Federal Prisons Seek Methods to Shut Down Contraband-Toting Drones

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is looking for help in keeping pesky drones out of the airspace of its incarceration facilities. The organization, which runs the 122 federal prisons in the U.S. and other related offices, has filed a Request for Information on the topic to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

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"Recent advances in unmanned air vehicles have presented a new and evolving threat to the BOP’s mission," reads the RFI. "From small devices of less than a pound that can provide unauthorized imagery and surveillance to larger systems that can carry 20 or more pounds of contraband, these devices represent a new and unprecedented challenge."

There have been several instances of drones being used to smuggle goods into prisons. Just last month, a drone carrying drugs, blades and other contraband crashed into an Oklahoma prison yard.

The agency is looking for a system that can detect, identify and neutralize small drones that may be ferrying items into the prison or snooping on inmates and guards. Considering drones and UAVs are becoming ever more popular — and ever more controversial — a system like this might be highly sought after in a couple years.

Recreational drones to require government registration with new rules 0:20

Related: FAA to Require Recreational Drone Operators to Register

Drones are expected to sell in the hundreds of thousands this holiday season, before which time the FAA hopes to have rules in place requiring their registration. A task force of industry and community leaders convened this week to assemble recommendations, due to be presented Nov. 20, for how those rules should look.