Drones are Endangering Energy Critical Infrastructure, and How We Can Deal with This

Akhilesh Kootala, Ahmed Mousa, Philip W.T. Pong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Drones are becoming a greater threat to modern electrical grids with the capability to cause expensive and time-consuming damage repairs to substations and transmission lines. Consumer drones have the potential to cause harm at a low cost, and finding methods to counter these threats is becoming more crucial to keep grids secure. In 2021, there was an attempted attack on a substation with a consumer drone which highlighted the need for research in this area. Previously, there has been a large focus on counter drones around places such as airports; however, more focus is warranted to analyze drone impact on the grid infrastructure. Methods to counter drones’ harmful impacts vary from physical methods to using electromagnetic waves. This article looks to identify and propose potential applications for existing technologies, as well as developing anti-drone technologies. These methods have not been adopted yet; thus, there is a great opportunity to utilize these existing technologies to defend the grid. The methods investigated were surveillance cameras, patrolling drones, nets, signal jammers, and energy weapons. The existing technology is currently lacking in the area of drone defense and can be improved with existing studies. However, there is a need to identify those methods and find ways to apply them to the power grid. Different defending technologies vary concerning their potential implementation. This paper also identifies and categorizes different results these methods produce to counter drones and their associated costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5521
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • defense
  • drone
  • infrastructure
  • security
  • substation
  • transmission
  • utilities


Dive into the research topics of 'Drones are Endangering Energy Critical Infrastructure, and How We Can Deal with This'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this