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RADAR, EO/IR, NIGHT VISION C-UAV, ND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE

Sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems

www.blighter.com

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11 Jul 19. Fixview readies stabilised sensor turret for Vigía 2B UAV programme. Argentine company Fixview, which specialises in the development and production of stabilised electro-optical sighting systems, has rolled out the new FV300 system. The FV300 is a family of modular electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turrets that can be equipped with a range of high-definition sensors to address specific customer requirements. These can include day and IR cameras and laser rangefinders. The gyrostabilised FV300 turret has been selected to equip the Argentine Air Force’s (Fuerza Aérea Argentina: FAA) Vigía 2B unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is under development by the FAA’s research and development department, Dirección General de Investigación y Desarrollo.

According to company specifications, the FV300 turret has a diameter of 300 mm and unladen weight of 17kg, enabling it to be fitted to small aircraft including UAVs. It can be fitted with a 1080p full HD daylight camera with 30× continuous optical and 2-4× digital zoom, and a wide and narrow field of view (FoV) of 63.7° and 2.3°, respectively.

It can also be equipped with an IR camera comprising a cooled 3-5µm mid-wave IR (MWIR) array with 640 × 512 pixel resolution and 18-275mm continuous optical zoom, which offers a wide FoV of 30.6° × 24.5° and narrow FoV of 2.05° × 1.64°.

A Class 3B laser pointer with 100mW power output and a NATO-standard Class 1 1.5µm laser rangefinder with a range of up to 10km can be fitted if requiired.

The Vigía 2B will be fitted with the Observación Aérea (Aerial Observation Pod), a 40kg EO/IR pod that includes the FV300 turret, its batteries, and a transmission system with datalink to send the images to the ground operator. It has a claimed data transmission range of up to 150km. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

10 Jul 19. Chess Dynamics, the UK-based advanced integrated systems and technologies company, has developed automated drone protection systems specifically for use at airports. The capabilities, launched at the British-Irish Airports EXPO, have been developed in response to the evolving sophistication and increased frequency of attacks on civilian infrastructure by unmanned aircraft, or drones.

Based on the military-proven Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) AUDS, installed by Chess at London Gatwick Airport following the sustained drone attack in December 2018 which closed the airport, the new scalable systems have been developed specifically to offer protection within the airport perimeter and flightpath for up to 10km from the runway.

Commenting on the rationale for development of the new systems, Graham Beall, Managing Director of the Chess Group, said: “The recent high profile drone attacks at international airports highlighted the urgent requirement for effective counter-drone technologies that meet the specific needs of airports to ensure public safety, and reduce the risk of costly operational downtime when suspected attacks occur.”

A Sky News investigation in February this year found that the number of drone incidents reported to UK police forces had risen by 40 per cent between 2016 and 2018 to 2,400 incidents, including dozens of reports of drones being flown within the flightpaths of airports.

Chess’s new C-UAS capabilities have been specifically developed to meet the needs of non-military organisations, including airports and areas of critical infrastructure. Based on two elements – AirGuard – protecting the airport perimeter, and AirShield – protecting the flightpath, the systems are configured to the specific requirements and desired level of security of each installation. Both systems are aimed at providing fully automated detection and alert to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) presence to minimise resource required, and significantly reduce the risk of error and security response delay.

AirGuard is a versatile, fully automated C-UAS solution, creating a 3D detection and protection ‘bubble’ around the perimeter of the airport. Incorporating multiple sensors including radar, acoustic sensors, radio frequency (RF) direction-finders and electro-optical (EO) video tracking technology, the system automatically detects and tracks airborne objects and flags an alert to the operator. Using real-time analysis of the camera output, the operator can classify the threat and use a simple system to respond to an emerging situation, escalating or downgrading the security threat as required. It also allows the operators to provide necessary security agencies with accurate information, including recorded video evidence for future prosecution purposes, whilst minimising potential disruption from false alarms.

The flexible system can be integrated into existing video management systems and security infrastructure to reduce both the cost of operation and resource required. It is available either as a fixed installation or can be mounted onto a vehicle – the latter designed to support smaller airports to provide greater flexibility.

AirShield offers Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations an automated UAV detection and alert solution to maximise protection of the flightpath up to 10km from the runway, enabling rapid decisions to be made, including ordering aircraft to divert their course, should a threat be identified.

Installed as a completely self-contained and stand-alone 3D radar electro-optic solution, the system can be fully integrated into existing ATC infrastructure. It is capable of auto-alerting operators of using radar detection and automatically enables real-time tracking and classification using multi-spectrum electro-optical video capability. The system is able to provide ATC with fast and accurate location, flight velocity and bearing data until the point where the UAV is no longer a danger to aircraft.

