Australian Federal Police eye anti-drone capability

AFP seeks ongoing authorisation to use drone jammers

The Australian Federal Police are seeking ongoing authorisation to use so-called drone-jamming capabilities that can be used to disable remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and similar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Drone jamming devices target the frequencies used by an operator to control a drone, which generally leads to the drone either landing or returning to the point where it was launched.

The AFP has been working closely with the relevant regulator — the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) — to seek an exemption from rules governing wireless interference.

Currently there are two ACMA declarations governing jamming devices: The Radiocommunications (Prohibited Device) (RNSS Jamming Devices) Declaration 2014 and the Radiocommunications (Prohibition of PMTS Jamming Devices) Declaration 2011.

The former deals with frequencies used by satellite navigation services such as GPS (radionavigation-satellite service, or RNSS). The latter bans mobile phone jammers (a ‘PMTS’ is a public mobile telecommunications service).



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