Magazine article National Defense

Company Takes New Approach to Counter Drones

Magazine article National Defense

Company Takes New Approach to Counter Drones

Article excerpt

A Maryland-based defense company is partnering with Raytheon to sell a counter-drone system to U.S. special operations forces and other defense agencies.

Department 13 recently announced the collaboration for the sales of its existing Mesmer system, a non-jamming softwarebased platform that uses protocol manipulation to take control of an unmanned aerial system and land it safely. The technique allows the user to identify threat signals before entering a given area, said Jonathan Hunter, CEO and chairman of the board of Department 13. It also allows for greater ranges than traditional jamming methods, he added.

"We're affecting radios ... two, three, four kilometers away, as opposed to normal jammers [that] do not get that range," he said.

Most transmitters are constantly communicating on a radio frequency that is essentially "waiting for a connection, a handshake, to occur," he noted. Mesmer detects that signal, identifies it as a threat protocol that is being sought, and then sends a command out to mitigate the protocol to disable the drone, he added.

It only takes a few moments for the system to track and identify the enemy drone, then with just a click of the button the asset is neutralized and the user can move onto the next target, Hunter said.

The system offers an alternative solution to jammers for U.S. military forces to counter unmanned aerial systems in various areas around the globe, he noted. "When you're doing secure operations in the middle of nowhere, [if] you turn on a jammer you basically tell the enemy, 'Hey, the Americans are here,'" he said. …

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