While drone detection systems are proliferating recently, what to do when you’ve identified a rogue drone is still a problem. Solutions range from catcher drones equipped with nets to shoulder mounted “ray guns” and even drone hunting birds.
In a recent press release (below), Invisible Interdiction announced the award of a U.S. Air Force contract to design and test a small lightweight rail-mounted drone jamming module: a device that can be attached to other weapons carried by military personnel. We reached out to Invisible Interdiction president, Clay Wild to learn more about the development of their technology:
DRONELIFE: Congratulations on your award. Do you have a image that you could share with our readers?
Clay Wild: “The system itself is still a rendering, but I’ve attached a couple of photos that might be useful. It will be an interesting capability.”
DroneLife: Who is the Audience for your system? Whom is it designed for?
Clay Wild: “The initial users will be US Air Force Security Forces personnel. The guys who guard Air Force bases.
DRONELIFE: What is important about this award to Invisible Interdiction?
Clay Wild: “This is our first major contract award. We are going to provide Security Forces Airmen the ability to stop drones interfering with their operations without the need to carry extra equipment. Attaching the countermeasure to the weapon provides them instant access to this device”.
DRONELIFE: Tell us a little bit about Invisible Interdiction and how you got started.
Clay Wild: “Invisible Interdiction was started only a year ago in March 2018 but we’ve been in the counter-drone business for almost four years now with other organizations. We are currently marketing to defense agencies in the U.S. but have a very active international representative network around the world introducing our capabilities to those military and police agencies that are allowed to deploy jamming capabilities. As you are aware, the RF jamming is a very sensitive technology around the world because of the potential for collateral effects. With most drones using the WIFI bands for control, jamming this part of the spectrum can impact everyday things like WIFI routers, Bluetooth devices, etc. We happen to design very directional and low-power jamming systems, but they can be temporarily impactful nonetheless. The use of this, and other types of countermeasures, is an interesting debate that is just starting.”
DRONELIFE: How did you come up with the name of the company?
Clay Wild: “The company name Invisible Interdiction refers to the use of ‘invisible’ RF energy for interdiction of errant drones. This appeared to be an interesting play on what we do. Once folks think about it for a minute, the light goes on and..”oh yeah, I get it.”
The following is an Invisible Interdiction press release.
Invisible Interdiction Awarded Air Force Contract for Rail-mounted
UAS Denial System.
Melbourne, FL, May 30, 2019: Melbourne, Florida based Invisible Interdiction has
been awarded a contract to design, test and qualify a very small, lightweight rail-
mounted C-UAS jamming module. This Phase 3 contract is the result of a Special Topic
SBIR award originally envisioned by the Air Force’s Las Vegas-based innovation hub
called AFWERX. Several barriers to working with the Air Force were removed including
a shorter application process, an accelerated contract award and a shorter period of
performance. This effort started in the fall of 2018 in response to the Air Force’s pursuit
of innovative counter-drone technologies. Invisible Interdiction submitted a concept
that was selected and proven feasible late last year. This UAS denial system will be
similar in size and weight to existing rail-mounted aiming lasers that are mounted on
the Picatinny rail of issued shotguns or M4 rifles. Noted Invisible Interdiction CEO Bryan
Sydnor, “We already have considerable experience designing small and lightweight
hand-held and modular jamming systems. This weapon attachable jamming module
will test our ability to design an effective capability that easily attaches to the service
rifle or shotgun.” Prototype testing and qualification is scheduled for later this summer
with production units available by the end of 2019.