In the absence of comprehensive legislation governing the usage of privately-owned unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) anywhere within Indian airspace, there has been a steady proliferation of mini-UAVs, especially those being imported from China. In the latest instance, a staffer of the Russian Embassy in Delhi was seen operating a mini-UAV within a designated no-fly zone in New Delhi:
Over the past two years, there were several other such instances in several cities throughout India, including a recent one in Mumbai that was spotted hovering dangerously close to the city’s international airport. Pending the drafting and approving of comprehensive legislation for deterring such min-UAV flights, the Union Home Ministry has just placed orders for an initial 12 vehicle-mounted high-power electromagnetic (HPEM) zappers from Germany’s DIEHL Defence for enforcing the no-flying zone directives within the Natgional capital Region. This is just for starters, and it will be followed in the near future by the CISF acquiring similar systems for ensuring the safety of air corridors around India’s major international and domestic airports.
The HPEM acts directly on the control electronics of mini-drones by means of electromagnetic pulses, thus causing mission abort. This means: regardless of the control method used (autonomous or radio-controlled), the mini-drone becomes inoperable upon impact of HPEM pulses at distances of up to several hundred metres and triggers the fail-safe function. The HPEM also provides the possibility of scalable range and the ability to also intercept entire swarms of mini-drones simultaneously. The HPEM does not cause harm to individuals and several of them are already being used worldwide for stopping cars and protecting large events (Olympic Games and summit meetings).