Drone Wars: 'Drone-catching drones' to be used at Winter Olympics

Security concerns at the Winter Olympics are higher than usual — and neither South Korea nor the United States are taking any chances.

Security forces have been conducting terror drills near Olympic sites in PyeongChang for months, and the South Korean government on Monday reportedly banned 36,000 foreigners from entering the country for the games due to security issues.

Among all of the security preparations, officials are also preparing to thwart any potential drone attacks. While they have signal-jamming “drone guns” — which intercepts the drone’s signal and flies it back to the ground — and even are prepared to fly up via helicopter and shoot down drones in extreme situations, the main way to thwart any unwanted drone will be to, naturally, use a drone themselves.

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Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) attempts a dunk with the ball dropped by a drone in the slam dunk contest during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Herbert-USA TODAY Sports
KAYSERI, TURKEY - JANUARY 13 : A drone view shows players in action in a second day match within the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Snow Volleyball European Tour at Erciyes Ski Resort in Kayseri, Turkey on January 13, 2018. (Photo by Sercan Kucuksahin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Torchbearers pass the Olympic flame to a drone during the PyeongChang 2018 Torch Relay in Seoul on January 13, 2018. Cheering crowds welcomed the Olympic flame to a freezing Seoul on January 13, where the torch will be paraded for four days before making its way to Pyeongchang for the start of the Winter Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
A drone carries the Olympic flame during the PyeongChang 2018 Torch Relay in Seoul on January 13, 2018. Cheering crowds welcomed the Olympic flame to a freezing Seoul on January 13, where the torch will be paraded for four days before making its way to Pyeongchang for the start of the Winter Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 21: Mo Farah of Great Britain looks on as he flies a drone during a practice session ahead of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at the Beijing National Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - MAY 14: A drone remote-controlled carrying a cloth simulating a ghost with the letter B on it is seen during a second leg match between Boca Juniors and River Plate as part of round of sixteen of Copa Bridgestone Libertadores 2015 at Alberto J. Armando Stadium on May 14, 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Amilcar Orfali/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Players of ASM Clermont Auvergne rugby club take part in a training session on February 19, 2015 at the Marcel Michelin stadium in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, as a drone films them for training analysis. AFP PHOTO / THIERRY ZOCCOLAN (Photo credit should read THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/AFP/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 25: A camera-equipped flying drone is seen prior to a game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 25, 2014 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke defeated Virginia Tech 66-48. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 7: A drone flies above the scoreboard at Wrigley Field during the seventh inning of the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game on September 7, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)
Racing drones fly during the first SPARK Multirotor Challenge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) attempts a dunk with the ball dropped by a drone in the slam dunk contest during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Gerald Herbert-USA TODAY Sports
LILLEHAMMER 20151206.World Cup skijump, normal hill: Stefan Hula (POL) in action. Photo drone above him. REUTERS/Cornelius Poppe/NTB ScanpixATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.
Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera holds a drone which fell on the field during their 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Ecuador at Atahualpa stadium in Quito, November 12, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Granja TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Finland's Janne Korpi performs a jump as a drone is seen in the air during the men's snowboard slopestyle semi-final competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (RUSSIA - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SNOWBOARDING)
A drone used for filming flies near a crew member up on the mast of the Swedish yacht Ran at the start of the annual Middle Sea Race in Valletta's Grand Harbour October 18, 2014. A record entry of 123 yachts from more than 20 different countries are competing in the 608 nautical mile Mediterranean classic, which takes the yachts from Malta, around Sicily and back. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi (MALTA - Tags: SPORT YACHTING) MALTA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN MALTA
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The PyeongChang Olympics anti-Terrorism and Safety Headquarters, which is overseeing security for the games in South Korea, announced their plan to utilize “drone-catching drones” throughout the Olympics should radar detect that a drone is approaching an Olympic venue.

The drone-catching drone simply has to catch up to the rogue drone and deploy a net, which then renders the drone ineffective.

Sure, that sounds complicated, difficult and very similar to a high-speed car chase in the sky. But this demonstration by Tokyo police in 2015 makes the process look incredibly easy.

However, measures are in place which should prevent the need for these drones entirely. The airspace around the games has been declared a no-fly zone, and special drone-detection radars are in place to detect incoming drones well before they would reach any Olympic venue.

A drone attack has been the focus of many security drills leading up to the games, too. In a December drill, a SWAT team shot down a drone with a bomb attached to it that was flying towards a bus filled with athletes.

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