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Silicon Valley’s Drone Hunters

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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Guy Bar-Nahum, who spent years working at companies like Apple and Samsung, joined Airspace as chief technology officer because he wanted to get into computer vision and robotics. Airspace combines both of those technologies, with a little counterterrorism and aerospace engineering. “It’s just the right problem,” he said.

Philip I. Thomas and James Mitchell commented on this article.
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“You want to detect every drone. You want to be able to take down every drone.”