Thursday, August 13, 2015
Study: Sound Waves Can Disable Drones
Researchers in South Korea have demonstrated how to disrupt the flight of certain drones using sound-based attacks. In a 17-page paper entitled "Rocking Drones with Intentional Sound Noise on Gyroscopic Sensors," researchers at KAIST, formerly the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, explain how various micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscopes are vulnerable to performance degradation from certain resonant sound frequencies in the audible and ultrasonic bands. MEMS gyroscopes are commonly used for their low cost and weight to stabilize drones in flight. Following 20 trials using two DIY multicopter drones with different MEMS gyroscopes, the researchers concluded that "this phenomenon could be exploited to launch incapacitating attacks against commercial drones." The report goes on to discuss potential attack scenarios and their countermeasures.