Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
20 Apr 21. BVLOS trials signal growth phase for drone industry. Routine drone operations in the UK have taken a significant step forward with the authorisation of the first beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) trial.
Command and control solution developer sees.ai has become the first company in the UK to secure authorisation from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to trial a concept for routine BVLOS operations. The permissions come as part of a test project to prove the concept ahead of potentially opening up to the wider market.
Trial will take place at three UK sites
The authorisation will enable sees.ai to fly BVLOS at three nominated sites without needing to pre-authorise each flight. By removing this limitation, this permission fires the starting gun for the next phase of growth of the drone industry, during which the potential of BVLOS to significantly increase operational effectiveness and efficiency will be considered.
The authorisation allows BVLOS flights to occur under 150ft and initially requires an observer to remain in visual line of sight with the aircraft and able to communicate with the remote pilot if necessary. By testing the concept in industrial environments for inspection, monitoring and maintenance purposes, sees.ai aims to prove the safety of its system within this context initially, before extending it to address increasingly challenging missions over time.
Innovators and the CAA will continue to work on solutions to further the safety of future missions through new technologies such as automatic detect and avoid systems. Data gathered from test flights will be used to consider the success of the operations and whether the risk and hazard assessments can be used to cover generic risks beyond the three trial sites.
Trial follows guidance from CAA’s Innovation Sandbox
The move towards trial of BVLOS operations was delivered under guidance from the UK CAA Innovation Sandbox. The Sandbox was set up in May 2019 to create an environment where innovation in aviation can be explored in line with CAA core principles of safety, security and consumer protection. sees.ai, whose senior team includes ex Arup, Apple, CERN, McLaren and hedge fund employees was one of the first entities selected into the Sandbox in September 2019.
The authorisation is also an early win for UK Research & Innovation’s recent aviation & aerospace initiative, the Future Flight Challenge. Within the current ‘Phase 2’ of this Challenge, sees.ai is leading a project to enable commercial BVLOS drone services at scale alongside manned aviation. Backed by government grant funding and supported by technical partners including NATS, BAE Systems, Vodafone, Met Office, Flock Cover and the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab, the project will put sees.ai’s BVLOS solution in the hands of two of the world’s leading drone service providers, TerraDrone and SkyFutures, to address ten increasingly challenging trials with end-clients including Skanska, Skanska Costain STRABAG working in partnership with HS2, Sellafield, Vodafone, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Network Rail and Atkins.
“Accelerating towards a future where drones fly autonomously at scale”
John McKenna, CEO at sees.ai said: “We are accelerating towards a future where drones fly autonomously at scale – high up alongside manned aviation and low down inside our industrial sites, suburbs and cities. Securing this UK-first permission is a major step on this journey which will deliver big benefits to society across public health & safety, efficiency and environmental impact. We are hugely grateful to the CAA’s innovation & regulatory teams for their support and guidance in helping us reach this significant milestone and we look forward to working with them as we continue to advance what’s safe and possible.”
David Tait, Head of Innovation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, added: “Our innovation team was set up to meet the rapid pace of technological advances in the UK, so to see businesses like sees.ai thriving and creating world-leading solutions that will benefit infrastructure and markets is really exciting. We are proud to have played our part in sustaining the UK’s position as one of the greatest locations in the world for innovative companies.”
Unless they have specific permissions, all other drone operators must keep their aircraft within line of sight and follow the drone code. (Source: FINN)
22 Apr 21. Pentagon Completes First C-sUAS Tech Demonstration. Technology developers came together to show their latest in counter drone technology during a demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. Focused on Low Collateral Effects Interceptors (LCEI), this demonstration is the first in an on-going series of semi-annual demonstrations aimed at evaluating technologies to deliver an enterprise approach to counter growing threats from rapidly increasing small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).
In collaboration with the Air Force, the Joint Counter-sUAS Office (JCO) and the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) hosted the demonstration April 5-9. Three companies were selected through a Request for Information (RFI) process to attend the demonstration, focused on defeating sUAS in environments that require minimal collateral damage to the surrounding areas or personnel, such as in urban areas.
