At the end of January, the National Police announced that they are exploring the possibilities of using birds of prey as interceptors of hostile drones. The project is an initiative of HSD partners National Police, Guard From Above in cooperation with TNO. Guard From Above is the World's first company specialised in training birds of prey to intercept hostile or unwanted drones. TNO is involved by exploring the impact of the drones on the claws of the birds. This initiative is a good example of how Triple Helix cooperation within the Dutch security cluster HSD can lead to innovative security solutions.
In the future there will be an increase of drone usage and therefore of drone-related incidents, for example during events. Also, drones could be used for criminal purposes. To prevent any possible ‘drone attack’, the National Police and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) have started testing different kinds of innovative solutions to intercept hostile drones. Finding the 'operator' of an unwanted drone is not always easy. Therefore, the police is looking at electronical solutions, such as the adoption of an operating system, as well as "physical" possibilities to eliminate unwanted drone use. A possible physical solution could be the use of a safety net or birds of prey. In a few months, the National Police will decide whether the use of birds of prey is an appropriate means to prevent unwanted drone use.
During a demo last Friday, the police showed how the birds of prey can be deployed. Once a specially trained eagle gets the drone in sight, she immediately flies towards the drone, grabs the thing and takes it down. Mark Wiebes, innovation manager of the National Police: "The bird sees the drone as a prey and will instinctively take it to a safe area, a place where she is alone with her prey and doesn’t have to fear other luring predators. We use this instinct in our project".
SBIR: Innovative Security Solutions against Drones
Besides the initiative to use birds of prey, the Ministry of Security and Justice is also involved with several other innovative solutions to intercept drones. These solutions are selected from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) on Drones. More information about this SBIR can be found here.
Would you like to know more about the possibilities of drones? Visit TUS Expo from 2-4 February in World Forum, The Hague.