NASA-Developed Tech Cuts Power to Drones Before Entering Protected Airspace

Tresspassing drones are downed by NASA's defense tech without even being touched.

July 14, 2017 5:00 am
drone safety software
NASA testing its drone safety software at at the Reno-Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada. (NASA Ames/Dominic Hart)

America’s space agency has a solution for rogue drones that seems straight out of a sci-fi film.

NASA developed a software called Safeguard that keeps unwanted drones from entering protected airspace with the push of a button. The software could help create order in increasingly chaotic and crowded skies.

Drones can easily go from being a nuisance to a danger in a worst case scenario. Even a small drone can spark a disaster if it accidentally gets sucked into the jet engine of an airline taking off at an airport, for example.

Safeguard uses geofencing technology to create an invisible barrier around areas deemed no-fly zones by the FAA. The software uses proximity-tracking algorithms that are more reliable and precise than a GPS signal that’s commonly used in similar tech, according to Wired.

If a drone gets too close, Safeguard tells the pilot to land. If that command isn’t followed, the drone’s power is cut and the unmanned aircraft will fall from the sky.

NASA developed the software for professional drone operators, not hobbyists. Instead of flying around densely populated areas like landmarks, these usually fly missions in areas without many people around so if a drone does crash, no one’s hurt.

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