Countering rogue aerial robots necessitates having trained personnel in place in addition to technology

The dangers posed by rogue aerial robots is nothing new. With the increasing number of such unregulated vehicles, the number of which stands at a whopping 6 lakh in India, it has become a major national concern. The recent incidents involving Saudi Arabia’s largest petroleum company, Saudi Aramco, is a testament to the extent of hazards that aerial robots can cause when misused.

The risk is clear and so are the solutions i.e counter technology. From jamming technology to geo-fencing and GPS spoofers, various kinds of technology are available. In fact, research organisations like Bharat Aero have been conducting rigorous researches on the impact of electromagnetic waves on aerial robots, thus facilitating more robust counter-solutions for public and private organisations in crucial sectors.

Backed by experimental facilities based on simulation and prototyping, Bharat Aero has also been providing actionable solutions to its OEM partners through its research works. Thus, despite its industry being at a nascent stage, India boasts of several software start-ups and research organisations that have been making ground-breaking innovations in the field. However, does technology only suffice to keep our airspace safe?

While it is crucial to have robust technology in place, the efficacy of manual intervention cannot be overstated. Realising this, the government is currently in talks to make security personnel more sensitised to the concerns pertaining to unregulated aerial robots. As a part of its effort, they will be trained on detection, tracking and identification of rogue aerial robots. They will also be taught how to handle counter equipment, especially in critical areas where the risks loom large.

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Currently, the airports in particular, where extra security vigilance is imperative, do not have a specific mechanism in place to tackle the concerns regarding unregistered aerial robots. However, the move to conduct training programmes for security officers will hopefully ensure security within the airspace. Close tie-ups between software companies or research organisations working in the same domain and government bodies can also help in enhancing the potential of counter-solutions that India has today.

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