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.
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.