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Drones, or UAVs, are unmanned aerial vehicles. Initially utilized by the military as a safer combat alternative, drones are making their way into consumer culture. Once rare, their popularity is growing, and it is likely they will soon become mainstream in society. Although convenient for major companies and a fun toy for children, drones are loud and often equipped with camera lenses and audio recording technology which may impede your privacy.
To prevent potential residential issues, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented a series of rules and regulations that drone owners must follow when using their devices. These limitations include the inability to fly above four hundred feet, fly one’s drone over a group of people, fly near other aircraft, and more. Unfortunately, just because regulations are put in place does not mean every drone owner will follow them.
Consequently, residential drone use has the potential to cause conflict amongst neighbors and can become quite burdensome. Luckily, if you hope to minimize your contact with the devices and to ensure your privacy, there are six easy ways to stop drones from flying over your area of residence.
1.Politely Ask Neighbors to Stop
If a drone or drones become burdensome on your property, it is important not to overreact. Going to drastic measures to remove the device may result in larger problems down the road. Typically if drones become an annoyance, it is the result of a pesky neighbor or local kids. In most cases, those involved in flying the drone are unaware they are being a nuisance.
Therefore, the best approach is to begin by politely addressing your neighbors regarding the issue. Start by giving them a phone call, sending an email, or simply knocking on their door. Politely explain that you are not comfortable with them flying a drone over your property, explain your concern, and ask them to refrain from the activity. More often than not, your neighbors will happily oblige, and the incident can be forgotten with neither party harboring any ill feelings.
2. Post No Drone Signs
Similar to the first tip, posting no drone signs is a passive way to resolve any issues without creating conflict between you and your neighbors. In many areas, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established zones in which drones cannot be flown. They also create “No Drone” signs which can be posted on your property to discourage any neighbors from flying their device on your land. To obtain a sign, simply contact the Federal Aviation Administration.
3. Anti-Drone Lasers
Contrary to popular belief, common drone lasers do not utilize light beams to dramatically shoot drones out of the sky. Instead, they can be as simple as a common laser pointer found at your local convenience store. In this case, the lasers are not used to shoot down or destroy the troublesome drone. They are simply used to disarm the device.
Lasers can be used to disarm the cameras on drones. This action makes the device useless to the owner but causes no permanent damage to the drone. The light from the laser simply overwhelms the drone’s camera. As a result, the camera becomes blinded and will only deliver an image of bright white light. Any footage taken is then of no value to the drone’s owner.
4. Check the Laws in Your Area
Depending on the responsiveness of your neighbor and the ways in which they use their drone, you may be able to file a variety of lawsuits. Contrary to common beliefs, the sky is not a lawless area. Therefore, when it comes to bothersome drones, it is important to both be aware of regulations yourself and to ensure your neighbors are also aware of any rules they may be violating. Then, if you are still being troubled with drones on or around your property, you may want to take legal action by making claims against your neighbors for either a private or public nuisance.
For instance, if you have politely asked your neighbor to cease their activity, and they have refused to comply with or altogether ignored your requests, you may be at liberty to file a private cause of action for personal nuisance. Private nuisances are deemed to be those that unreasonably interfere with others’ use or enjoyment of life or property. When these claims are made, a court will come together to weigh the gravity of the infraction incurred.
Most often, in order to be deemed a private nuisance, the problem would have to be universally burdensome in any place of residence and be deemed to have virtually no public benefit. When it comes to drones, the most common cause for private nuisance claims is a result of the loud sounds emitted from the device’s blades as it flies.
Less commonly, causes of action for public nuisances can be claimed if a drone’s use is deemed to be unreasonable, unwarranted, or to be causing unlawful interference with rights granted to the general public. In these cases, drone owners must be using the devices in a manner in which the safety or health of the general public is put in danger.
As with claims of private nuisances, if a public nuisance case is taken to court, a jury will vote as to whether or not the drone owner’s actions are serious enough to warrant further action or interference on behalf of the court. Given that most drones are used close to the owner’s own property, these cases are rarely worth the effort it takes to bring them to court.
5. Anti-Drone Jamming Systems
If you are looking to completely disarm and dismantle any rogue drones, you may want to invest in an anti-drone jamming system. These devices exist in many forms and range in price reaching as much as five hundred dollars or more. In fact, the types of anti-drone jamming systems that can be purchased include waterproof jammers, multifunction jammers, anti-tracking jammers, waterproof jammers, mini jammers, outdoor jammers, mini jammers, and more.
