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.
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.