How to disable a drone on your property? #5 is my favorite

Remember that scene from the 2014 superhit sci-fi film ‘Interstellar‘ where Cooper and his daughter Murph hijack and bring down an Indian airforce drone using nothing but an old laptop and a radio antenna?

Pretty cool right?

How To Disable A Drone On Your Property - how to stop drones from flying over your house

You must be wondering if such an ‘anti-drone’ system is available in the real world that can help us disable rouge and intrusive drones on our property.

Before we divulge into discussing ways on how to disable a drone on your property that is irritating, annoying, or outright intrusive, please note that this is not your how-to guide to shooting down drones that are flying over your house (more on this below).

Drones are a security & privacy threat

This might seem a little harsh coming from a fellow drone enthusiast but not all of us are very considerate about other people’s privacy and safety.

Commercial camera drones are becoming cheaper and better so more and more people are buying them. Some new drone owners are not well aware of local privacy laws surrounding drones.

So other people who are not very fond of these flying cameras are on the lookout for ways to protect themselves against such rogue drones and might think of how to take down a drone when it is being intrusive.

Can you fly a drone over private property?

Can you fly a drone over private property? Yes. The airspace above your property is owned by the FAA and any activity that occurs in that airspace that does not violate the FAA laws is legal. So, YES you can fly a drone over private property as long as you are following the FAA laws including keeping your drone below 400 feet from above the ground.

According to the FAA, shooting down or damaging a drone in the air is illegal and you might be liable for damages claimed by the drone owner. However, if you can prove that the drone

  • is violating your privacy by recording videos or taking pictures without your consent
  • is putting yourself or a member of your family in danger by reckless flying
  • is interfering with your life in any other way

you might have a legal case against the drone owner. But keep in mind that such claims are very hard to prove.

We might not yet have an answer for how to legally take down a drone. The technology has evolved at a much greater speed and the laws have not caught up yet. I have written a comprehensive article to discuss if is it legal to fly drones over houses.

Related article: How to tell if a drone is watching you at night?

How to disable a drone on your property?

Now that we are clear about the legal aspect of (not) shooting down a drone, let’s discuss the fun and creative ways on how to stop drones from flying over your house and property.

Most of them are developed for or by law enforcement agencies around the world to deal with reckless flying machines.

Please note again that this article is not your “how-to guide” for shooting down other people’s drones.

1. Shoot it down with a gun

Shooting down a drone using a good ol’ shotgun is one of the easiest and effective methods BUT this isn’t for common people.

Remember that the FAA fought hard to classify the drones as aircraft (so that they can regulate them) and under federal code 18 §32, the destruction of an aircraft is a felony offence with a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

So, can you shoot a drone over your property? Absolutely not. Shooting down a drone flying over your property is illegal and a federal felony and can land you in jail for up to 20 years. This method should only be used by law enforcement agencies in extreme cases where a drone poses a threat to civilian lives, property, or national security.

2. Use anti-drone drones

This is a much safer way of bringing down a rogue drone from the skies. The anti-drone drones use nets to capture and bring down drones without destroying them beyond repair.

Tokyo metropolitan police developed one such program back in 2015 when the Prime Minister’s office was supposedly attacked by a drone carrying a small amount of radioactive material.

This anti-drone drone will carry a 3×2 meter of net that will intercept and capture the unauthorized drone in any restricted area and bring it down safely.

Inspired by the Tokyo police, many private companies have come up with similar solutions that involve a flying drone with a catching net.

One similar product is developed by Delft Dynamics called DroneCatcher. It is a multirotor drone with an automatic track, trace and capture functionality using a net similar to the Tokyo police.

3. Use net-firing anti-drone guns

Another similar but more sophisticated solution is the use of a specialized gun that can fire a net over the flying drone from the ground using compressed air projectiles.

One of my favourites is the Skywall Patrol developed by UK-based Openworks Engineering. It uses an intelligent tracking, locking, and launching system with the ability to capture a drone as high as 100m in the air.

It’s cost-effective in comparison to other large ground-based systems, highly mobile, and has low collateral damage.

4. Jam the drone’s radio communications

This might seems like a high-tech, sci-fi solution but in reality, it’s a very simple way to disable a drone on your property. All drones depend on radio communication with the remote controller for flight plans and with satellites for accurate GPS positioning.

All you have to do is use a radio source to disrupt or “jam” that communication and the drone can be landed safely or sent back.

