A drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). There is usually a person who has some degree of control over the drone or AUV. Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) refers to the system which includes both the drone and the person who controls it.
I often see drones being used for recreational purpose and for smart business purposes. Although there are a lot of good and beneficial uses for drones today, they are now also being used for more nefarious purposes. Drones have become an integral part of most battlefield scenarios and tacticians are finding new uses for drones every day.
In the early days of drone technology, everyone was thinking about new and novel ways to do good things with drones. Unfortunately, we are now in a time when we must also think about ways to counter some drones that may be trying to do bad things to us, both in the battlefield and in the homeland.
Robin Radar Systems recently reported on technologies which could be considered for defending against drones, referred to as Counter UAS Operations. They discussed a wide range of methods to counter today’s systems with methods that can be implemented today.
Counter UAS Operations involve both monitoring for the presence of drones, and countermeasures to debilitate the drone once detected.
Monitoring for Drones can be done using a variety of methods.
Radio Frequency Analyzers can continuously analyze the RF spectrum and look for signals which are characteristic of drones.
Acoustic Sensors can continuously analyze the audible spectrum and look for noises which are characteristic of drones.
Optical Sensors ( Cameras ) can continuously look at the area and search for objects that look like drones either, automatically, or with the help of an operator.
Radar can also be used to emit energy into the airspace and look for active returns that are characteristic of signals expected from a drone, again either automatically or with the help of an operator.
Once a drone has been detected, the Counter UAS System needs to debilitate that drone. This can be done by destroying the drone, or simply neutralizing the drone so that it can not accomplish its mission. This can be done in a number of ways.
A Radio Frequency Jammer can be employed and used to transmit RF energy toward the drone interrupting communications with the controller, if there is one. Of course, this will be ineffective if the drone is operating autonomously.
A GPS spoofer can be used to send a new GPS signal to the drone, resulting in the drone getting lost and being unable to conduct its mission.
High Power Microwave Devices can be used to generate large Electromagnetic Pulses ( EMP ) which will render most electronic devices, including drones, inoperable.
Nets and Guns can be used to shoot the drone out of the sky or catch the drone and render it inoperable.
A high energy laser can be used to destroy the drone.
Birds of Prey can be trained to hunt and destroy drones.
Robin Radar Systems points out the most effective Counter UAS strategy does not involve a single monitoring method or a single countermeasure method, but a combination of both. By doing so, you take advantage of the benefits of some methods and hedge your bets against the weaknesses of others.
To learn more about Counter UAS operations, consider taking the upcoming ATI course titled Counter UAS Technology and Techniques. This three-day course delivers a thorough overview promoting an understanding and building a successful Counter Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) architecture. You can learn more about the course, and register for it here.
And as always, a full listing of all the courses in the ATI catalogue can be found at www.aticourses.com