“This was the first of many industry opportunities as we look to synchronize solutions and counter the small UAS threat,” said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, which includes the RCCTO. “Events like this demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground will help identify new approaches, focus our efforts, and allow us to leverage innovation quickly.”
Following the first demonstration, participants will receive an assessment detailing how their capability performed against certain criteria during the government-funded test. The Air Force will welcome participating systems for further evaluation and possible inclusion in the LCEI development program funded by the JCO starting in FY21.
The systems were evaluated for their effectiveness in defeating lightweight Group 1 UAS. These type of drones are small and quick, hard to mitigate and can carry various payloads, including surveillance equipment.
“This week’s demonstration helps the Department of Defense as we strive to provide the most capable counter-small UAS equipment to our operational forces.” said MG Sean Gainey, Director of the Joint Counter-small UAS Office. “By focusing the first event on low collateral effects interceptors, we are addressing a key challenge when operating in complex urban environments, around sensitive sites, or in situations where the rules of engagement limits kinetic capabilities.”
The three companies – Aurora Flight Sciences, ELTA North America, and XTEND – were invited to the demonstration after they were selected through an RFI released in January 2021. This follows the DoD release of its C-sUAS Strategy, also in January, which provided the framework for addressing sUAS across the spectrum from hazards to threats in the homeland, host nations, and contingency locations.
More than 30 companies responded with three participating in the demonstration. The companies will leave the demonstration with an awareness of their systems’ strengths and limitations against known threats.
According to the company, Aurora’s Modular Intercept Drone Avionics Set (MIDAS) is an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled, multi-rotor sUAS outfitted with optical sensors and a customized payload that can defeat multiple sUAS per flight with low-collateral effects. An autonomous solution, MIDAS is cued from ground radar and locks on with its onboard sensor.
“Aurora was honored to participate in the JCO and RCCTO demo event for low-collateral interceptors at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground,” said Kel Jackson, Counter-UAS program manager for Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company. “Demonstrating MIDAS’ differentiated Counter-UAS capabilities in such a challenging environment was invaluable.”
The ELTA North America team demonstrated their Drone-Kill-Drone (DKD) system, which they say is 100 percent autonomous from launch to intercept. The system needs no human intervention other than the command to launch. DKD uses a combination of on-board processing, autonomous flight control, and optical target lock to strike the target while in flight. It contains an entanglement net of cut resistant wires that spring-release during flight and entangle rotors for an extremely high kill rate. DKD is modular and scalable to carry additional effector payloads and can be integrated to accept cues from drone detection sensors or Command and Control (C2) systems.
“We all know warfighters are wearing multiple hats as it is, so having something connected to the network that is fully autonomous is crucial,” said Dean Nohe, senior director of business development for ELTA North America. “The DKD takes the network or sensor feed and assigns the right drone to the right threat. Once it gets close to the target, there’s on-board processing and on-board AI that enables an optical target lock and continues the autonomous guidance to the drone until interception.”
XTEND described their SKYLORD GRIFFON system as a C-sUAS platform that allows operators with no flight experience to intercept aerial threats. The system can seamlessly interface with most detection or C2 systems and uses augmented reality to enable the operators to “immerse” themselves in countering sUAS.
“After three days using this system everyone is mission capable,” said Ido Baron, vice president of business development and sales for XTEND. “The system is man portable, lightweight and inexpensive. Each drone is like a bullet in a magazine, with most of the cost in the C2 system and software, which is on the ground.”
According to the company, this technology “fuses edge technology with human-centric cognitive capabilities” allowing operators to deploy multiple drone teams to detect and intercept enemy drones. The SKYLORD GRIFFON provides a “smart” hard kill, which means the CUAS system flies by C2 but once it comes within range of the drone, the operator takes control so they can investigate the target to either intercept it or follow it, providing the full mission spectrum.
Each vendor had similar scenarios and missions as part of the demonstration, which also looked at ease of integration into existing Department of Defense systems, their ability to operate autonomously, and effectiveness at intercepting and targeting hostile UAS.
Future demonstration events will be posted separately as the JCO coordinates with Joint partners to select focus areas providing the most impact to transitioning solutions into production. A second demonstration will occur in late FY21 and an RFI to industry will be released this spring.
