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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Technology to defend ships from drone attacks

Thu 14 Jun 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Technology to defend ships from drone attacks
Ovit demonstrated how its security system can detect drones and enable owners to activate countermeasures (credit: Riviera Maritime Media)

Vessel owners should invest in an anti-drone defence system for their ships to prevent attacks from unmanned aerial vehicles. These systems have been developed to detect when a drone is close to a vessel and where it is being controlled from.

Ovit Innovation Security demonstrated its drone early warning system at the Posidonia exhibition in Athens, Greece, last week. Ovit chief operations officer Konstantinos Drivas explained how this security system can detect incoming drones up to 7 km away.

It can track the flight path of a drone and reveal the location of the pilot within this range. “Our system can find the human factor behind the drone,” Mr Drivas said.

“A drone detection umbrella goes over the vessel and will alert if one is close to the vessel, then an owner can activate countermeasures,” he explained to Marine Electronics & Communications.

These countermeasures can include GPS jamming to disrupt the pilotage of the drone. All alerts and video capture of drone threats are automatically recorded and catalogued. These can then be exported to share with law enforcement authorities if required.

Mr Drivas explained that megayacht owners are already investing in these anti-drone systems, with each one costing around €12,000 (US$14,000).

He thinks commercial shipping should also consider drone detection systems. “Imagine that a drone could land on a tanker and the owner gets a call from the pilot who says there is explosive on the drone,” Mr Drivas asked.

“Our system can prevent that from happening and the culprit can be found.” This uses radio frequency up to 6,000 kHz to detect flying objects around a vessel.

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