Security and privacy concern over UAV, are risking as quickly as the expansion of the drone industry. In January 2015,, a drunk employee from US government intelligence agency crashed a drone on White House lawn, while in April of same year, a Japanese man was arrested for landing a drone carrying small amount of radioactive material on Prime Minister’s Shinzo Abe’s office.
Similarly in South Korea, 37 drones were spotted in the P73A no fly zone covering the presidential residence, Choeng Wa Dae, in 2015, and the country is also facing growing threats from North Korea’s UAV capabilities.
Exponential increase in Drone patent: Korea
According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office, Korea has seen a steady increase in the anti- drone patents in recent years, for technology that can increase more effectively prevent threats from UAV. The number jumped from a single patent in 2013 to nine in 2014, 17 in 2015, and 19 in 2016. The technology in the patent filed with the KPO usually incorporates identifying unapproved UAVs via radar detection and neutralizing them by jamming or hacking into their frequencies or software’s.
Of the 46 patents filed in past four years, 29 of them were from individuals and SMEs, seven from universities, six from government research institutes, and four from major corporations. However the officials noted that the number still falls far behind regular drone patents, of which there were 389 in 2015. The number of anti- drone patents filed was so disappointing compared to US patent office, which saw some 60 drone’s neutralization patent applications in 2016.
One of the major road blocks hindering research and development of anti-drone technology is government regulation, says official- for instance, radiofrequency interference is a technique still prohibited for civilian use.
“South Korea is in desperate need of anti-drone technology development with threats from north Korea, military and industrial espionage and terrorist attack. Legal revision to alleviate existing regulation and policies to support their research and development are essential.”