How easy or difficult is it to jam or interfere with communication, to or from a UAV? Could it conceivably just drop from the sky if communication was cut ?
David Axe says:
Absolutely, drones can be jammed. I was in Balad, Iraq last year, and soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division there complained that the Warlock radio jammers used to defeat IEDs also jammed their Raven drones and caused them to crash.
Michael Bruno says:
Peter, Lost communications is certainly an ongoing challenge for the UAV community, but have no fear that drones will be falling from the sky in droves. By this point, most - if not all - UAVs in government feature a "lost link" capability where the UAV fly off to a safety zone and stay there while trying to regain contact with ground control. Other reporters here at AvWeek are better experts, but I can tell you that we've been reporting quite a bit how reliable and adequate communications in general are critical components of the "netcentric" warfare model that the United States keeps pushing. For that reason alone, signal jamming and poor connections throughout the defense and intel community remain a major concern - regardless the level of existing threat.
Thanks for the question, Peter.
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