Anti-Drone System Helps Secure Presidential Debate

To help secure the final presidential debate, Las Vegas police used Dedrone's DroneTracker system to scan the surrounding airspace for unauthorized drones.

Security is always tight around major political events, and Wednesday’s third and final presidential debate was no different. Not only was there extra security personnel on the ground, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) also had its eyes on the skies thanks to anti-drone technology.

The LVMPD employed Dedrone’s DroneTracker system to detect unwanted drones in a radius of several hundred meters around the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) venue. The DronTracker system uses visual, acoustic and radio frequency sensors to locate unwanted drones and reports results in real time to a nearby security operations center.

DroneTracker in June 2016 added a built-in jammer that can automatically repel drones. As soon as an unauthorized drone is detected,  DroneTracker transmits electromagnetic waves that interfere with the radio signal between the drone and its controller.

At press time, the Las Vegas police said no drones were detected during the third presidential debate. UNLV is located about 1 mile from McCarran International Airport, so that area is already a no-drone zone. As we know, however, some don’t adhere to the rules of no-drone zones.

“Protecting the public from malicious drones is increasingly on the agenda of today’s security agencies,” says Dedrone CEO Jörg Lamprecht. “Millions of drones are sold each year. Cheaper drones are easily purchased by enthusiasts and photographers, but the technology has been used by militant groups as well. Airspace security is now as vital as security on the ground. We are very proud that our technology was selected to protect such a high-level national event, and that we were able to contribute to a successful outcome.”

Dedrone’s other customers include data centers, oil-and-gas facilities, prisons, and Citi Field, home to the New York Mets. Dedrone is also working with Airbus to bring its drone detection to major airports.

“Even though Las Vegas has hosted heads of state and presidents, the presidential debate coupled with the large crowd that it drew, posed a unique set of risks,” LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said. “We were able to seamlessly integrate the tracker into our safety plan. Having technology that will protect us from the air and provide real-time information was a huge advantage to having a safe and uneventful evening.”

To see Dedrone’s DroneTracker system in action, watch the video at the top of this page.

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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