OSU Researchers Working With Homeland Security To Combat Potential Drone Threats

Researchers at Oklahoma State University are preparing for any type of danger, even from above. Some of the drones developed inside one of OSU’s aerospace labs will be used to help fight forest fires.

Wednesday, January 17th 2024, 10:17 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


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Researchers at Oklahoma State University are preparing for any type of danger, even from above. Drones have their undivided attention. 

While most people move forward throughout our day, Oklahoma State University researchers have their eyes on the sky. Dr. Jamey Jacob studies drone systems in every size and use. “It’s really part of our mission to serve the community and our nation,” Jacob said. 

Some of the drones developed inside one of OSU’s aerospace labs will be used to help fight forest fires.  “That way we’ll be able to fight fires twenty-four-seven,” Jacob said. 

Jacob also serves as the director of the Counter UAS Center of Excellence where researchers assess the threats of drones. Last spring, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security called for universities to help understand potential drone threats.  “There’s not really a good way to defend against these systems right now,” Jacob said.  

Researchers at OSU work with the federal government to find solutions. “Pushing the limits of what’s possible in a drone,” Jacob said. 

Israel and Gaza have used drones against one another. Jacob and his team study how drones are used overseas. “Looking at what they’re using; what that technology is,” Jacob said. 

Jacob said consumer drones pose a risk to public safety. “I feel at this stage we’re pretty lucky that we haven’t had a domestic threat,” Jacob said. 

OSU researchers replicate threats. Then they develop ways to take control of a drone and ground the threat. “We pretend to be the bad guys,” Jacob said. “We do what we call DID, detect, identify, and defeat.” 

Jacob said they’re making progress to protect communities from threats in the sky whether foreign or domestic. “It makes us very proud,” Jacob said. “Evaluate how well our systems are working to be able to keep Americans safe.” 

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