Drone-catching drones and planes with facial recognition technology will be used as part of a series of high-tech security measures at the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Like all major public events these days, the security in Korea will be tight. But, for perhaps the first time the focus is on protecting the airspace above large crowds. To do this, security forces for the Olympics will deploy tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones on the lookout for terrorist drones. There is fear that potential attacks could come from hobby drones that have been weaponized by the addition of bombs. The security defense drones operated by the South Korean police and armed forces are enabled with nets that can shoot out and capture potential flying threats.
Known threats targeted with facial recognition
Korea will also deploy a tactical plane that will fly over crowds monitoring behavior on the ground. The plane is reported to be equipped with high-resolution CCTV with facial recognition.
These tactical planes will be able to record the action on the ground from an altitude of 150 to 200 meters. If the plane picks up unusual behavior, it can send an alert to deploy additional personnel to that area.
In addition to the eyes from above, the anti-terrorism security unit, which is expected to be on full alert for the Winter Olympics, has three X-ray search vehicles available to them. These super-high-tech vehicles will patrol the streets using their X-ray vision to search for hidden people or weapons.
North Korea is sending a group of athletes to this year's games which have lessened the possibility of an attack from the North. However, the security team is taking no chances. More than 50,000 personnel will be deployed throughout the games acting in security roles to ensure the games remain peaceful. Security will be present at all events, at airports and at major public attractions like shopping centers.
USA approves South Korean security standard
The efforts of the South Koreans to host a safe and professional event hasn’t gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. Elizabeth McAleer, with the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service, said “If the US government didn’t deem these games to be safe, we wouldn’t be here right now. The host government and local law enforcement and military have done a great job in putting security levels — around each venue and people should feel safe”.
The United States will send about 200 athletes to the games along with 100 U.S. State Department security agents. "We always have contingency plans, ranging from everything small — fire in a venue could be one thing — all the way up to more extreme scenarios,” Special Agent Kevin Williams told online media. “It is the biggest sporting event on the globe especially right now, especially with all the fans coming in from different countries. It adds another element of uncertainty as to what could possibly happen to the athletes or to the fans or to the public in general,” he said. The Winter Olympics kick off this Friday in PyeongChang, South Korea.