(Source: UAS VISION)
21 Apr 21. UK looks to increase contribution to NATO AGS. The United Kingdom has begun discussions with NATO on increasing the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) contribution to Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) and its five RQ-4D Phoenix unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) based in Sigonella, Sicily.
The move aims to fill wide area surveillance capability gaps following the retirement in March of the RAF’s five Sentinel R1 airborne stand-off radar (ASTOR) surveillance aircraft, the UK’s contribution in kind to AGS.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu told Janes on 19 April, “NATO’s fleet of AGS surveillance aircraft was declared mission-ready by the alliance’s top commander in February. Following the Sentinel’s last operational flight earlier this year, we are in discussions with the UK government on how to adjust the UK’s contribution to the alliance’s AGS programme. As the Secretary General [Jens Stoltenberg] told Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson in March, the UK has a leading role in NATO. We welcome that the UK continues to field high-tech capabilities including Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft which make important contributions to our shared security.”
Senior UK defence sources told Janes on 19 April that it was likely that RAF image analysts, mission planning staff, UAV pilots, and maintenance personnel would be assigned to Sigonella to work alongside their NATO colleagues. The UK could also make a financial contribution to the running costs of the RQ-4Ds. By contributing to the costs of AGS, the UK would gain influence over operational tasking, technology enhancements, and allow the RQ-4Ds to support UK training exercises. This would be subject to ratification by NATO partners and the UK government. (Source: Jane’s)
21 Apr 21. Thales to deliver the Ground Alerter 10 – an early warning system to the German Federal Armed Forces for camp and convoy protection.
- The Ground Alerter 10 (GA10) will provide C-RAM (Counter – Rocket, Artillery, Mortar) alert and impact zone early warning for camp protection as well as dismounted operations in convoy protection.
- The GA10 brings precious seconds that saves lives for soldiers to evacuate or take cover.
- Portable and the most lightweight system of its class, with a fully automatic 24 hours/7 sense and warn capacity, it offers an outstanding low power consumption facilitating battery-power only – very tactical for out-of-area missions.
Thales is pleased to bring many years of experience and proven systems competency to the German forces again, with the contract for GA10 C-RAM systems. The signing of the contract is the result of a tender issued late December 2020 by the German procurement agency, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). In addition to training, documentation and initial spare parts requirements, the contract includes an option for the delivery of more systems, with a first handover planned end 2021.
The Ground Alerter 10 is a portable C-RAM system for Force Protection, combat proven in various missions, such as convoy protection, camp protection and has saved many lives in the recent past. Its integrated alert network warns military personnel of missile and mortar threats by generating an acoustic and visual alert at the estimated impact point area. This takes place as soon as the trajectory indicates an imminent impact in the respective safety area and the system simultaneously provides reliable data on the firing position at an early stage to facilitate necessary countermeasures. To date, various GA10s are already in use to protect UN camps in North East and Eastern Mali, as well as by the French Forces in several out-of-area camps.
Easy to set-up, operate and transport with limited staff operation, the GA10 is well suited for deployment in dismounted operations for convoy protection. Two people can accomplish en-camp/de-camp and only one person is required for system initialization and monitoring. Being the lightest system of its class and evidently portable (only 1- or 2-men loads), re-deployment of the system is possible with protected vehicles or by helicopter. Mandatory for mobile operations, the GA10 prime power consumption only amounts to 350 Watts and facilitates battery-only supply.
“We are very pleased to receive this contract, as it will significantly support the protection of German soldiers in their important and dangerous out-of-area missions. Together with BAAINBw we managed to process the project within only 2 months between tender award and the contract conclusion. Ground Alerter 10 is a European design, with final development in Germany – a Military-Off-The-Shelf series product – drawing on strong radar expertise and operational experience in Germany, produced at the Thales Germany Ditzingen site, from Germany for Germany so to speak”. Christophe Salomon, Executive Vice President Land & Air Systems, Thales.
20 Apr 21. US Air Force Issues Solicitation for C-sUAS Technology. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate, Rome NY (AFRL/RI) has a requirement to provide a focused yet flexible, rapid, agile contracting vehicle between Air Force Research Laboratory, its Products Centers, and the Operational Community to support rapid research, development, prototyping, demonstration, evaluation, and transition of Counter small Unmanned Aircraft System (C-sUAS) capabilities.
