Stopping stray UAVs in Singapore

The jammer gun, which emits signals that can jam the control signals of drones, and the drone catcher system, which uses a net to catch drones, are among the Republic of Singapore Air Force's weapons that can be used against errant drones.
The jammer gun, which emits signals that can jam the control signals of drones, and the drone catcher system, which uses a net to catch drones, are among the Republic of Singapore Air Force's weapons that can be used against errant drones.ST FILE PHOTOS
The jammer gun, which emits signals that can jam the control signals of drones, and the drone catcher system, which uses a net to catch drones, are among the Republic of Singapore Air Force's weapons that can be used against errant drones.
The jammer gun, which emits signals that can jam the control signals of drones, and the drone catcher system, which uses a net to catch drones, are among the Republic of Singapore Air Force's weapons that can be used against errant drones.ST FILE PHOTOS

Measures are in place in Singapore to prevent illegal drone use like that which disrupted flights at London's Gatwick Airport for 36 hours from last Wednesday.

For example, the Republic of Singapore Air Force has several weapons that can be used against errant drones.

These include a jammer gun, which emits signals that can jam the control signals of drones, as well as a drone catcher system, which uses a net to catch them.

Last Tuesday, a day before the disruption at Gatwick began, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen posted on his Facebook page a video of these technologies in action.

In August, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence said that they have the capabilities to trace people who are operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Last year, ST Engineering purchased the Gamekeeper radar system - developed by British start-up Aveillant - which uses specially designed radar technology to detect and track drones as small as 100 sq cm across up to a range of 5km.

The system was installed near the Singapore Flyer last year, ahead of the National Day Parade at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.

At the Nanyang Technological University, the use of geofencing - where virtual fences are set up around restricted areas so that drones cannot fly over them - is being studied as part of a possible traffic management system for drones here.

Under the Unmanned Aircraft (Public Safety and Security) Act, the flying of drones within 5km of airports or military airbases, or at altitudes above 200ft (61m), without a permit is an offence.

Those found guilty of violating these regulations face a fine of up to $20,000 or up to 12 months in jail, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 23, 2018, with the headline 'Stopping stray UAVs in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe