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‘Drone Swarm’ Invaded Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant Last September — Twice

A number of small drones flew around a restricted area at Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant on two successive nights last September. Security forces watched, but were apparently helpless to act as the drones carried out their incursions before disappearing into the night. Details of the event gives some clues as to just what they were doing, but who sent them remains a mystery.

Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant is the largest in the US, producing over three gigawatts, 35% of Arizona's total power capacity. It supplies electricity to Phoenix and Tucson, as well as San Diego and Los Angeles. It is a critical piece of strategic infrastructure; during the 2003 Iraq War, National Guard troops were deployed to Palo Verde to defend against a possible terrorist threat. In normal times, as with other nuclear installations, it is protected by armed security guards however the armed guards, gates, fences and barriers were useless on these nights.

Local police from Maricopa County were dispatched to find the drone operators, but with no success.

Reported 30 July 2020 on Read the entire incident article here.


How Department 13 could have assisted in this situation:

  • Detecting unauthorised drones as they entered the Nuclear Power Plant airspace quickly and efficiently using Department 13's sophisticated Atlas and DIAL drone management technology. 
  • Instantly establish the locations and identifying information of the drones and their operators.
  • If the site was a government or defence site, there is potential for Department 13's MESMER patent protocol manipulation to be used that can take control of target drones or controllers, either automatically or on the operator’s command to safely land and remove the threat.


Contact Department 13 for more information on effective real-time low altitude airspace situational awareness and protection of your infrastructure and assets.

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