In today’s modern world, we now have technology to do almost everything for us: cars can be driven without drivers, smartphones can turn on appliances from outside the house, and we can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world. In addition to all of these things, there is another area of technology which is rapidly up and coming: that of drone technology.
These devices can fly high in the sky, taking wide, sweeping photographs; record and play back audio and visual data; log keystrokes from a building below, and a number of other tasks which humans can outsource to technology. Of all of the functions performed by drones, from aerial images to information gathering, there is perhaps one area you would never have considered their use in: the protection of prisons.
The multifunctional nature of drones means that they can now be adapted and transformed into tools used by prisoners to receive prohibited goods, such as drugs, phones and weapons, through having them dropped into the prison area. Prisoners on the inside control people on the outside, who are directed to remotely control the drones, allowing the contraband to enter the building or yard. As a reaction, legislation to criminalise the incursion of drones in prisons and other secure establishments was introduced.
Whilst mere legislation is not enough to prevent the drones and contraband, and may appear well intentioned but ineffective, they do offer a partial solution to the problem. Whatever steps the government decides to take to tackle this problem, it must be a totally legal solution, which respects and protects the right of all law abiding, free citizens who have not committed any crime. Whilst it is highly unlikely that criminals abusing drones will pay attention to any legislation, it does allow strategies to be implemented to protect prisons and secure institutions, whilst still considering the rights of innocent people.
Drone Detection with AeroScope
In addition to the legislation, there are a number of other pioneering options which are being tested and trialled in order to protect prisons, the staff and, ultimately, the prisoners themselves. One such example is drone detection.
Aeroscope is a real-time drone detection system; an innovative technology which allows drones to be detected at a certain distance. In a sense, it acts as a licence plate system for drones, and can be used to provide prison security systems and teams with data which allows them to intercept drones and prevent against drone intrusion quickly and effectively.
Aeroscope works via intercepting the current communications link which exists between a DJI drone and its remote controller – the person operating the drone outside the prison. Through this interception, Aeroscope is able to broadcast real-time information which identifies the device, such as a UAV serial code, UAV position, make and model, latitude, speed and the location of the ground controller. The drone can then be intercepted before it reaches the prison, and the identity of the controller confirmed, allowing action to be taken.
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