Tech giant rolls out ‘drone detector’
Leading Russian software company Kaspersky has developed a portable device for detecting small drones. The Antidrone Portable is a security product intended for government and commercial use, the company said.
The radio frequency detector weighs less than 5 kg and fits into a rolling suitcase. The operator uses a tablet based on Kaspersky’s Antidrone software to track drones with a graphical interface. The device can determine the exact location of most drone models within a kilometer-wide radius, along with the position of their operator, the company said. With a battery life of up to two hours, Antidrone Portable can be used to patrol the perimeter of a protected area.
The new product is “another confirmation that we have long been more than an anti-virus company,” general director Eugene Kaspersky said in a statement on Monday.
Kaspersky introduced its Antidrone hardware and software in 2019, with the purpose of helping protect “critical infrastructure, industrial facilities, as well as transport infrastructure and public events from the misuse of drones.”
Vladimir Turov, the head of the Antidrone program, said the portable device was the result of constant research and iteration.
“Unmanned vehicles are evolving and the risks associated with their use are growing,” Turov said, noting that detection is the most difficult part of any drone defense. A small commercial drone is “almost impossible” to detect in a crowd or in dense urban infrastructure, he added.
While drone-mounted cameras have helped professional and amateur filmmakers produce breathtaking imagery over the past decade, it did not take long for the technology to become weaponized. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists used small civilian quadcopters not just for scouting but as suicide bombs during the fighting in Syria. Drones have played a significant role in the Ukraine conflict as well, from scouting and guiding artillery fire to dropping grenades on enemy trenches.