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Hunter Killer Drone

Unfurls trailing net to ensnare and drop terrorist attack drones.
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There's a lot of concern about terrorists wanting to load drones with explosives and attack public events. Shooting them down presents obvious problems in that having a lot of bullets flying around a highly populated event poses its own hazards. Plus if you've ever watched V1 attack footage from WW2, you'll see that at least some get through.

My proposal is to have events patrolled by hunter killer drones that can drop a very lightweight net that will tangle itself in the blades of the attacking drone and drop it from the sky.

The design of the mesh would be such that there are one way airflaps that are open when the net is trailing behind the hunter killer drone. When the net wraps around the attacking drone these flaps would close blocking the airflow to the fans so even if there was a cage around them to prevent tangling of the net, the drone would still lose airflow and drop from the sky.

These nets would be very lightweight and one patrolling hunter killer drone would be able to drop several attack drones without having to do much aiming other than just flying slightly above and into the path of the target to ensnare it in the very large net it's trailing. It would then unfurl another and go after the next target.

No need for precise aiming, carrying of heavy ammunition and targeting systems other than a binocular camera system to assist in ranging the target. No bullets or explosive missiles being let loose over the crowd of thousand of people you're trying to protect.

The sight of a half dozen of these patrolling big events would probably be enough to discourage any attack and the cost would be minimal. A dozen of these things shouldn't cost more than the price of a police patrol car. They could also patrol events on the ground as well as threats from the sky.

I think I'll suggest this to the team who's working on this problem. I read about in in the news this week and their current solutions are looking problematic.

doctorremulac3, Jul 26 2015

Military exercise Black Dart to tackle nightmare drone scenario http://nypost.com/2...are-drone-scenario/
[doctorremulac3, Jul 26 2015]

Robot sniper http://www.gizmag.c...t-gun-turret/17198/
Something like this would be great vs drones [bungston, Jul 30 2015]

I expected this to exist, but wasn't aware of it. Why isn't ISIL churning these out on a production line? https://en.wikipedi...ronment_Switchblade
Nothing here you couldn't make for under $500 with parts from hobbyking.com (except the warhead) [Custardguts, Aug 03 2015]

They're doing it https://www.youtube...watch?v=-vknRo7aLhc
[doctorremulac3, Dec 11 2015]

Bird of prey training to take out drones. http://www.msn.com/...t-drones/vi-BBoZmcx
[scad mientist, Feb 03 2016]


       Well, you may be right, but I was thinking that a cage around the fan blades might thwart this. Something that actually shut down the airflow would be pretty impossible to guard against I would think.
doctorremulac3, Jul 26 2015

       Hey, whose side are you on? Don't give them ideas! LOL.   

       I had also thought about just ramming the thing, but then again, you get into having to be pretty precise. Here you've got say a 10 foot by 10 foot net that would be pretty hard to escape no matter how deft you are on the remote control of that attack drone.
doctorremulac3, Jul 26 2015

       Drones will soon be fitted with net-cutters mounted outside of their spherical cages.
pocmloc, Jul 26 2015

       //Who are “them”?//   

       See link.   

       //Drones will soon be fitted with net-cutters mounted outside of their spherical cages.//   

       Cutting a net without tangling the saw in wouldn't be easy. Unless you're holding the net taught, which you're not in this case, it just gets bunched up in the saw.   

       I was thinking you could even have 4 vehicles on 4 corners of an even bigger net that would be able to sweep large areas several square yards wide. The only way to counter this would be to send hundreds of drones up and even then you're not guaranteed to get through. With those kind of numbers you're quickly getting away from small group attacks using off the shelf technology, which is the big threat here.
doctorremulac3, Jul 26 2015

       I just don't understand why we're all of a sudden scared of multicopter drones. You could easily gin up a much more dangerous "guided bomb" drone using RC wing aircraft tech. Longer range, faster, higher lift capacity, cheaper. All the newer(ish) tech like FPV cameras, telemetry, autopilots, etc are fully transferrable.   

