Since the beginning of October mysterious drones have overflown fourteen French nuclear power plants with total impunity. Yet regulations prohibit flying over these sensitive sites within a radius of five kilometres (3.1 miles) and at less than 1,000 metres (3,280 ft.) altitude; an offense punishable by one year in prison and a 75,000 euro fine. The French electricity company, EDF, has filed a complaint, but none of the organizations contacted wished to speak on the subject.
So how is this type of equipment neutralized ?
By using a jamming anti-drone for example. Used by the Russian Air Force, the system blocks all transmissions between the UAV operator and the machine, thereby, the pilot loses complete control of the drone.
However, there are laser sighting systems, such as, the combat vehicle mounted Boeing Avenger infrared laser, Northrop Grumman Skyguard tactical laser,and the Raytheon Phalanx, used by the US Navy. However, these lasers were designed to shoot down missiles or large UCAV’s during military operations, not miniaturized drones flying over nuclear plants.
The real solution could come from China. The China Academy of Engineering Physics has just announced the development of a defense laser, capable of taking out small drones, flying within a range of two kilometres (1.2 miles), at less than 50 metres / second (164 ft. / second) and 500 metres (1,600 ft.) above sea level; all that within just five seconds of their detection. This transportable defense system has already been tested with a success rate of 100%.
Stay tuned, this should not drone on for much longer.