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Airspace co-founders Earl Stirling, Noah Moore and Jaz Banga with the company’s “Interceptor” drone-catcher. Photo by Reed Albergotti. Video by Airspace.
Markets

Silicon Valley’s Drone Hunters

By
Reed Albergotti
 |  Oct. 10, 2016 10:02 AM PDT
Photo: Airspace co-founders Earl Stirling, Noah Moore and Jaz Banga with the company’s “Interceptor” drone-catcher. Photo by Reed Albergotti. Video by Airspace.

Though the New York Mets’ season ended with last week’s playoff loss, the team’s owners are focusing on a possible new threat from the sky. SterlingVC, the venture arm of the private equity and real estate investor that controls the Mets and its home stadium, has invested in cutting-edge anti-drone technology after a string of scares showed how the new generation of powerful and easy-to-use unmanned aircraft could be used for terror.

In some ways, the Mets are already under attack. Every day, a detection system called “Dedrone” at Citi Field tracks an average of two drones encroaching on the team’s home turf, violating federal no-fly zones as they buzz over the field both during games and when the stadium is empty. The flights raise safety concerns that they might drop and crash into a fan, let alone carry a possible lethal payload. Or they could make unauthorized videos of the game. But there’s little the team can do beyond calling the police or looking for the pilot. It’s illegal to force the drones down.

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