The Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS)

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In a post from March this year I asked ‘What to do about the rise of the quadcopter‘, discussing the potential security challenges posed by the cheap and widely available multi-rotor unmanned aircraft.

Unbeknownst to me, a trio of British companies were working on the problem and today announced the launch of the Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS).

Brilliant news, I love to write about small British defence manufacturers innovating.

The three are Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems.

In the article, I looked at potential counters including legal, software restrictions, electronic warfare (EW) and physical interdiction using automatic weapons, lasers and even other multi-rotors with nets etc.

AUDS falls into the EW category and neatly encapsulates detection, identification and disruption into a single system.

Chess Dynamics bring their Hawkeye EO/IR and tracking system that allows the operator to manually confirm and identify the target that has been detected by the Blighter A400 Ku surveillance radar, the Enterprise RF jammer making sure the target is no longer a threat.

The press release;

The Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) integrates the Blighter A400 Series Ku band electronic scanning air security radar, Chess Dynamics’ stabilised electro-optic director, infrared and daylight cameras and target tracking software, and a directional radio frequency (RF) inhibitor/jammer system from Enterprise Control Systems to detect, track, classify, disrupt and neutralise UAVs at ranges of up to 8 km. The AUDS system is even effective against so-called Group 1 micro UAVs at ranges of up to 2 km and Group 1 mini UAVs at ranges of several kms.

Mark Radford, CEO, Blighter Surveillance Systems, said: “We formed the all-British AUDS team in 2014 as we were each acutely aware of the urgent operational requirement from our customers for an effective and affordable anti-UAV system. Working in partnership, we have developed some clever technology (patents are pending) that integrates the different sensors, effector and electro-mechanical positioning systems to disrupt and bring down any malicious drone in a phased and controlled manner.”

According to the AUDS team, the technology has been extensively tested in South Korea along the 250km demilitarised zone (DMZ), where Blighter radars have been deployed for some years. In March 2015, the AUDS team took part in multi-supplier French Government trials in Captieux, France, where its counter UAV system proved highly successful in detecting and neutralising a variety of fixed and rotary wing micro, compact and standard UAVs. And last week, the system also performed well in UK Government sponsored counter UAV trials (known as Bristow 15) in West Freugh, Scotland.

The AUDS system is designed for counter UAV operations in remote border sites or urban areas. It can be operated from fixed locations and from mobile platforms. Key features and benefits include:

  • Fully electronic scanning radar technology with Doppler processing allowing all weather, 24-hour detection of both fast and slow moving micro and mini UAV targets with unsurpassed ground clutter suppression for near horizon operation;
  • Highly accurate stabilised pan and tilt director combined with the very latest electro-optic infrared day and night cameras and state-of-the-art digital video tracking technology to automatically track the UAV and classify the target;
  • Smart radio frequency inhibitor to selectively disrupt various command and control communication links employed by the UAV. Disruptive effect can be carried out in an intelligent, proportional and non-kinetic manner to mitigate collateral impact, and the inhibitor/jammer system is software controlled giving the capacity to counter new and emerging threats;

Colin Bullock, CEO, Enterprise Control Systems, said: “We believe that with the combination of our three systems – best-in-class expertise in radar detection, camera & video tracking and RF jamming & data communications – we have a world-beating product that competes even with systems based around expensive military 3-D air security radars. And, AUDS is available at commercial (COTS) prices right now.”

With incidents of UAV and drone related security breaches occurring on an almost daily basis, the AUDS system is able to address the heightened concern about UAVs within military, government, critical infrastructure and commercial security organisations. While UAVs have many positive applications, it’s expected that they’ll be used increasingly for malicious purposes – they can carry cameras, weapons, toxic chemicals and explosives – and be used increasingly for terrorism, espionage and smuggling purposes.

Graham Beall, managing director, Chess Dynamics, said: “This is truly an exciting collaboration – three British high-tech companies with different technologies and expertise working together to address the global problem of UAV detection. Our new invention is a complete smart sensor and effector package that can automatically detect, track, classify and when required neutralise the potential impact of malicious UAVs with a measured response. These three fully integrated technologies give AUDS a truly optimised Sensor Effector Mix.

Read more at the links above.

Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS)
Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS)
Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS)
Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS)
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Barborossa
Barborossa

What fun! Shades of robocop…

…..can I have one?- There is a hunt sab cnut playing around with one near here….although most of the farmers have opined that both barrels of a twelve-bore should resolve the issue fairly quickly… I tend to agree, although I believe in going for the operator…

secundius

What, Nobody Skeet Shoots in England…

S O
S O

It looks like yet another piece of gear meant for occupation forces sitting in fortified bases.

A real conventional warfare solution has to be an adaptation of sensors and weapons primarily meant for other tasks. that’s the only way how an army could have enough of them around to provide enough coverage. drones flying below tree top (often rather below fence) altitude cannot be handled well by area defences. And those drones that fly higher (such as Brevel) are prey for real AD.

Peter L
Peter L

And how well does this system deal with one of these cheap off the shelf quadcopters/model aircraft/UAV’s programmed to use an autopilot?

mikezeroone

I like the name there… kinda get the impression of what the operator would say “caught the blighter!” :D

Indeed, looks like a static area defence against the things. Can see one of these sitting next to a starstreak launcher. Would it work on a platform? Can we mount this onto a jackal? Or another use for the Mastiff?

Chris
Chris

Solution for smacking down low-flying off-tether UAVs: http://i.imgur.com/qZMol.jpg

But the problem is quite difficult; autonomous systems of any sort cannot be rendered impotent by isolation, they need to be dealt with destructively. We haven’t yet made aimable EMP weapons (to my knowledge anyway) so that means physical methods required. Options: weighted nets, paintballing, frag, flechette, well-aimed bullet (rubber or ball/AP). I quite like the idea of tube-fired weighted nets as they wouldn’t destroy the UAV allowing the intelligence chaps to investigate what it had been up to and what its flight route was.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

This is a 2004 update, but sounds quite good upto 100m (surely reduced in an upward angle):

“A different load – ADM 401 can be used for close-in protection of ambush teams armed with the M3. This rocket carries a payload of 1,100 flechettes and has an effective range of 100 meters.

The flechettes are released and accelerated by gas pressure in a cone, resulting in distribution of 5 – 10 flechettes per square meter at a distance of 100 meters”

M3 being the Carl Gustav, and the direction in which it is fired with flechettes has to be 100% clear of anything else than foes or their UAVs.

stephen duckworth

There are a plethora of non-lethal munitions/ systems that could deal with UAV’s from directed microwaves to weighted nets .
http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=https://info.publicintelligence.net/DoD-NLW.pdf&sa=U&ei=SVNcVa3JMMm3UeLngMAP&ved=0CA4QFjAB&usg=AFQjCNGvBT74Htfo28-3IlZ0UlnUGWTcCw

a
a

We haven’t yet made aimable EMP weapons (to my knowledge anyway) so that means physical methods required. Options: weighted nets, paintballing, frag, flechette, well-aimed bullet (rubber or ball/AP).

Or, perhaps, another UAV?

a
a

TOC: that looks a) very cool b) very expensive and c) exactly wrong for killing small UAVs. Carl Gustav flechettes, on the other hand, very promising, though range-limited.

If you’re trying to knock down a little COTS drone (1m size) that’s providing recce for the opposition, you need something with an effective range of a few km, and that’s cheap enough that he can’t just bankrupt you by getting a hundred of them off Amazon and sticking them in the back of his Hilux. Missiles are too pricey, and guns with the range are bulky and have collateral-damage risk. Jamming, maybe, but that constrains your own activities, especially when you’re on the move. I think the solution is a drone fighter. Something about the size of Desert Hawk, maybe a bit bigger and faster, remotely-operated with onboard electronics to take care of the terminal guidance for interception, and a couple of automatic shotguns.

Chris
Chris

a – why the shotguns? Firstly they’d need a bigger air vehicle than polystyrene Desert Hawk because they are heavy, secondly the recoil would at minimum disrupt forward flight and probably shatter the air vehicle structure. A higher probability of destroying the interceptor than the target. Small-bore flechette rockets maybe, glue or paint bombs from above possibly. Or make the interceptor heavy tough and fast and ram whatever it can find?

The Other Chris

@a

It was just more of a comment on “directable microwave” / “aimable EMP”.

On integrated air defence down to small UAV levels:

Chris
Chris

TOC – I noted the aimed EM, but wonder how accurate the aim is? I doubt its sharp like a laser, but a 10 degree cone? 30 degree? 180 degree? As the aim worsens the power demands rocket (pun!) to achieve the necessary field strengths. Turning the system back to front though, with the CHAMP thing ground based amongst own forces and pumping EM into passing UAVs, a loosely focused beam would be capable of destroying any nearby assets as effectively as the more distant UAV its aimed at? Inverse square law and all that.

The Other Chris

Second Order Cone beam forming in WiFi applications (point-point, site surveys to eliminate dark spots, etc) can regularly produce a primary lobe +/- 30 degrees. You still see quite a bit of energy spent outside this region mind.

ChrisM
ChrisM

You must be able to make a weapon for an anti-UAV UAV out of netting. The trick would be getting it to deploy in a parachute style below your UAV as it flies over the top of the target and then release when snagged.
A net with lots of loose dangly bits wouldn’t have to be all that strong (fishing line?), it just needs to get dragged in to the rotors to clog them up

a
a

Shotguns strike me as a better way to disable a frantically evading but slow-moving COTS drone than things like nets or glue bombs, which require you to get pretty close and aim pretty well. A full-size, full-weight twelve-bore probably isn’t necessary, though – you could lighten it considerably (at the cost of muzzle velocity) and still have something able to take down a drone. Recoil – well, if we can hang a 75mm cannon off a light aircraft, surely we can work out a way to hang a shotgun off a drone. Tougher airframe? Recoil buffers? Or even a recoilless design (like a RCL)? I’m not proposing using the Desert Hawk itself, just something not much bigger and a bit heavier.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Recoilless doing a come-back?
– if an 84 mm does 1100, and saturates a sq.m with 5-10 at 100 m
-then, if you launch at half that distance from target, what would you need, as for the size of the tube (and how long would it need to be, as well?

ChrisM
ChrisM

The drone isn’t going to be evading is it?
If it is controlled, then we can jam it (and locate the driver – who is a far more valuable target)
Otherwise it will be flying a lovely straight GPS course.
Re shotguns etc – wasn’t there a video linked here that showed how difficult it was to shoot down a small COTS UAV? There isn’t much to hit, and much of it isn’t critical. That is why I think you need to clog the props.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven

@ChrisM

Something like a large party popper round fired in the path of the UAV. :-)

Observer
Observer

Guys, don’t go too wild. Remember, your end used is 1) an already overloaded infantryman, 2) technologically illiterate and 3) famous for breaking stuff that is not supposed to break.

Like SO, my opinion is more towards alterations of existing equipment that the normal rank and file infantryman already carries rather than more equipment that is more and more complex and sophisticated. And breakable.

a
a

“The drone isn’t going to be evading is it?
If it is controlled, then we can jam it (and locate the driver – who is a far more valuable target)
Otherwise it will be flying a lovely straight GPS course.”

Not beyond the wit of man to program a drone to start doing random evasive manoeuvres as soon as it loses comms with the controller.

ACC: recoilless shotguns exist (or did exist; the inventor of the RCL built one to demonstrate his concept).
ChrisM makes a good point: I have no idea how easy it would be to shoot down a COTS UAV with a shotgun.

Observer: right, the use case sets the constraints. If we’re thinking “dismounted infanteers out on patrol sees a UAV snooping around them” then that’s going to limit the weight and complexity. But it might be “Battalion HQ sees a UAV ” or “armoured battle group stopped to replen sees a UAV” or “security forces base sees a UAV”.
And maybe the response for our dismounted patrol is to get on the net and tell Bn HQ that there’s a UAV snooping around and could they send the drone fighter CAP over to their grid square?

evensis
evensis

You won’t find this in commercial applications (civil airports and the like), due to the jamming being an offence in most countries. Without a doubt military only. Would be easily countered by an autopilot using last known GPS position and heading to save the drone, but would be very effective in area denial operations.

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