There are two ways to do this.

Signal Jamming: In signal jamming, you use a radio noise to disrupt the drone’s communication with its pilot. Once jammed, the drone can either be landed on the spot or return home if the RTH (return to home) function is enabled in the onboard computer. The RTH function is present in most modern drones including all DJI drone models.

Signal Spoofing: In signal spoofing, you use a radio signal to impersonate the pilot’s original signal and control the drone’s flight plan. This way, you can safely land the drone or look into the video feed the drone is sending back to the pilot.

Although as funny as it might seem, jamming or spoofing drone radio signals is highly illegal in most countries including the USA.

In fact in the USA, the FAA even prohibits the police and local law enforcement agencies from using jammers. So, if you are thinking about getting one for yourself, make sure you won’t get in trouble for using it.

More: Top 10 FPV Racing Drones[2021]

Radio jamming solutions are available for the military and authorized law enforcement agencies only. Maybe, someday when the relevant laws are updated, you might have a simple drone jammer app on your smartphones or you can make your own DIY drone jammers that can help keep drones off your property but for now, this tech is only available for the big guys.

One of my favourite jammers is developed by an Australian company DroneSheild. It’s called DroneGun and is available for authorized use only. How does it work? See a video story below.

5. Use trained eagles to capture drones

Yes, you read that right. The Dutch police have partnered up with a raptor training company called Guard From Above to train and use mighty eagles to intercept and take down unauthorized drones.

Compared to other conventional methods of rogue drone intercept, this one is a bit safer since prey birds are really good at plucking something out of midair as they do it for living.

However, this can only work with drones of smaller size like a Propel Snap 2.0 but with larger drones, the safety of the birds comes into question.

Especially in countries like the US where animal rights are well protected, this might create legal problems with animal rights organizations.

How to stop drones from flying over your house? – Conclusion

As a drone enthusiast, I am really excited about the everyday technical development and improvements but we have to be responsible flyers in the skies so that our hobby does not bother the people around us or put someone’s privacy or safety in danger.

If you are someone bothered by an intrusive drone, instead of taking the law into your own hand and disabling a drone on your property, please consider contacting your local law enforcement authorities so that your actions do not result in destroying someone’s property and getting you into any legal trouble.

Happy and safe flying everyone.

Related article: How Fast Can a Drone Fly?


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13 thoughts on “How to disable a drone on your property? #5 is my favorite”

  1. Three times in the last week there has been a drone in our neighborhood. Every time it has hovered over our pool for a few minutes then moved on to our neighbors pool. Comes in about 100′, climbs to 250-300′ between pools, then drops back down to 100′ while hovering. I contacted local LEOs about it. I told them we haven’t started using the pool yet, but when it warms up some my wife and teenage grandkids and their friends are in it nearly every day. I was told it’s a misdemeanor for someone to be photographing/videoing folks in my pool without permission. They said call them when it happens.
    Maybe some Skynet Drone Defense rounds next step……..

  2. Is it legal for a county-owned drone to provide zoning with pictures of private property, the drone is not part of the zoning department?

  3. Well I just got through spending over $3000 no 4000 cause I had to get a special PTZ Kramer that would track flying objects because I haven’t delivered a spot that everybody wants to fly their freaking drone. I don’t want to shoot them down I don’t want to get in trouble Jesus Christ or I would have done that a long time ago shot gun in hand but people live all around me below me. So that’s out of the question. Well now I’m highly capable of building a jammer complete with amplifier amplifier to really just blast the shit out of it. But I think maybe a laser a green laser. I’ll have to do some investigating but if I could just damage their camera that would be enough to keep them from flying over the house again

  4. Hello I need help Please! My neighbors have been harassing me with drones they have been able to see in my home while I’m in the shower sleeping etc. I have gone to the police but haven’t be able to get a good video of them doing this, I’m at the point where I’m saying both my homes because nothing is stopping them any suggestions?

    1. Hi Jessica. I am sorry you had to face this. This is wrong on so many levels. I would suggest installing a bunch of cheap surveillance cameras around your house and get a record of the drone spying. After that, you can give that tape to your local law enforcement for legal action.