These capabilities are to be used in combating Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)—and others leveraging COTS technology—presently being used by our adversaries in asymmetric warfare against U.S. military personnel and materiel. Emphasis will be placed on:
- a) development of technology capability solutions that address specific user requirements;
- b) delivery of prototype technologies for evaluation and feedback in the context of the user’s operational environment; and
- c) provision of a mechanism for user acquisition of limited product quantities required for operational introduction of technologies. Anticipated deliverables include software, hardware, technical documentation and technical reports.
For the aforementioned requirements, the Government anticipates a single award Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) research and development (R&D) contract with Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Completion (CPFF/C) Task Orders, an ordering period of seventy-two (72) months, and a maximum ordering amount of approximately $490,400,000. (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Apr 21. Milrem Robotics, Marduk Technologies launch autonomous C-UAS system. Milrem Robotics, the European leading robotics and autonomous systems developer and Marduk Technologies, the provider of world-class Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) solutions jointly launched a unique mobile autonomous C-UAS platform that offers protection against loitering munition and surveillance drones.
The jointly developed system features the electro-optical C-UAS platform Marduk Shark and the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This mobile solution provides frontline forces with an independent ability to accurately detect, classify and target loitering munition and other flying objects. It uses the most advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning models.
The mobile C-UAS platform can be integrated with kinetic and non-kinetic weapon systems and with different sensors and effectors such as radar, radio frequency detector, jammer, laser, etc.
Currently, most C-UAS solutions are used stationary, however, utilizing mobile platforms with autonomous capabilities gives defences forces the flexibility to relocate them according to the threat assessment. Mobility also provides early warning for the forces in various positions.
“Autonomous UGVs equipped with a C-UAS payload create a new capability on the battlefield that allows forces to focus on their main task of engaging the adversary while UGVs provide better situational awareness and force protection,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
“Frontline forces on the move are most exposed to adversary drones. The mobile autonomous C-UAS platform gives our customers an additional layer of protection and extends our product portfolio, which lets us provide more capabilities for our defence customers,” said Martin Simon, the CEO of Marduk Technologies. (Source: https://aerodefenseinternational.com/)
21 Apr 21. TMD introduces NEW Test Set to its radar transponder range. TMD Technologies Limited (TMD), independent, world class, West London based manufacturer in the professional microwave and RF field, has introduced a new advanced test set to its range of radar transponders and support equipment. The Test Set Model 754-3U-2-1 is designed to test G-Band tracking radar transponders under closed-loop or open-loop conditions. The equipment is supplied as a single sealed enclosure and includes an accessory set to interface with the transponder-under-test in both open and closed-loop modes.
FeaturesA significant new feature of this latest generation test set is the ability to edit all the user adjustable parameters whilst the transmitter is ON in real-time. Up to eight user settings can be permanently stored in non-volatile memory, to simplify the setting-up task when testing transponders with different characteristics.
There are two types of key functions among the eight keys. Keys with the header CMD, EDIT, CURSOR and Tx are programmed to behave as momentary switches. When pressed, these keys will update the display, but the new state will not be transferred to the hardware interface until the key is released. Typical weight is 8kg.
20 Apr 21. U.S. military nudges European allies on countering small drones. The U.S. military is trying to push its European allies to boost their capabilities against small unmanned aerial vehicles, as Western forces absorb lessons from the conflict last year in Nagorno-Karabakh, dubbed the first true “drone war.”
U.S. European Command chief Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters told lawmakers in Washington that plans for the region involve “enforcing our allies and partners to improve” their capabilities in counter-drone warfare.
“In Europe, we have to ensure that – from an indications and warnings standpoint – our integrated air and missile defense programs take into account the capabilities of these systems,” Wolters said at an April 15 House Armed Services Committee hearing.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., had asked Wolters if U.S. forces were in good enough shape to counter drones executing attacks in a coordinated fashion.
In the Nagorno-Karabakh war last fall, widely circulated video footage showed Azerbaijan’s drones, purchased from Turkey and Israel, destroying Armenian ground units, including armor. The tactic was so prevalent that analysts have said it contributed heavily to Azerbaijan’s eventual victory.
