With more autonomous unmanned vehicles being released into the air every year, the risk of collisions is increasing – recently, a BA flight from Geneva was hit by a suspected drone during its descent to Heathrow. Now there is a growing fear that drones could be used by terrorists to mount airborne attacks, and work is taking place on how best to defend against the threat. Airbus is developing jamming technology, Boeing is researching lasers, while one company has turned to nature’s own predators.
On behalf of the Dutch police, the firm Guard From Above is training eagles to take out drones mid-flight. One video shows a drone hovering in the air before an eagle swoops down, grabs it with its talons and flies off with it. Training the birds takes a year and, so far, all tests have been successful. The force will decide soon whether to employ the eagles in the war on terror.