👉 Regardless of the device used, drone jammers operate by jamming the frequency of the drone in question. When activated, drone jammers match the frequency of the signals used by the drone they are targeting, usually either 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz, with their own electromagnetic signals. As a result, the drone’s communication systems are overridden by the drone jamming system’s signal. More often than not, this jam will cause the drone to activate a return home function. In this case, the drone will return to its owner which may be beneficial to resolve the issue.
However, while useful drone jamming systems are not always legal. Therefore, it is extremely important for users to do their research regarding the regulations of both drone and anti-drone jamming systems used within their residential area. The truth is, there are many laws that may indirectly prohibit the use of drone jamming systems.
For example, the use of drone-jamming systems may conflict with the Communications Act of 1934, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, and the United States Criminal Code.
Additionally, using an anti-drone jamming system creates the potential for the targeted drone to lose control and damage property or other people. If any such incidences occurred, the owner of the anti-drone jamming system would be held responsible for amending any inflicted damages. They may also be at risk of racking up criminal charges if their actions are deemed to have been in violation of any of the aforementioned acts and regulations.
6. Use a Drone Detecting System
The best way to prevent the use of drones on or near your property is to first be aware of when or if they are present. Luckily, due to the rapid rate at which drone use has exploded, drone detecting technology has also become fairly widely available. Once a drone is detected, other techniques such as those in this article can be employed to remove the issue of their presence.
However, as a result of the large variety of drones available for use, drone detection systems also come in a wide variety of options. Each option has its own functions, uses, and specific capabilities. So, it is important to do your research before purchasing any kind of system to ensure it meets your needs. This being said, the most common drone detection systems include those using radio frequency (RF) technology, radar, and visual tracking.
Drone Detection Using Radio Frequency Technology
To elaborate, radiofrequency technology works by listening to the radio frequencies used by drones. As previously mentioned, these frequencies ring in anywhere from 2.4 GHz to 5.8 GHz. Then, when a frequency within the right spectrum is detected, the radio frequency technology being employed will use a database to identify the communication channels being utilized by the drone and its corresponding controller and can provide detailed information based on the data drawn such as drone GPS location, pilot GPS location, the drone’s make and model, real-time tracking, and a unique drone identification number, or a MAC address for WIFI operated drones.
👉 However, the type and amount of information a user will receive depends on the type of sensor being used. For instance, there are two types of radiofrequency sensors commonly utilized. One is known as a DJI Aeroscope and works to deliver information for only DJI brand drones.
The second type of radiofrequency technology pulls from a fairly extensive database to deliver information for virtually all drone types. DJI Aeroscope varieties are able to provide very detailed information. However, they are limited in their detection capabilities and may therefore be deemed useless if one is not certain a DJI drone is causing issues.
Meanwhile, other radio frequency technologies are able to detect most if not all drones, but they cannot give very detailed information regarding its owner’s whereabouts. Both sensor types prove to be useful. However, if the exact brand of drone in question is not known, it is likely wiser to opt for a general sensor.
Drone Detection Using Radar
In addition to radiofrequency technology, radar technology is often used in order to detect the presence of drones. In these cases, radars are used to continuously scan the nearby skies in search of any changes in light reflections or changes that indicate the presence of a drone. Similar to radiofrequency technology, these changes are compared to a database of knowledge to determine whether the present item is a drone. This method reduces the amount of false-positive drone detections in order to provide reliable feedback and detection.
Drone Detection Using Visual Tracking
If radiofrequency technology and radar detection are not enough, visual tracking can be used to record footage of drone sightings using PTZ cameras. This technology utilizes GPS tracking in order to angle the camera to properly capture visual images. However, this technique is the least reliable of the three as changes in weather, seasons, and more may impair the camera’s ability to pick up on or all images. Therefore, it is typically used as an additional means of security rather than a primary detection method.
Overall, there are many options to remedy the issue of pesky drones flying in or around your property. While the complaints may seem petty to some, drones can cause serious threats to the privacy and safety of property owners. f you detect a drone on your property, first, make sure that it is a recurring event and not a one-time fluke. Then, address the problem and brush up on your knowledge of local laws and regulations before taking action.
👉 This being said, more often than not drone owners are truly unaware that their actions are burdensome to those around them. Therefore, it is important not to overreact when upon one’s first detection of a drone. Instead, calmly analyze the scenario, address the issue, and politely ask your neighbor to be more mindful of their actions.
In most cases, this is more than enough to solve the problem. However, if problems persist, the aforementioned methods of drone detection, prevention, and removal should be more than enough to provide a solution without creating lasting damage to property, reputations, or relationships.