconry is a practice that is over 3000 years old Falconry was practiced Mongolia at a very remote period and was already in high favor some 1000 years BC, that’s 3000 years ago. Falcons were given as presents to Chinese princes as early as 2200 BC, but these may have been for pets and not for hunting. Falconry appeared with the emergence of civilizations and was already popular in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf region several millennia BC. In the Al Rafidein region (Iraq) it was widely practiced 3500 years BC; in 2000 BC the Gilgamesh Epic clearly referred to hunting by birds of prey in Iraq.

It achieved a very high level of refinement on the military campaigns of the Great Khans who practiced falconry for food and for sport between battles. One such military expedition reached almost to the gates of Vienna. By the time of Marco Polo there were over 60 officials managing over 5000 trappers and more than 10000 falconers and falconry workers.

Today the IAF - International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey, founded in 1968, represents 75 falconry clubs and conservation organisations from 50 countries worldwide totaling over 30,000 members. Currently there are an estimated 4,000 falconers in the United States with roughly 5,000 birds.

Currently the available anti-drone options fall into two camps: “shoot it” or “jam its sensors.” In the former case, you might miss (and hit something else), and even if you hit you’re left with a heavy drone falling to earth, potentially onto someone’s head. In the latter, you end up canceling out GPS or radio signals for everyone in the area, which isn’t practical as a preventative measure.

There are, as you might imagine, a few potential downsides. There’s harm to the eagles, should they catch a stray propeller during the grab, or should the drones they fly off with be in some way weaponized. There’s the logistical challenge of where and when to put them in service.

SOURCES - Guard from Above, Wired

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