Drones are a real threat in the hands of terrorists – they can easily make serious damages or pose a risk to people’s health and lives. Therefore, systems controlling drones’ navigation systems are becoming more and more significant. The Hawk System by Hertz Systems company is a good example of a great success of Polish engineers in this area.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) called drones are more and more common in civil and military use. Their popularity results from a wide range of applications as well as the ability to carry advanced technologies that these vehicles can be equipped with. The lightest and the cheapest drones weight a few kilograms and are controlled remotely by an operator. Military drones, e.g. MQ-1 Predator, weight approximately 1 000 kilograms and have a range of 1 000 kilometers, but the largest vehicles weight even 10 tones, reach over 20 kilometers above the ground (for example the Global Hawk) and can fly continuously for 36 hours ranging 20 000 kilometers.
Drones for civil usage are much simpler constructions. There are used in observations of the ground with high-resolution cameras which can be useful in forestry, agriculture and environmental protection. Such machines fill the gap left by satellites and airplanes. Other applications of the UAV are crisis situations when they help not only estimate the range of the crisis by the real-time observation but also can support the communication systems or deliver small parcels to the emergency services. There are also systems developed for dual-use technologies, e.g. for mass event safety, military and civil objects protection or patrolling the borders. Typical military usage is an observation of the battlefield, caring the ammunition or direct attacks. In 2015, the global market of AUV was estimated for 3,3 billion USD, and according to predictions, it’s going to reach 90 billion USD in 2025. The UAV market in Poland is estimated for over 200 million PLN.
What is an excellent tool supporting actions of the armed forces and law enforcement services can also pose a great threat in the hands of the rival or unauthorized persons. Drones can be used for illegal purposes by 3 groups:
amateurs who use drones in untypical ways usually against the law,
criminal groups who use drones in order to force the barriers, e.g. prison walls or national borders,
terrorists who use drones in terrorist attacks.
A few examples that happened in the past few years indicate the gravity of the situation and a potential threat. During the war in Syria and Iraq, the government forces were bombed by bombs attached to drones. The same situation took place during the battle of Mosul.
The Police and the prison services in Great Britain appointed a special anti-drone institution which is dedicated to fighting with drugs and mobile phones trafficking. Some smugglers have been already given a severe punishment for their offenses. The similar situation took place in France. Recently a drone has delivered a parcel to the prison in Valence in the southern France. The prison services managed to overtake the camera, but the parcel had been previously successfully delivered to the addressee. This was the fourth such incident in France in short time. The government is afraid that weapons and bombs will be next after drugs and mobile phones. Unfortunately, the former can be more helpful in the escape from prison than the latter.