What is a drone jammer?

Jammers work by blasting electromagnetic noise at the radio frequencies that drones use to operate and emit information. Effectively, they drown out the conversation between a drone and its operator. This is usually either 2.4Ghz or 5.8Ghz, which are non-assigned, public frequencies. This prevents jammers from interfering with manned aircraft, cell phones, public broadcasts, or other dedicated radio bands.

Jammers can either be stationary, mounted devices, or built into highly mobile, gun-like devices to allow someone to land the drone on the ground safely.

What happens to a drone after it’s jammed?

  • The drone will land or,
  • The drone will return to its home location

What are the disadvantages of drone jamming?

Jammers have five major disadvantages as C-UAS:

  1. Drone jammers are illegal in most countries, including the US.
  2. Drone jammers are less effective against drones that have been pre-programmed to fly a certain path, since drones can fly without GPS.
  3. Drone jammers do not allow the C-UAS to achieve positive control over its targets.
  4. Drone jammers do not locate the pilot or flightpath
  5. Drone jammers disrupt other nearby communication signals such as cellphones and could prevent 9-1-1 calls in the event of a real attack.

Drone GPS Spoofers

What is a drone spoofer?

While jammers work by blocking RF frequencies, spoofers send fake GPS signals that mimic legitimate ones. Spoofers hijack a drone’s communication link by emitting a counterfeit signal that the device reads as valid because it is a copy of the real signal.

The spoofer works by emitting a stronger counterfeit signal. The spoofer can cause a small delay between drone and controller; then, the spoofer emits the stronger false signal. The spoofer now has control over the device and can pilot the drone. The spoofer deceives the GPS receiver 

GPS spoofing is hard to defend against if your UAS device is using GPS for flight. GPS is a signal broadcasted from satellites. You can’t add standard protections tools such as encryption and certificates to GPS satellite signals.

What happens to a spoofed drone?

  • Direct the flight; you are now the pilot
  • Access any data on the drone, including the camera feed and historical flight data

Spoofer have four major disadvantages as C-UAS:

  1. Drone spoofers are illegal in most countries, including the US.
  2. Drone spoofers are less effective against drones not using GPS.
  3. Drone spoofers do not locate the pilot or flightpath.
  4. Drone jammers disrupt other nearby GPS signals making it difficult for authorities to use GPS devices in the event of a real emergency.