Previously, Russia used small drones as spotters for artillery fire in eastern Ukraine following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, inflicting heavy losses to local forces.
Those operations’ deadly successes spooked the U.S. military at the time, and defense leaders dispatched a small number of Army forces to Ukraine to record lessons for the Pentagon.
Since then, European countries have begun examining their own counter-drone capabilities. Germany, for its part, moved recently to sacrifice a long-standing effort for intercepting sophisticated, medium-range missiles in favor of defenses against nearer and smaller threats.
Within the American military structure, the U.S. Army is the lead for the mission of countering small unmanned aerial systems, Wolters told lawmakers. The service’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense program is the core around which officials plan to group future sensors, interceptors and command-and-control elements.
The program already accounts for the threats of small drones, Wolters said. But, he added, “It’s not good enough. We have to continue to improve.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe said governments here have woken up to the threat of relatively inexpensive, small drones being used effectively in future conflicts.
“We’ve all learned a lot from watching Russian forces against Ukrainian forces during the last seven years,” Hodges told Defense News. The U.S. Army changed its relevant training scenarios in large part based on those observations, he said. “This has picked up speed since the the most recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Russian drones have been reported to find Ukrainian units by way of soldiers’ cell phone signals and other equipment invisibly emanating location data. Electronic-warfare sensing played a similar role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
Videos of Azeri drones killing Armenian tanks – “drone porn,” as Hodges calls it – hold the risk of learning the wrong lessons – namely, that employing tanks is a risky proposition in the first place.
“I’d say that the real lesson is that we have to be much better at field craft, which means camouflage and dispersion,” said Hodges. That means concealing troops and equipment not only from visual detection but also from being spotted by sensors that pick up heat and electromagnetic signatures.
Hodges pointed to Romania and the wider Black Sea region as another hotspot for bolstering the alliance’s counter-drone posture.
The country should host a NATO- or European Union-sponsored center of excellence for defending against small drones, where countries could exercise with new technology and practice doing it under heavy enemy jamming, Hodges said. (Source: Defense News)
20 Apr 21. South Korea Unveils Mega Counter-Drone R&D Program To Fight Growing Menace Of Illegal UAVs. South Korea has pledged about US$37.6m to develop counter-drone systems to fight the growing menace of illegal unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), according to reports.
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has stated that 23 research institutes (such as the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute) and companies (such as the aerospace and defense firm LIG Nex1 Co.) will come together to develop a counter-UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) that spots and neutralizes illegal unmanned aircraft, The Korea Times reported.
The announcement comes in wake of rising fear that North Korea could deploy its drones near South Korean infrastructure and military bases. Authorities discovered North Korean drones which had crashed in border areas in 2014. Additionally, drone technology has taken great strides due to the advancement in artificial intelligence and swarm robotics in recent years.
Current technology is mostly land-based. This includes sensors, command-and control-system, and effectors such as missiles. The South Korean consortium hopes to produce ‘patrol drones’ which will carry out surveillance in the air itself. The patrol drones will be more agile and cover the land system’s blind spots.
In November last year, South Korean defense firm Hanwha Corporation had displayed its new family of laser weapons systems that can take down hostile UAVs, at an arms exhibition in Seoul.
The U.S. Army uses Raytheon’s Coyote drone as part of its counter-UAS and is planning on developing a counter-drone laser system. Equipped with an advanced seeker and warhead, the Coyote-enabled system is adaptable for a variety of missions including surveillance, electronic warfare, and strike. The drone can be flown individually or in a swarm.
The Russian Rosoboronexport’s Repellent-Patrol electronic warfare system was displayed at IDEX 2021 this February. The system can intercept and jam the electronic signals of rogue drones within the range of 20 kilometers.
China is a bit far behind with its mostly land-based radars and detachable devices to detect drones. The Military and Aerospace Electronics reports that US anti-drone systems are considered more advanced than those of China’s.
Monitoring is an addition to the enlargement of governmental regulation of drone activity. India legalized non-governmental drone activity in December 2018 but demanded the registration of UAVs. A Unique Identification Number (UIN) will be generated after registration and users have to follow government-mandated guidelines.
The Indian government also stated its commitment to procuring technologies to restrict or neutralize unregistered rogue drones as part of the Ministry of Defence’s ’Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap – 2018′.
