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Air Domain Awareness Program aims to tackle illegal drones




Federal agencies are testing new equipment as they try to distinguish drones used in illegal activities on the border between the US and Canada.

Testing the waters?

Federally funded Air Domain Awareness Program, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) informed us a few days ago, consists of testing new technologies on the US northern border with Canada. Nowadays anyone can afford a drone, and although it’s mostly used for filming landscape and influencers’ videos, it can – as most technologies do – be used for other purposes. The government is highly aware of its potential use for drug and human trafficking, as well as other surveillance purposes. Therefore, in an effort to stop this illicit usage of drones and small aircraft, DHS, Federal Aviation Administration, and other federal agencies, are, for the next two years, launching a series of tests of new equipment and systems to detect, track and identify drones that could enter the US from Canada.

First tests will take place in a flat environment of North Dakota, after which they’ll move to the mountains of Montana, much like the regions in which smugglers like to operate. Since it’s still unknown if water would absorb frequencies of radar and other technologies, part of the tests will take place on the shores of Lake St. Clair in Michigan. And the last testing phase will be held in the noise-overfilled area near Detroit.