       Your HK drone wouldn't be able to catch up to a 8ft ducted fan powered flying wing drone carrying say 2kg of HE and ball bearings.
Custardguts, Jul 27 2015

       The net-cutter is not a saw, it's a case-hardened cutting blade and anvil fired by an explosive charge, like an aeroplane-wing-mounted barrage-balloon-cable cutter
pocmloc, Jul 27 2015

       Sounds pretty complicated. How do you blow up a net without blowing up the aircraft carrying the charge? We're getting into designing shape charges and adding several pounds of weight that would not work with present off the shelf stuff.   

       The threat that the authorities see, and I agree with them, is somebody taking an off the shelf drone and putting explosives on it. Cheap and easy. The bad guys don't need to be rocket scientists to cause death and mayhem.
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2015

       This works until somebody buys or creates a look-alike to impersonate the net drones.
RayfordSteele, Jul 27 2015

       Since you're close enough to deploy a net, how about a directed microwave beam to fry the circuits?
TIB, Jul 27 2015

       Too dependent upon operator skill.   

       Howabout just a random flyover by something guaranteed to kick up some wind every so often?
RayfordSteele, Jul 27 2015

       If you had a net/entangling/disabling device inside of a guided bomb that would be more effective. A 10X10 net is cool but a gust of wind could send it tumbling down like a ball of yarn missing the target.   

       If you could lock on to the Drone's frequency you could have the guided bomb track it, fly into the rotors with a small explosion and unleash a tangling/disabling net/goo/disabling device to drop the copter to the ground.   

       I also really like the idea of using a massive fan to disperse them. If you've ever seen somebody fly a drone you can attest that a gust of wind can really send them tumbling.
Duck Lagrange, Jul 27 2015

       What about those big vortex guns that were a trendy xmas gift some years back? I would think they could come back now r/c drones and helis are on the gift circuit.
pocmloc, Jul 27 2015

       Blimps. Terrorists are terrified of blimps. You could have a ring of blimps with the net strung between them down to ground level.   

       I guess the terrorists would attack the blimps. But that way noone gets hurt.   

       Really this should just be opened up to the populace. Drone on drone warfare at all public events. Lots of passionate vigilantes would fly their own drones around, looking for terror drones to attach. Blimps too would be welcome. Maybe even those stunt kites!
bungston, Jul 27 2015

       It's probably not realistic to protect against terrorist drones.   

       If not a football game or rugby match, then a street full of rush-hour commuters. If not that, an open-air concert. If not that, a holiday beach. If not that, a school playground.   

       There is also the possibility of using drones for more selective murder. What better way to murder someone than by using a mass-produced drone with a remotely-operated handgun?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2015

       No, you can't protect everything all the time, but some places, some events could be protected. Better some than none no?
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2015


       Suppose you're some towel-head who has just finished loading a drone with 1kg of explosive and 1kg of ball- bearings. You start looking around for somewhere to play.   

       Your drone has the ability to kill or maim 50% of people within a 30m radius, so all you need is a dense crowd at least as big as that.   

       You know that the next major-league baseball game (or whatever you people have there) is going to be heavily monitored and protected. So, you instead consider any of the other 150,000 possible targets.   

       Net benefit of protecting the baseball game: zero.   

       Point being: there is no effective protection against terrorism.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2015

       Well, I'd say the net benefit of protecting the baseball game to the people at that baseball game would be lots and lots though.   

       I don't like throwing laws and regulations at every little problem but I have no problem with government restrictions on drones in certain places basically saying if you see a drone in a particular area that isn't sending the correct IFF signal out it can be downed on the spot. I have no need to fly drones over crowds to exercise my rights to free fly objects over big crowds. I'm not aware of any protection in the constitution for that right.
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2015

       Yes, but then in 3000 years you'll have a nation populated by baseball fans.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2015

       The terrific ones.   

