< Go to Homepage

Military, Security Forces Turning to Commercial Drones for New Applications

Technology By
An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Hurlburt Field Fla., April 24, 2014. The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Bainter/Released)
An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Hurlburt Field Fla., April 24, 2014. The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Bainter/Released)

 

Tapping drones for future wars might be as easy as completing an Amazon order or making a trip to Walmart. According to Wired, the U.S. military has been testing commercial drone technologies for future military surveillance applications, and is also considering using them on the battlefield in the short-term.

Currently, the military deploys unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, like the Predator (above) and Reaper, which have been their weapons of choice in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. But non-weaponized drones are now providing critical surveillance that can facilitate operations for both the military and police.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter (Eric Cheng/Flickr)
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter (Eric Cheng/Flickr)

 

 

The use of commercial drones in warfare is nothing new. In Iraq, off-the-shelf “quadcopters” are being used both for surveillance and combat. Iraqi forces use them to coordinate attacks on ISIS and check-ins on the success Coalition airstrikes. ISIS has also been adapting harmless hobby drones to drop bombs. This has the security community on edge; some experts are concerned that commercial UAVs will be used to conduct surveillance, or even worse, launch attacks in Europe and the United States.

A member of a police unit practices using an anti-drone gun as part of the security exercises ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A member of a police unit practices using an anti-drone gun as part of the security exercises ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

 

With the commercial drone threat in mind, Swiss police deployed anti-drone technology at the World Economic Forum in Davos this January. Drone deterrence comes in the form of signal-jamming (which puts the brakes on UAVs) or shoulder-mounted net-guns (for “catching” them; see above). The Hague has even employed specially trained eagles to take down drones (see below).

To read more about future applications of commercial drones, click here.

 

RealClearLife Staff