Product Overviews

You Can Now Build a Drone Detection System

By June 20, 2014 34 Comments

The use of drones for personal use has increased exponentially in recent years. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the Federal Aviation Administration imposes no guidelines on these individuals and there have been many mishaps. Drones crashing into buildings or nosediving onto sidewalks are some things that have not only happened, but are also incredibly dangerous.

There are also serious privacy concerns surrounding these unmanned aircraft. Because many drones are equipped with cameras and video-recorders, it’s not uncommon for pilots to record their flights along with anything else they want. If somebody wanted to fly a drone in front of your house and record you, it’s entirely possible. And the worst part about this is that it’s completely legal.

If you’ve ever wanted to do something about drones flying in your vicinity, then you may be able to really soon. APlus Mobile, a company that develops and manufactures computer hardware, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new endeavor: Domestic Drone Countermeasures. If enough backers pledge the modest $8,500 goal, the company will start producing its Personal Drone Detection System that will alert you whenever someone is flying a drone near you.

“The intent of [our] Personal Drone Detection System is not to counter military drones. They fly too high and are too sophisticated. Our intent is to keep your privacy safe from your neighbors and people you may not know who are flying small drones near your home or office. The Personal Drone Detection Systems are intended to counter small, personal drones with cameras and other sensors that are not being regulated.”

– Domestic Drone Countermeasures 

A prototype of the Drone Detection System

A prototype of the Drone Detection System

Consisting of three units (a primary command box, a control module, and two detection sensor nodes), the Personal Drone Detection System creates a mesh grid network that can triangulate moving transmitters. Everything is connected to your personal Wi-Fi network and you’ll get notifications sent to the primary command box or your smartphone, tablet, or computer, whenever a drone is detected overhead.

Domestic Drone Countermeasures claims a wireless mesh network is optimal for drone detection for a couple of reasons:

1. Detection Grids are “self configuring;” [sic] the network automatically incorporates a new node into the existing structure without needing any adjustments by a network administrator.

2. Detection Grids are “self healing,” [sic] since the network automatically finds the fastest and most reliable paths to send data, even if nodes are blocked or lose their signal.

The Personal Drone Detection System is expandable, which means you’ll be able to purchase additional detection sensor nodes to create a large coverage area. Depending on how much you want to monitor, you could potentially create a “no-fly zone” around your home. While the system won’t prevent drones from flying, it will alert you of intruders so you can take action. What you do after being notified is up to you, and that’s where legal issues come into play.

If you think you can shoot drones out of the sky because they are flying over your property, think again. According to US federal law: “whoever willfully sets fire to, damages, destroys, disables, or wrecks any civil aircraft, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than twenty years or both.” It’s this legal loophole that keeps drone pilots happy and flying, and civilians frustrated and confused.

Still, the Personal Drone Detection System is the first step in securing people’s privacy once again. By fighting technology with technology (instead of weapons), there are many potential upgrades that could possibly disable unmanned aircraft and create a “no-fly zone” in the future. Until then, you’ll just have to go inside the house whenever you hear the drone alarm.

What would you do if you knew a drone was flying over your house?

Ivan Barajas

Author Ivan Barajas

More posts by Ivan Barajas

Join the discussion 34 Comments

  • Robert Barkoski says:

    Perhaps a targeting system with a paintball gun can be used to shoot at the drones.

  • The irony of Newegg supporting something like this is like Newegg supporting anti-technology zealots claiming computers are evil. I’m willing to bet that most people who fly multirotors are your very own customers and don’t appreciate you vilifying them. I’ve bought over $30K work of computer stuff from Newegg in the past 10 years and seriously thinking of sending my business elsewhere. Ironic that you all also sell the Evil drones on your website.

    • The Giant says:

      C’mon Massive, I honestly don’t feel they are vilifying customers. Hey they sell drones, OK. The detection devices and software are also cool stuff.

      • They are encouraging false fears propagated by the media, which casts the majority of multicopter operators as perverts trying to spy on you. Domestic Drone Countermeasures is simply trying to cash in on this.