       It is to be deplored that the original meaning of "terrific" has not been restored in the current climate.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2015

       Yes, it's terrible.
pocmloc, Jul 27 2015

       ter·rif·ic təˈrifik/Submit adjective 1. of great size, amount, or intensity. "there was a terrific bang" synonyms: tremendous, huge, massive, enormous, gigantic, colossal, mighty, great, prodigious, formidable, monstrous, sizable, considerable; More informal extremely good; excellent. "it's been such a terrific day" synonyms: marvelous, wonderful, sensational, outstanding, great, superb, excellent, first-rate, first-class, dazzling, out of this world, breathtaking;   

       2. archaic: causing terror.   

       Well well, you're quite the word slinger there Max. I never knew that.
doctorremulac3, Jul 27 2015

       I always wanted a pet terrapin, but my parents protested. They said they were too terrotorial. I got a tortoise instead, called terry. He ran away.
pocmloc, Jul 28 2015

       You made me shed a salty terr.
bungston, Jul 28 2015

       I was hearing about how Steven Hawking and his crew are worried about autnomous killer bots, and the radio article referred to Korean robot snipers. And I thought What a great thing to put on the roof for keeping drones out of the city! Probably also large birds. You would not need too many bullets to down a drone. You just need to be ready in a second when it suddenly shows up and then be able to hit it. No probo for robo here.
bungston, Jul 30 2015

       //I was hearing about how Steven Hawking and his crew are worried about autonomous killer bots//   

       Sorry Hawking you big dummy, autonomous kill-bots, while romantic and cool are nowhere as much of a threat to humanity as grandpa's good old fashion hydrogen bombs. I'll reserve my sleepless nights for worrying about those.   

       Let's just look at a few square yards of hydrogen bomb verses a few square yards of killbot swarm because this is about logistics, what's the most effective method of killing as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Best method wins the top slot of being something to stay up at night to worry about.   

       Time for a killbot swarm several square yards in size to wipe out a large cityof say, 5 million people: Assuming the residents of city aren't shooting back, and everybody is leaving their windows and doors open. Several weeks maybe?   

       Time for a thermonuclear bomb of the same mass to wipe out that same population: A second or two.   

       There's nothing magical about killbots. They're not carrying any special weaponry, they just don't sleep, although they do have power requirements, they're not running on black magic. They are also no killbots on the design board that are un-stoppable. For starters, their worst enemy will probably be counter killbots.   

       If some nefarious group is intent on wiping out humanity, nukes are the way to go. Quick, cheap, off the shelf technology that gets the job done today. You start going the killbot route you've got a logistical nightmare. They're going to have to come from self sustaining factories that are hardened against nukes. They're also going to have to be developed in some kind of vacuum where nobody takes notice and starts developing counter measures. They're going to have to get through old fashioned kinetic weapons defense, no small task, and remember, the counter measures will be automated as well, and there WILL be counter measures.   

       The science fiction "Skynet" scenario is having all command and control ceded to a computer that goes nuts Hal 9000 style just isn't going to happen because there's no reason for anybody to do that and there's especially no incentive for a group to program these killbots to kill everybody on both sides, including themselves. Nobody's done that with nukes, why would they do that with killbots? If somebody is smart enough to create a weapons system that can wipe out humanity they're going to be smart enough to not flip the switch to "Oh, yea, and when you're done killing them, kill me too."   

       So if you really need to worry about something, worry about Russian nuclear missiles manned by underpaid vodka swilling drunks working with antiquated and poorly maintained equipment.   

