A New Fourth of July Tradition: Drone Shows

Fireworks have been an essential part of Independence Day since the very first celebration back in Philadelphia in 1777. But like other holidays moving from open flames to electric lights to celebrate, the Fourth of July isn’t immune from technological changes. Cities are increasingly turning to drone displays as an alternative to traditional fireworks, citing fears about potential wildfires, concern for veterans with PTSD, and a desire to reduce air and noise pollution.

Drone displays can produce a visually stunning display – all without odor or noise and at cost parity with traditional fireworks displays. Spectators see an array of tiny lit flying machines executing very skilled maneuvers to music, forming incredible, colorful and dancing designs painting the night sky with the same “WOW!” effect as fireworks. Major events like the most recent presidential election and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee both featured drone shows, showing that they’re rapidly being adopted around the globe.

With the drone economy growing exponentially, drones are starting to play crucial roles in all aspects of society — from deliveries, agriculture, emergency response, and the military to art and culture. Unfortunately, this golden era of drones also presents opportunities for nefarious and careless activity in our skies. In order to tap the full potential of drones, we need to develop an action plan for citizens, enterprises, and ultimately the economy to ensure effective policing, protection, and policy — all without hampering the innovative, productive, and creative benefits that drones bring.

Policing vThe counter-drone industry isn’t anti-drone — in fact, the industry should be called “Airspace Security”. We recognize the impressive potential for drones to reshape — and fundamentally improve — society. Drones can create new jobs, help us be more productive, and keep essential supply chains flowing in even the most complex situations. And yes, they can be art. But at the same time, we also know that we must encourage the flourishing of legitimate drone activity while also stopping drones operated by malicious or careless users before they cause any issues.

When it comes to securing major events across all areas from marathons and fun runs like the Cooper Bridge 10K or sporting events like the Preakness Stakes, companies like Dedrone have worked with local law enforcement to build a flexible, yet responsive system designed specifically to repel drone incursions. This includes automated alerts to provide actionable information like drone and pilot location, integrated cameras to visually document the pilot and identify potential drone payload, and ultimately solutions to mitigate unauthorized flights. Systems like our own DedroneRapidResponse can detect a drone as soon as it is turned on, even while warming up and establishing its bearings on the ground. This gives security teams a significant headstart on a pilot about to send a drone into the no-fly zone.


The industry is constantly developing new solutions in the ongoing drone arms race. For example, the industry has already developed systems that can identify malicious drone usage and deploy countermeasures. Dedrone has already deployed citywide protection, integrated with infrastructure and local law enforcement, in a southern European city. While not all developments are public yet, the industry is always hard at work.


Finally, when it comes to policy, industry leaders and lawmakers are working in tandem to build policies that allow the productive drone economy to grow rapidly and still ensure people, property, and information are protected from the threat of drones.

In April this year, the White House launched its Domestic cUAS National Action Plan. Among its eight major points are:

  • Reauthorize / expand existing counter‑UAS authorities for federal and SLTT agenciesv
  • Enact comprehensive criminal statute that sets clear standards for legal / illegal drone use with adequate penalties to deter UAS-based crimes
  • Establish oversight and enablement mechanisms to support critical infrastructure facilities in purchasing counter-UAS equipment

The FAA launched an effort late last year to test and evaluate technologies and systems that could detect and mitigate potential safety risks posed by uncrewed aircraft at and near airports, testing at five major airports around the country. This testing, which will continue through next year, will help inform the FAA as to what systems for drone detection and mitigation should be certified or permitted.

Fireworks aren’t going away immediately. But at the same time, efforts to protect both citizens and the environment show that we need alternatives like drone shows. As we work to build a new, technologically-advanced Fourth of July tradition, we also need to build a system surrounding these drone shows that ensures they’re safe, uninterrupted, and easily enjoyed by viewers each and every year.


  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Today's Enterprise

    Protecting servers and data has evolved rapidly over the past 15-plus years. Early on, concerns centered around the environmental conditions of where servers were housed within a building and the effects of humidity, temperature and air quality on their performance. This led to a better understanding of the need for a controlled environment to maximize equipment lifespan and capacity. It was also a driving force behind consolidating servers in a common space, i.e., the data center. Read Now

  • Study Proves It: Security Awareness Training Reduces Phishing Attacks

    Attackers are increasingly targeting human-based vulnerabilities to infiltrate organizations. Humans have direct access to insider systems and data – any threat actor can easily phish users, steal their credentials and secure keys to the kingdom without having to fight advanced cybersecurity defenses. Studies show social engineering attacks and human errors are behind 68% of all breaches.  Read Now

  • Security Questions Persist After Attempted Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3