Discussing the development of the capabilities, Graham Beall said: “The AUDS counter-drone capability, which Chess’s technology is a major component of, is proven in military use, and it provided the basis of the initial solution that was delivered to London Gatwick in December, as part of their security response.

“The needs of airports are very different to those in a military scenario, and these new solutions, based on our existing C-UAS capabilities and the experience gained working with Gatwick, are designed to meet the specific requirements of civilian organisations – chiefly scalability, ease of use and minimising resources required, alongside the ability to provide automated alerts, reducing operational burden and potential risk of human error.”

Chess Dynamics showed Air Shield at the recent Cohort Plc. DSEI brief in Crawley on June 10th.

10 Jul 19. Saab continues to invest in ARTHUR. Saab Surveillance is continuing to self-fund development of its ARTHUR (ARTtillery HUnting Radar) Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) to meet emerging requirements, a company official revealed at the IQPC Future Artillery conference held in London in May.

Bard Frostad, Saab Surveillance’s senior military advisor, said 80 ARTHUR WLR systems have been exported to at least 12 countries (one not being disclosed), including Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom with operational use seen in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those deployed by Canada and Denmark in Afghanistan have since been returned to Sweden.

ARTHUR is designed to detect incoming conventional tube artillery and fire, artillery rockets, and mortar bombs, providing friendly forces with a warning of incoming fire. According to Saab, the system has had 95% availability in operations.

During a typical operating sequence, ARTHUR detects threats, filters, and prioritises them, then transmits this information to the artillery command and control system (ACCS), which allocates an artillery battery to engage the threat. It can also be used to adjust for variables during artillery fire.

Since its introduction to service with Norway and Sweden more than 20 years ago, the ARTHUR WLR has been upgraded to improve its detection range and target tracking capacity.

The current ARTHUR Mod C WLR has an instrumented range of 60 km, operates over an arc of 120°, and can track more than 100 targets per minute.

Frostad said Saab is developing the ARTHUR WLR Mod D, which will feature several improvements, including an instrumented range of up to 100 km, an accuracy of 0.15% of range, and will cover an arc of 120°.

According to Saab, the Mod D leverages a combination of technologies fielded in other systems to reduce development cost and risk, and spiral development would be used for further growth via upgrades or new parts as necessary. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

10 Jul 19. AI in the sky: can drone surveillance technology replace CCTV? At the Security and Counter Terrorism Expo (SCTX) 2019, Dronestream CEO Harry Howe presented his firm’s collaborative effort with artificial intelligence (AI) firm Skylark Labs, in the form of new drone surveillance capabilities for autonomous crowd scanning and threat detection, as well as mounted CCTV cameras. Skylark uses AI and machine learning to autonomously scan crowds of people in real-time and identifies a large variety of potential threats. Dronestream specialises in low latency live-streaming video feeds, adding insights such as mapping software and alert functions to help users quickly locate a threat that Skylark’s AI system has detected, contained within one app or website.

The Skylark system, according to its developers, can detect almost anything you feed into the system’s dataset including missing persons and persons of interest, potential weapons, and criminal ‘buzz words’, according to the company. It does so through real-time rapid analyses of faces, gaits, objects, and has a lip reading capability.

The software can even identify a missing person from a photo even if they were a child, and in the absence of a photo can identify a missing person or person of interest by analysing photos of the individual’s mother and father.

On paper, the technology sounds impressive, and Howe gave a variety of visual examples of the working system during his presentation. However, testing so far has been limited and the system is yet to gain accreditation in the UK, or be trialled by the UK police, although there have been partnerships with the Indian Government and the Canadian police.

Drone surveillance: a solution to a UK problem?

Skylark’s drone surveillance technology could be of particular to the UK’s security industry, where the government austerity programme has led to reductions in policing capabilities.

“We are in a position now where there are 20,000 fewer police officers on the street than there was in 2010,” said Howe. “There is nothing yet to plug those gaps other than software.”

Skylark’s software can be adapted for use with drones or applied to one of the four million CCTV cameras across the UK.

“If you look at how many people are in that street, it would be quite difficult for a CCTV operator to really quickly identify if there was a fight breaking out in the crowd,” Howe said, giving a visual example. “The system does it automatically and alerts [users] in real time exactly when that happens. Now even if the drone is at 300ft, it can still operate effectively”.

Around 50% of UK police use drones for activities such as crowd monitoring, and identifying persons of interest or potential threats. An AI co-pilot in the form of Skylark’s technology could reduce the size of the police team to just one operator, according to Howe.

Skyface and weapons detection

Two unique features of the system are the Skyface age-invariant face recognition platform and the weapon detection capability.

“Say you have only got one photo of this person aged 20. That was 20 years ago, he is now 40 years old and he looks completely different,” Howe said. “Well what the age-invariant face recognition can do is it can use the photograph that you’ve given from 20 years ago and still identify him successfully at around a 90% accuracy rate,” Howe said.