       And besides, how do we know that's really Stephen Hawking speaking anyway?
doctorremulac3, Jul 30 2015

       //If some nefarious group is intent on wiping out humanity, nukes are the way to go. Quick, cheap, off the shelf technology that gets the job done today.//   

       Not quite. Nuclear bombs are not all that easy to make - I tried for a whole afternoon and - nada. Even Iran doesn't seem to have managed it. So, it's going to be tricky for a terrorist organisation such as Moronic State to put one together. They haven't the resources to build one from scratch, and it's doubtful (not impossible) that they could buy the components. So, nuclear warheads are really only for large rogue states. Of course there are some of those, but we know where most of them are.   

       In contrast, it is possible - this very afternoon - for some 15 year-old kid to lash up an off-the-shelf drone, some neat software, and an AK47. Then he just has to drive to some field a mile away from a big crowd and let the thing go with instructions to head to a given position and fire at anything human-shaped. No, you won't wipe out a city, but it would be very easy and very cheap to kill maybe a hundred people.   

       But then, I guess Hawking was talking about sophisticated killer robots developed and owned by the military. I don't see them as so much of an issue, because they're unlikely to be asked do anything that couldn't be done by humans anyway. There will be software glitches that kill the wrong people, but that happens in war anyway.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 31 2015

       Well Max, nobody is more a-scrared of drones that me, that's the whole point of this post. I'm just saying that if we're looking at end of the world stuff, autonomous killbots (friggin' spellcheck keeps trying to change that to kilobytes) are a lot of work compared to nukes.   

       For small scale terrorist attacks, yea. Off the shelf stuff with a lone rat at the controls is the stuff of nightmares. Pretty tough to guard against.   

       And please, let's call them "lone rats" not "lone wolves".
doctorremulac3, Jul 31 2015

       //a lone rat at the controls// Point is that they don't even need to be at the controls.   

       I'm just thinking about how easy this would be to do, if I (for instance) wanted to kill 10-100 people at random.   

       So, I buy a decent photography drone for cash. Whatever other electronics I need I can get from Maplin for cash. If I need to download software, I do so anonymously at a public library. I still need a firearm, which is a problem in the UK. So, I'd go for the simpler option of a home-made explosive and ballbearings.   

       Overall, I think that if I wanted to, I could kill a reasonable number of people and get away with it, within 2 months. Which is a scary thought.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 31 2015

       what about defending against trained bomber pigeons?
pashute, Aug 02 2015

       See link for the sort of thing you've got to be planning to defend against. I think you've got Buckley's.
Custardguts, Aug 03 2015

       Rocs, trained to attack anything emitting a certain range of sound signatures.
FlyingToaster, Aug 03 2015

       Actually, now you mention it, birds of prey would be ideal. They can be trained, and could out-maneuver any quadcopter. It would be nice to see falconry resurge.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 03 2015

       Propellers can sting, even injure: so armoured and jet assisted... of course kamikaze pigeons would be cheaper.
FlyingToaster, Aug 03 2015

       Falcons are smart enough to learn which bits to attack. A quadcopter with a thrashing buzzard perched on top of it, ripping out its electronics, is not going to get very far.   

       For nighttime operations, an owl would do the job. I can confirm from personal experience that they are mean and evil animals with extremely sharp talons.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 03 2015

       //Actually, now you mention it, birds of prey would be ideal. They can be trained, and could out- maneuver any quadcopter. It would be nice to see falconry resurge.//   


       This is a great idea.
doctorremulac3, Aug 03 2015

       They're doing it in Tokyo. See link.
doctorremulac3, Dec 11 2015

       That is cool video. I clicked on it thinking it would be trained crows taking out drones which would have been even cooler.
bungston, Dec 15 2015

       Hey, could happen. Crows are very smart social birds.
doctorremulac3, Dec 15 2015

       Hey [Max], someone was listening to your ideas about birds of prey. See link.
scad mientist, Feb 03 2016

       After this Gatwick airport thing, it's time for the anti drone drones, whether the net method of attack or something else.   

       Drones are simply the modern incarnation of fighter bombers and the solution is modification of the same things we've used against those for three quarters of a century.   

