Rising concerns over terrorism has put Japan’s Metropolitan Police Department into action. An MPD drone has been created to accost small drones that enter prohibited airspace. The large drones will be operated by a riot squad which is a part of MPD. These large drones are equipped with nets that will be used to capture small drones.
How do they work?
When a suspicious drone flies into airspace which is prohibited, the riot squad will warn the drone so that they can leave the airspace unharmed. If the operator of the suspicious drone does not heed the warnings and the drone continues to fly then an MPD drone is dispatched which flies along with its net which hangs approximately a meter below the drone.
The net covers the propellers of the suspicious drone and renders it inoperable. The riot squad wants to capture the drones safely so that they can prevent them from crashing to the ground.
Why does the MPD need to capture drones?
With terrorism on the rise, the MPD sees this as a defensive measure to avoid incumbent attacks by terrorists. Technology’s advancements have empowered the terrorists just as much as it has helped us in our daily lives. Drones that are available in the market can be used to carry lightweight weapons which can harm the citizens.
While drones are usually considered harmless and are being used primarily for aerial photography and to make deliveries, the use of these drones by terrorists is a possibility that the MPD cannot evade.
Drones have become quite popular in the recent years. The Civil Aeronautical Law saw an amendment which prohibits drones from flying in densely populated residential areas as well as flying near the airports. Offenders will be subjected to a fine of up to ¥500,000.
The 23 wards of Tokyo are considered densely populated and drones cannot be flown in the area without permission.
With the Ise-shima summit coming up, a draft has been submitted by Mie Prefecture in November. If the draft gets an approval, then drones will be prohibited from flying within 1.5 kilometers of the summit facilities. Any operator who flies drones in the area can face a year of jail or a fine of up to ¥500,000.