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A Maryland-based defense company is partnering with Raytheon to sell a counter-drone system to U.S. special operations forces and other defense agencies.

Department 13 recently announced the collaboration for the sales of its existing Mesmer system, a non-jamming software-based platform that uses protocol manipulation to take control of an unmanned aerial system and land it safely. The technique allows the user to identify threat signals before entering a given area, said Jonathan Hunter, CEO and chairman of the board of Department 13. It also allows for greater ranges than traditional jamming methods, he added.

“We’re affecting radios … two, three, four kilometers away, as opposed to normal jammers [that] do not get that range,” he said.

Most transmitters are constantly communicating on a radio frequency that is essentially “waiting for a connection, a handshake, to occur,” he noted. Mesmer detects that signal, identifies it as a threat protocol that is being sought, and then sends a command out to mitigate the protocol to disable the drone, he added.

It only takes a few moments for the system to track and identify the enemy drone, then with just a click of the button the asset is neutralized and the user can move onto the next target, Hunter said.

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Category: Science