       Anti aircraft guns and missiles and interceptor aircraft, in this case modified air to air combat drones.   

       The good news is these things are much easier to take down than a DO 17 and the guidance technology has advanced a lot since we first started tracking aerial attacks with reverse megaphones.   

       And I hate to say it, it's time for aircraft manufacturers to start quietly re-enforcing new airliners against frontal impact. They've considered this in their designs to deal with birds, it's just time to make the leading edge structures a bit tougher, mainly the windshields. I know there'll be weight issues but there's also issues with a lone nut being able to take down a multimillion dollar aircraft with hundreds of lives at stake with an off the shelf toy.
doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2018

       Impact on the airframe is not a problem. Windscreen, fuselage, wings, even leading edge high-lift devices like slats, already cope perfectly well with impacts from large birds. Drones are much lighter and more frangible.   

       The critical threat is to the engine core.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       I was going to point out a flaw with that evaluation but I'm not going to post any ideas for modifications that make drones more dangerous.
doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2018

       Not that I have any idea what I'm talking about right now... but couldn't radio signals just be jammed around major events?   

       Or better yet, would you be able to seize control of a drone by using a more powerful emitter and scrolling through frequencies until the right one is found?   

       No to both of the above; or rather, that only works for the majority of off the shelf kit.   

       The issues is that, despite all the fuss, the current problem is mischievous rather than malicious. What you have is some idiot with a toy, doing something stupid and running away laughing. Flying a drone over an airfield in daylight, where it can be easily spotted, is "ineffective". It's extremely unlikely that there's any real intent to damage an aircraft, just cause inconvenience.   

       It's the difference between painting "ROMANES ITE DOMUM" on a wall, and unbolting the stretcher bar on a set of railway points. Neither require much equipment or intelligence, and are incredibly difficult to prevent, but one is irritating, and the other kills lots of people.   

       But if the attack were truly malicious, which isn't much harder to do, then it's a LOT worse. Only the technology is the same.   

       To cheer you up, there are more things coming down the pipeline that will make errant drones seem mild by comparison.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018


       I should get back to work on my EMP vortex ring ball-lightning generator then.   

       That would be wise; then you can get both sides in a bidding war, and drive the price up.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       <gets on the ouija board to a certain N.Tesla...dammit where's that Serbian dictionary>
not_morrison_rm, Dec 23 2018

       Don't worry, he spent a lot of his life in America, so there's a chance he may be able to speak and understand a little English.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       Assuming that all airports have radar capable of detecting drones, the only real threat (to airports) is disruption. In which case, the solution shirley is to have a system of cripplingly large fines for offenders, plus an effective way of pinpointing who's controlling the drone. Ah, wait, I see the flaw there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2018

       Did they recover the actual drone that was troubling Gatwick?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2018

       You know, lasers might be the thing here. Never very promising for IBMs but for little targets like this?
doctorremulac3, Dec 24 2018

       So I haven't been following it, but the latest I've heard about Gatwick is that the police weren't sure there was a drone at all, and then they realized there was a drone, but it belonged to them.   

       // I'm not going to post any ideas for modifications that make drones more dangerous. //   

       If we can think of such things, so can terrorists, right? Wouldn't it be better if it was us? That way we (and the professionals) can come up with counter-ideas.   

       // You know, lasers might be the thing here. Never very promising for IBMs but for little targets like this? //   

       Thermate grenades are usually enough for computers. If you can't get right up to them, EMP?
notexactly, Dec 30 2018

       Shirley, the most pleasing way would be to 'Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky'* stylee.   

       Go get a duff drone, put in on a long stick. Waggle it about near the runway, wait until the security drone turns up.   

       Hack it, then you can make the drone into it's own evil twin-brother. Doing despicable acts like taking all the loo paper out of planes doing long-haul flight, etc.   

       * Not Charly Main apparently
not_morrison_rm, Dec 30 2018


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