        • The Giant says:

          I don’t see that “They” are encouraging false fears. All of the people I know who use them (drones) do so for unique new perspectives in photography. The devices shown are totally passive and a valid and simple response to the new technology. If “They” were fear mongers they would be selling us the jamming hardware that would bring these drones down, that technology is already for sale if you know where to look. Cause and effect gentlemen.

    • nara tims says:

      The neighborhood drone flyers are obnoxious and peeping toms, the police don’t have that capability to find the bad apple perpetrator that is causing the problem.
      True not all drone owners are perverts leering into windows but now we have more privacy invading video drones for what?

    • James says:

      Massive Overkill you must be one of the drone creeps who stalk people otherwise you would not lie about what they said. it is a huge problem now as you well know and children are being stalked by pedophiles with drones peeping on them, women and just plain creepy people who love to violate the privacy of others. Thanks to my living in a more rural area the risk is lower but since I am in a state forest area we are also plagued by the creepy tourists who think you have no right to privacy here when they come visit and fly their drones into your property. My German Shepherd already earned his first anti drone wings by grabbing one that was low flying to see in windows. The next one will feel the sting of my favorite goose/duck hunting shot gun and what will the idiot say? NOT a damn thing as the Sheriff around here has had his fill of it too. One would think living far from the masses makes one safe from the stupidity but they just travel here to get stupid. Like Fireworks almost 24/7 from May till October… sigh.

      I hope the pass serious felony laws against the creepers with drones who think it is a hoot to be a peeping Tom with a drone.

  • James says:

    Oh nice. Now I can sue the living nuts off anyone who disrupts my aircraft. I was needing a new source of income anyways.

    • mons73r says:

      Pfft, you wouldn’t be able to do ****, and that’s if you even found the person. Besides, these aren’t for jamming in the first place.

  • Jay says:

    This is not something I’d have expected newegg to post. Being a website that sells technology. There’s a huge difference between drone and a R/C quad copter with a camera.

    Also, this is just baiting those who want to take out anyone flying their quadcopter or anything similar.

    Stop baiting the masses with bull**** and start teaching or sharing facts.
    It needs to be explained that this hobby is growing as said but as its growing there will be growing pains. There’s no reason to target other peoples hobby. For one its hell of alot safer than an R/C airplane and mor accessible.

  • tod says:

    Paranoid dribble.

  • I would tell the person flying it that it is NOT A DRONE! Then I would take my own multi-rotars and show them how it’s done.

  • I wouldn’t care, I’m not paranoid that people are trying to spy on me in my yard like some people are, most I would do is wave at it.

    • mike says:

      what if they are thinking to steal, from you it is an excellent device to case a place. there is more bad, then good with a drone in a neighborhood.

  • Karen says:

    Gee I feel so naked!!!

  • Lt.Zone says:

    civil aircraft thats no loop hole i have incorporated a 10 second warning signal system sent imediatly to any monitoring system visual ,audio or radio control device that they have entered a no fly zone and will be grounded by any means necessary if the craft,drone,rc or any other device doesnot exit the no fly zone asap

  • Keg says:

    This is a warning system plain and simple. A great product for companies to protect intellectual property from prying eyes; similar to what is being used on the Star Wars set. I don’t think the advertising was done well, but the product is not a bad thing.

  • manny says:

    I like the drones i think thier awsome , but why over me

  • Monty says:

    This detector will not work if the drone is flying a preset pattern by GPS, because the RF transmitter is not being used. Did they account for that?

  • Max says:

    Ref. Federal Law & shooting them down: Drones, like rc model airplanes are not covered- they are not licenced and have not regestration numbers. They are treated as recreational toys. Shoot them down with a paint ball gun if they fly into your back yard !

  • Victoria Moore says:

    Thank you New Egg for bringing this technology to your customers!! You have just as many customers that do not want to be spied on by creepy neighbors, nosey bosses, stalking X’s, or anyone … If they are innocent hobbyists… Then they would not & should not be on or over your property… Therefore there is no conflict… It can be considered just as entertaining a sport to take down the privacy invaders .. Gentlemen Start Your Engines!!! & Let the Games Begin!!!!