The US goes a step further and has made broadcasting the drone’s location strictly necessary starting from 2023. In such a regulated environment, it will be easier to spot illegal drone activity.
16 Apr 21. Next DoD Counter-Drone Demo May Expand Kill Options.
“I think it’s September you’ll see us open up up the aperture, looking at other capabilities besides low collateral effects,” said Stan Darbro, Army RCCTO deputy.
DoD’s joint office to counter small drones small drones will hold a second set of industry demos and looks likely to invite new participants.
“We’re keeping all options on the table,” Army Col. Greg Soulé, director of acquisition & resources at the Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems Office (JCO), told reporters today.
The first demo, held April 5-9 at Yuma Proving Ground, focused on what DoD calls Low Collateral Effects Interceptors (LCEI): systems that can be used to knock out small drones in crowded airspace or urban areas without hurting civilians, civil infrastructure or friendly troops. The three contenders were tested against lightweight Group 1 UAS, according to an Army press release.
Those tests dealt with one incoming drone at a time, as the types of counter-sUAS systems involved “aren’t really intended to address a swarm-type threat,” Soulé said.
Group 1 drones weigh less than 20 pounds, operate below 1,200 feet and generally with a speed less than 100 knots. “These type of drones are small and quick, hard to mitigate and can carry various payloads, including surveillance equipment,” the Army release said.
DoD tapped the Army to lead the JCO as the department’s Executive Agent last January. The Air Force, however, is the designated lead for developing LCEI. The other services have the lead on development of different types of counter-drone weapons.
“While the JPO has led the demonstration event, the Air Force has been engaged throughout the planning, execution, and evaluation,” Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Like, materiel leader for cyber integration and transition at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate, said during today’s briefing.
The Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) also is involved, hosting the first round of demos.
The three companies involved – Aurora Flight Sciences, ELTA North America, and XTEND – were down-selected from some 30 respondents to the JCO’s January RFI.
Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing subsidiary, brought its Modular Intercept Drone Avionics Set (MIDAS) is an “AI-enabled, multi-rotor sUAS outfitted with optical sensors and a customized payload that can defeat multiple sUAS per flight with low-collateral effects,” according to the firm’s website. The system is essentially a defensive drone that shoots down enemy ones.
ELTA North America — the US arm of Israeli firm ELTA Systems, itself a part of Israel Aerospace Industries — demonstrated the Drone-Kill-Drone (DKD) system, designed to be 100 percent autonomous once launched. Another drone-killing drone, it uses a wire net to entangle the rotors of hostile drones in flight.
XTEND, an Israeli startup specializing in augmented reality systems, brought its SKYLORD GRIFFON system, which uses “human centric” navigation such as augmented reality to allow even operators with no flight experience to use it. The system also uses a metal ‘net’ to down adversary drones.
“We’re now in the process of planning our second demonstration in September,” explained Leland Browning, JCO acting deputy director. “We’re currently in the process of consolidating and analyzing the data that was obtained during the demonstration, and we will meet with the participating vendors to provide feedback, along with the Air Force.”
While officials at the briefing were a big vague about the details, the overall plan is to hold two demonstrations a year over the next couple of years — focused on different types of adversary drones and different types of counter-systems.
“So, our next demo is in the planning stages right now. They were planning the second demo as we went into the first one so we get into a battle rhythm of doing [one] twice a year,” said Stan Darbro, RCCTO deputy director. “I think it’s September you’ll see us open up up the aperture, looking at other capabilities besides low-collateral effects. We’re working through this process and exactly what areas right now.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
14 Apr 21. D-Fend introduces new multi-sensor command & control sensor management system. Counter drone company D-Fend has launched a new Multi-Sensor Command & Control (MSC2) system designed to control multiple sensors used by it EnforceAir anti-drone solution. By controlling multiple EnforceAir sensors remotely from a single server, MSC2 facilitates expanded and uninterrupted coverage for rogue drone detection and mitigation, without increasing the number of personnel needed to operate the multiple EnforceAir systems, says the D-Fend press release.
