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What does it mean to “jam” or “spoof” a drone? What’s the difference?

perfectjammer png2022/07/02

Pilots use remote controls to connect with their drones and direct their flightpath, however the radio signals between the remote control and drone can be interrupted. A blanket term for this deliberate radio signal interruption is called jamming, but there are other ways to interfere with a pilot and their drone, including spoofing.

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drone jammer specifically refers to intentionally using a transmission blocking signal to disrupt communications between a drone and the pilot.

Once a person jams a drone, they can force the drone to do the following

  1. Land on the spot, halting any further movement.
  2. Return to “home” location. This is a normal function of a drone with GPS and a home location feature. It is designed so that if you lose connection, your drone comes back to where it took off.
  3. Spoofing a drone refers to a third party taking over the drone remotely, by impersonating the remote control. It involves emitting a signal that is supposed to confuse the drone, so that it thinks the spoofing signal is legitimate (when in fact it isn’t).
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Done correctly, spoofing allows a third party to do the following:

  1. Take over the drone and direct the flight.
  2. Download data from the drone or view its camera feed.

What tools do you need to jam or spoof a drone?

Generally, a jammer is comprised of a transmitter, which can take different shapes and sizes. When aimed and fixed on a drone, a jammer disrupts the radio and GPS signals guiding it, and depending on the technology used, can deploy this interruption from thousands of feet away.

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What happens to the drone after it’s jammed? Is it safe?

Jamming is an incomplete countermeasure. There is no way of knowing the intended flight path of the drone, or if it has been set to automatically reach a target regardless of being interrupted. This is especially dangerous if it is carrying a sensitive payload that could be dangerous if it crash lands, or is grounded and approached by security personnel without protective measures.

Jammers do not locate the pilot, flightpath, or identify any characteristics of the drone or its payload. They are solely used for the purpose of interfering with a drone flight.

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Can anyone jam a drone if they want to?

Is it illegal to sell or use any jamming device. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the use of "cell jammers" or similar devices designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications (signal blockers, GPS jammers, or text stoppers, etc.) is a violation of federal law. Also, it is unlawful to advertise, sell, distribute, or otherwise market these devices to consumers in the United States.

Jamming refers to the intentional disruption of radio signals between a drone and its remote control, while spoofing involves impersonating the remote control to take over the drone remotely. Both techniques can exert control over the drone, forcing it to land or directing its flight path.

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Spoofing, when executed successfully, enables a third party to assume control of the drone, potentially accessing its data or camera feed. On the other hand, jamming disrupts the drone's signals, but it does not provide any information about the drone's intended flight path or payload.

that jamming does not locate the pilot, determine the flight path, or identify any characteristics of the drone or its payload.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, the use of devices designed to intentionally block or interfere with authorized radio communications, including cell jammers and GPS jammers, is a violation of federal law in the United States. It is also illegal to advertise, sell, distribute, or market such devices to consumers.

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