      1. Greetings folks and I’ve been experiencing the same thing ref drones flying all over my house, looking in windows etc. I also called cops, FAA, HOA etc but to no avail. So I just sent certified letters to every local newspaper, the Mayor’s office, the city sheriff, HOA’s leadership, even the local consumer advocate for the local news. Lastly, I sent a note to the HOA, to let them know that I’ll be suing or bring as much press as possible to let others know what’s going on. It was a long shot, but it at least caused others to understand my plight. Make enough noise and hopefully someone will soon listen and help..

        Thanks

        Rob

      2. The drone is loud and I sleep directly in front of my window, so it was easy to determine what was going on. And the police won’t do anything! The drone only comes when my cameras are off not when they are on. Smart right?

      3. I would first of all, call the police and file a report, make sure it is filed and they give you a number. Now buy a gun and start shooting the drone while someone records it and you with a mobile camera. Call the police during this event, when they arrive tell the you had to fire because a drone was flying LOW in your property.

        Remember drones are permitted to fly over properties because air space is for the Federation. But if it’s below your roof, you have your right to shoot it as it trespassing.

        If the shooting doesn’t stop your neighbors, cops will. And make sure you are aware cops can get really angry at you until you are able to explain yourself calmly and eloquently so keep it cool.

        You’re also welcomed to move to Mexico, I have a good place.

        1. The drone is loud and I sleep directly in front of my window, so it was easy to determine what was going on. And the police won’t do anything! The drone only comes when my cameras are off not when they are on. Smart right?

        2. People that do this kind of harassment are the reason why the hobby is getting a bad name. Absolutely illegal and despicable. On the other hand, there are folks that are just paranoid and hate with great passion without substantial reason. A drone will have to have a pretty sophisticated zoom capability to be able to look into someone’s windows enough to gain any sort of creepy stuff. The FAA is in charge of the sky. Land owners have zero ownership over the sky above their property. A few paranoid people have unproven claims of spying, etc…. , and they are making an an exponential amount of others worried also. When in actuality, no one is looking at you. No one cares what your doing. Lol. Less than a percent of drone pilots are criminals and the thoughts and stereotypes that drone pilots are criminals is committing a creepy act in itself. Live your life and be happy. Life is to short to worry about someone’s RC hobby. I truly wish we could just put all the creeps and weirdos in jail, but don’t paint an entire group of people as bad because of a fraction of idiots. Prejudice And fear lead to bad places for the mind to simmer. Life is good. On my a fraction of people are bad, and I truly pity folks that believe different. Living a sad life. I hope that we all can just co-exist without judging everyone around us. Live by example and don’t be a “Karen.” The super aggressive paranoid folks are just as creepy as anyone. Fear and hate is the path to the dark side. I mean, how in the world does someone even know or think they are being spied on? You would have to be a foot from the window to be able to see inside. Lol. Really. Free country and no one owns the sky. Read the laws. Let’s all hope that the creepy spies are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Sorry for the rant.

          1. When they use thermal and infrared lighted cameras they an see a lot more than you think! That’s what ‘m going through and the pokice think I’m crazy. I’ve even showed them the pictures I took with my camera of the infrared light. They say all that red is normal to see in a security camera. But it’s not!

            1. Hello Wendy,
              I think you have the correct disposition regarding Drones having such leinauncy with respect to othets personal privacy in our own homes.
              Drones can be equipped with high definition, live-feed video cameras, thermal infrared video cameras, heat sensors, and radar—all of which allow for sophisticated and persistent surveillance or harassment and privacy infringement right down to PeepingTom’s and stalkers.
              Drones can record video or still images in daylight or infrared.
              Maybe our government doesn’t want to place stricter laws on Drone operators because the government using drones in the same manner.
              You got to wonder why so many complaints are filed and not one story of a Drone operator being held accountable.
              Yes it would be hard to identify the Drone and its operator leaving little chance to prosecute Drone violators. The FAA and are own government has forces Drone deTection apps illegal except for law enforcement who likes the concept of watching anyone with a search warrant or probable cause. Law Enforcement has their own Drone program watching over us
              If other citizens are not concerned as you and I, they are the problem and the reason our country so unstable and crazy.

              Thank you for hearing my concerns.

              Mark C.
              Prescott, AZ

              1. This is spot on … there was an ongoing drug case/ game of cat (police and feds) and mouse(drug dealers) in my city a year or so back with multiple Drones overhead , day and night. I get why law enforcement uses them …less taxpayer paid labor, safer surveillance tactics , inability for criminals to get away from one . But that still goes against core principles in which this country was derived from .

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