MSC2 is designed to integrate into third-party C2 systems, enabling law enforcement and military system operators to view EnforceAir’s drone information on general, map-based C2 platforms, with an option to trigger mitigation via the third-party platforms. Organizations can integrate EnforceAir into their work processes and expand operational awareness beyond the tactical team operating EnforceAir.
By aggregating information from all sensors across the site, MSC2 provides operational awareness to support mission-critical decisions and is designed to eliminate duplications if multiple sensors detect the same drone. The MSC2 server then selects the best sensor to initiate mitigation, after factoring for interference, radio parameters and ranges.
The EnforceAir systems managed by MSC2 can be affixed to vehicles or ships, covertly if necessary, set up as stationary deployments on low or high ground, or used tactically in the field.
For more information visit:
www.d-fendsolutions.com (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
13 Apr 21. “Israeli police and CAA not ready to deal with the drone threat” – new Comptroller report. the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Israeli Police and its subordinates are not operationally prepared to deal with the threat of malicious drone activities from security and criminal perpetrators, according to a new report from the Israeli State Comptroller, Netanyahu Engelman.
The Comptroller says that Israel’s lack of preparation for protection against possible drone attacks is due, among other issues, to funding problems. “The audit found that the development of the technological response to dealing with the threat was delayed due to budgetary difficulties and did not meet all the needs of all security factors and regulatory processes,” said the report.
The new report is a follow-up to a similar November 2017 study. Many of the conclusions from this earlier report were not published for censorship reasons and the Comptroller says most of these recommendations have not been implemented.
Over recent years the number of drones flying in Israel has increased as a result of continuing low costs and improved performance in range, cargo-carrying capabilities and navigational accuracy. This has increased the threat of criminal and terrorist drone activities, according to the report.
Also, a dispute between the Israeli Air Force and the CAA has resulted in many drones not being registered and many operators not being required to have a permit. The Comptroller noted that while some progress has been made in resolving the dispute since the last issues the response has been “too little and too late”.
Most of the shortcomings highlighted by the Comptroller relate to disagreements over responsibilities between the police and the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) for dealing with the drone threat. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
16 Apr 21. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully completed the first flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk on April 15, 2021 from Palmdale, California. With an unmatched combination of range, endurance, and payload capability, Global Hawk is the only platform that provides greater data collection flexibility than space or medium-altitude assets.
“The unarmed RQ-4B Global Hawk will provide Japan with on-demand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information supporting the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s missions of protecting borders, monitoring threats and providing humanitarian assistance in times of need,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “This successful first flight is a significant milestone in delivering Global Hawk to our Japanese allies.”
Global Hawk is the only high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to deliver near real-time on demand data around the clock. Once fielded, Global Hawk will integrate with other Japanese intelligence assets, including ground-based command and control units. The capability will provide solutions to monitor and deter regional threats to ensure Japan has a highly effective national security posture well into the future.
Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous HALE systems, including Global Hawk, are a critical component of networked, global ISR collection for allied nations and mutual defense organizations around the world. Global Hawk collects ISR data that enables decision makers to act with the right information at the right time. When Japan’s Global Hawk fleet is fully operational, it will be part of a growing list of allied nations operating high-altitude long-endurance UAV. The United States, Australia, NATO and Korea will all be operating versions of this vital national surveillance asset.
Blighter Surveillance Systems is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of best-in-class electronic-scanning ground-based radars, surveillance solutions and Counter-UAS systems. Blighter’s solid-state micro-Doppler products are deployed in more than 35 countries across the globe, delivering consistent all-weather security protection and wide area surveillance along borders, coastlines, at military bases and across critical infrastructure such as airports, oil and gas facilities and palaces. Blighter radars are also used to protect manoeuvre force missions when deployed on military land vehicles and trailers, and its world-beating multi-mode radar represents a great leap in threat detection technology and affordability for use in a variety of scenarios.
The Blighter range of radar products are used for detecting a variety of threats, from individuals on foot to land vehicles, boats, drones and low-flying aircraft at ranges of up to 32 km. Blighter Surveillance Systems employs 40 people and is located near Cambridge, UK, where it designs, produces and markets its range of unique patented solid-state radars. Blighter prides itself on being an engineer-led business committed to providing cost-effective and flexible solutions across the defence, critical infrastructure and national security markets.