When drones are misled by GPS jammers
The global positioning system (GPS) that keeps the drone in the air can be dangerous if it fails. In a recent incident in the UK, a drone went astray and crashed into a house. GPS interference is considered a possible cause, although the source of the interference is not known. "Personal privacy devices" or GPS jammers may be the culprits. Jammers can be purchased online for under $50.
In this case, no one was injured and damage to the house was minimal, but it underscored the need for alternative drone operating mechanisms.
Military-grade GPS jammers and spoofers can broadcast fake locations that can shoot down drones. The $5 million GPS Block III program used by the U.S. Air Force is not really suitable for civilian use. GPS III provides increased immunity for military users using specialized equipment, but 99% of civilian users experience no additional benefit at all. Low power consumption means that [civilian] GPS is very, very, very prone to stuttering.
As more drones take to the skies, GPS hazard identification will help prevent drones from suddenly losing guidance and landing on people below. Satellite-guided GPS can be overwhelmed if closer signals disrupt the satellite's line of sight.
When the drone loses contact with the GPS compass, the drone enters manual flight mode and hovers. The downed British drone was unable to function properly without GPS guidance, disrupting the interpretation of the terrain and crashing.