Furthermore, if the operator is looking for various kinds of knives and weapons, the system can identify these when they are in shot too, even if the imaging quality is low.

Howe added: “Even if it is quite a grained shot of a knife against a background, it can still identify that it is a weapon. And in some cases tell you exactly what type of weapon it is.”

Flexibility is key

The key to the Skylark system is flexibility, according to the developers. For example, if you have fed in the photograph of a potential suspect, as soon as that suspect comes into shot, a green bounding box will appear onscreen and an alert will be sent to the relevant authorities.

“It is very straightforward,” Howe said. “This is really what Skylark excels in is the fact that the data annotation is for the data sets you give. This works in real time, instantly. When he walks in shot he is identified, and providing that the data has been fed in previously.”

The system can also be modified to scan large areas while still adhering to UK privacy laws, if necessary.

“In the UK, we are very very tight on this. It all depends on what country you using this software and it can be tailored to meet the specifications of a specific country,” Howe responded. “What Skylark do is, say for example you don’t want to see through a set of windows, what the system can do is identify what windows and perhaps blur them out. The system can be as flexible as you need it to be.”

Ironing out potential flaws

At first glance, it seems like a very simple, yet effective system. A threat is detected, a bounding box appears, and an alert is sent to a police officer or security official, giving the human more time to react to a threat or respond to an incident.

But what if a person is incorrectly identified as a suspect? What if a fairly mundane object is detected as something more sinister? These are just some of the issues that Skylark and Dronestream are trying to address.

During the presentation at SCTX 2019, a few potential issues were raised that questioned the effectiveness of the drone surveillance system.

Asked how effective the system would be when monitoring a large crowd, such as 90,000 people leaving a football stadium, for example, Howe conceded that the sheer scale of a crowd will affect the drone camera’s ability to detect faces and weapons, but the system can be set up to analyse a wider area.

“If it’s a drone [camera], if you’re working at 300ft and there’s 1,000 people below you then it’s going to be very difficult to get an accurate representation because as people get bunched in together, they just become heads,” Howe said. “So in that case you would have to rely on fixed cameras and from different angles but it is certainly scalable.”

Another issue concerned the margin of error and the issue of culpability after detecting and arresting an individual based on the AI system when it has wrongly identified a suspect, or a weapon has been incorrectly identified, such as a chef’s work knives or child’s toy gun.

“That’s why people cannot be completely removed from the frame because a person’s intention can only go so far with the machine,” Howe noted. “What you can do is train the machine algorithm to identify the aggressive movements that go along with holding a weapon. So, perhaps if the gun is drawn, the body posture or the way they are moving, or age group, you can narrow it down. That’s something that the machine can’t do.”

The technology has the potential become a real asset to the defence and security sector in terms of crowd and open space surveillance, but Skylark and Dronestream will need to further mature the technology and, most importantly, prove the system works to a level of accuracy that the security industry can rely on. (Source: army-technology.com)

10 Jul 19. Pakistan Navy receives second ATR-72 MPA. The Pakistan Navy (PN) has received the second of two ATR-72 twin-engine turboprops converted into maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) under a contract signed in 2015.In a 10 July press release Germany-based company Rheinland Air Service (RAS) said that it handed over the second example of the type, which is now known as the RAS 72 Sea Eagle, during a ceremony held at RAS headquarters in Mönchengladbach shortly after the platform was introduced to the general public at the Paris Air Show 2019, which was held from 17 to 23 June. The first aircraft, which was handed over by RAS in June 2018, re-entered service with the PN on 12 December 2018 in a ceremony held at naval air station PNS Mehran in Karachi (both ATR-72s had previously been in service with the PN as transports). (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Jul 19. New Camera Could Help Drones See Through Camouflage. Researchers copied a technique pioneered by creatures like the mantis shrimp. There’s a reason why camouflage doesn’t work once you get close enough to touch it. The texture of, say, the woodland pattern intended to conceal tanks or soldiers doesn’t match what nature produces. The farther off you can detect an ersatz texture, the sooner you can pierce the disguise. Animals such as mantis shrimp can do it, thanks to eyes that gather light vibrating in a multitude of directions and view it on a single plane. That process of reducing those light waves shooting off in multiple directions into a single wave is called polarization.  The term has come to encompass a wide variety of lenses and add-ons to cameras that are marketed as “polarized.” But they should be better understood as only partially polarized. These lenses reduce wave directionality, a bit, which can bring down camera glare or make a regular picture somewhat crisper. But these don’t reveal hidden features or objects that would be invisible to the naked eye. There are cameras that produce more fully polarized images, that allow a user to see light from multiple planes one at a time, but these have moving parts and can be very large.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or SEAS, have developed a new camera about the size of a thumb, that could allow satellites or drones to see through camouflage and detect hidden objects. The researchers used materials designed at the molecular scale, and a new mathematical understanding of how polarization works, to create the camera, which they show off below. The work was published in the July 5 issue of Science.