  • Mike Cooper says:

    I live on 60 acres with my house positioned right in the middle. If I saw a drone anywhere within distance of my home, I would shoot it down. No laws broken!

  • Sigh says:

    Perhaps you misunderstood “drone” pilots should band together and do something about the irresponsible minority that’s giving you a bad name. If you don’t others will eventually do it for you and you’ll lose the freedom you now enjoy. Scream about the media and ignorance of the public all you want, if you don’t police yourselves in a hurry regulation is just around the corner.

  • Paco says:

    Very good tool to be had by everyone. Considering the character of some drone users, their intent and desires being what they may be, it is wise not to ignore drones buzzing around anywhere. If any are spotted ‘away from designated playgrounds’ authorities should be notified, take pictures and look for operators. If not trained, licensed, legally permitted and heavily insured none should be flying around anywhere be it airports, government property, prisons, schools, backyards etc. Doing so opens doors to tragedy and if such happens the user is at risk of everything imaginable regardless of the law. This is not a simple matter to be overlooked by the FAA and other responsible agencies and concerns should have been dealt with long ago. They are if not more dangerous that guns when in the wrong hands for the wrong uses.

  • DroneKatcher says:

    I just use a net gun to catch them over my property. The best thing about the net guns is that it is legal and can be used and owned by anyone without any restrictions. It will not permanently destroy or harm the helicopter drones and will also not hamper or cause damage to private property. It is safe, reliable and effective and operates on the 16g CO2 Cartridges that are easily and readily available. I have caught 3 so far this year and they were all intact. I don’t want to damage them because they sell fast on ebay. This way the intruders are paying me rent to use my airspace even though they don’t know it. I only have one left and I don’t know what it is worth. I just don’t know much about them other than they freak-out my wife when shes nude sunbathing by our pool. lol. But the one I have looks weird it has 4 big blade thingys and a logo that says Q500 and some kinda strange camera lens thingy that says k4 or something like that. Funny thing is they always come to my door asking if I caught a drone? I just tell them that’s impossible because my doctor gave me both chickenpox and drone vaccines and told me that would protect me from catching either of them. You should see the looks on their faces! It’s hilarious! They usually leave my house and start pestering the other neighbors as I post their drone on ebay. They do sell very fast, sometimes within just a few mins! So yes, It’s always drone season at my house…. 🙂

  • DroneKatcher says:

    Walk onto someone’s lawn and you’re trespassing; fly over it in a helicopter and you’re in the clear — “the air is a public highway,” the Supreme Court declared in 1946. But what about the in-between space? Does the availability of unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones, aka UAVs) throw a wrench in the old legal understandings?

    The First Amendment provides a right to gather information, but that right is not unbounded; it ends, “when it crosses into an invasion of privacy.”– “Putting a stepladder up against someone else’s home without permission, climbing up the ladder, and then photographing into a second-floor window would be an invasion of privacy. Using a drone just outside the window to obtain those same photographs would be just as much an invasion of privacy.”

    New technologies may present new ways of violating people’s privacy, but that doesn’t mean they’re legal. It will take courts years to figure out how to apply our laws to our age of drones. During the mean time I will keep catching them…

  • Assuaging Public Fears: How to Talk to the Paranoid Masses | in the flitelab says:

    […] to UAVs has been largely negative. That’s why people are shooting drones out of the sky or building elaborate drone detection systems — their fear has crossed the line into blatant paranoia and the idea that the only reason UAVs […]

  • Mark Fimon says:

    I’m just sick of seeing about 10 drones flying within about 3/4 mile !!!

  • Quintin says:

    Long time customer of Newegg. Glad to see this topic is taken seriously. I live in a 22nd story apartment, and had the displeasure of a drone visit last week. The intrusion coincided with daughter’s emergence from the bathroom after shower. My privacy is assumed but not ensured, and I am looking for a solution. First to detect and understand the frequency of fly-bys and look-ins. Then how best to intercede and defend against the intrusion.

  • What is the defense again unwanted drones

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