Scientists may have devised a system that will stop drones from disrupting major airports, after previous incidents that caused airports to shut down over drone scares. Picture: Bang Showbiz
Scientists may have devised a system that will stop drones from disrupting major airports, after previous incidents that caused airports to shut down over drone scares. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Scientists devise way to stop drones from disrupting airports

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Sep 17, 2021

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Scientists may have devised a system that will stop drones from disrupting major airports.

Drones have been known to cause huge disruptions when flown over restricted airspace, and have caused airports to grind to a halt while specialists ensure the drone is not a threat.

But researchers from the University of Cambridge have reportedly come up with a solution to the problem by using statistical techniques and radar data, which could forecast whether a drone intends to enter restricted airspace.

Most recently in the UK, an alert at Gatwick Airport over a drone in December 2018 saw around 1 000 flights disrupted, and researchers hope their new strategy could prevent that from happening again.

Dr Bashar Ahmad, who carried out the research at the University of Cambridge's Department of Engineering, told the BBC: "While we don't fully know what happened at Gatwick, the incident highlighted the potential risk drones can pose to the public if they are misused, whether that's done maliciously or completely innocently.

"It's crucial for future drone surveillance systems to have predictive capabilities for revealing, as early as possible, a drone with malicious intent or anomalous behaviour."

No-one was ever prosecuted for the Gatwick incident three years ago, but their actions affected the Christmas plans of around 140 000 passengers.

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