The work is partially funded by the Air Force Research Lab. So what is the military’s interest in a much smaller polarization camera?

“Polarization carries information about the nature of textures. If sunlight scatters off of, say, a grassy field and the smooth surface of a vehicle, polarization information will differ significantly, even if the vehicle is camouflaged (color-wise) and/or in thermal equilibrium with the background,” said Noah Rubin, one of the study’s authors.

That could make it harder for enemies to hide. (Source: Defense One)

08 Jul 19. French Navy’s Albatros surveillance jet set for 2023 debut. The French Navy is planning to recapitalise its maritime surveillance force with the introduction of the Dassault Aviation Albatros – a customised Falcon 2000LXS business jet – under the AVion de Surveillance et d’Intervention MARitime (AVSIMAR) programme. Albatros deliveries to the French Navy are planned to start in 2023, while phase out of the legacy Falcon 200 Gardian aircraft is due to begin the following year.

The Aéronautique Navale currently has three different Falcon business jet variants in service, comprising the Falcon 10MER, Falcon 200 Gardian, and Falcon 50Mi/Ms. These aircraft have an average age of 38 years.

The service’s six Falcon 10MERs have recently been upgraded and will remain in service with Escadrille 57S at Landivisiau for the foreseeable future in the training and VIP transport roles. Meanwhile, the four Falcon 50Ms (Maritime surveillance) aircraft are currently being modified with a hatch that will allow them to drop marine markers and survival rafts, bringing them to a configuration close to that of the four Falcon 50Mi (Maritime intervention) variants.

Although not fully identical to the first four Falcon 50s, they will also receive the designation Mi as a result, with all eight aircraft to remain in service with Flottille 24F at Lann-Bihoué. All eight aircraft are due to be fitted with the Safran Euroflir 410 forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret that will replace the outdated Chlio FLIR. The Euroflir 410 will also equip the future Albatros.

According to Rear Admiral Guillaume Goutay, the Commander of the French Naval Aviation, the new Albatros will be very close in configuration to the Falcon 2000LXS aircraft that were recently ordered by the Japanese Coast Guard. “The delivery of the first Albatros will allow us to test all its systems, including its radar, its FLIR turret, its radios, and its satcom,” he told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 Jul 19. Counter-UAS equipment manufacturers put new focus on the airport market. Airports need effective counter measures to safeguard their operations from rogue drone incursions. What can manufacturers offer, specifically, to the airport market? Suppliers attending British-Irish Expo in London in June 2019 showed what new technologies were being developed to focus on airport operations.

Norwegian airport operator Avinor recently selected the ctrl+sky multi-sensor counter drone system to protect airports within its network, under a frame agreement recently signed with local partner Anker Sikkerhet. The first installation went live at Stavanger Airport in February 2019, with other airports due to follow. Anker CEO Ole Johnny Mikalsen told Unmanned Airspace the solution includes “a military-grade radar at a civilian price” and is currently operating in test mode to track both drone and avian targets.

Ctrl+sky is supplied by Advanced Protection System (APS) of Poland and provides detection, tracking, identification, and mitigation capability. The company’s X-band 3D radar provides 360deg coverage over 3km range, integrated with PTZ camera, RF sensor, and acoustic sensor. The CyView software platform relays data to a single display which can be viewed on multiple devices. An RF jammer which operates on selected frequencies outside those used on the airport completes the system. APS CEO Maciej Kemm added: “The different sensors complement each other and deliver a common picture. The airport operator can pinpoint where there is a device and liaise with the police.”

Installing detection and monitoring equipment allows an airport operator to make an informed decision without closing a facility for long periods of time. French systems integrator CS connects sensors and effectors within its Boreades platform which is designed to provide command and control for a UAV detection and resolution system. Already used by French police and military forces, the Boreades architecture is now available for airport applications.

Steelrock Technologies meanwhile has launched two products which provide detect, track, and jamming capabilities. The company’s portable equipment is already in service with the military, and at airports in the UK and overseas. Chief Technical Officer Chris Hamer says its handheld jammer uses algorithms to generate waveforms so these can be selected according to the application. In a more recent development known as ODIN, currently undergoing tests with UK air navigation service provider NATS, Steelrock combines detect, identify, track and defeat solutions. ODIN combines Hensoldt’s SharpEye surveillance radar, thermal and daylight camera, and Steelrock’s effector in an integrated system designed to operate safely at airports. The company is investigating whether “the kit be operated while aircraft are coming into land,” says Hamer, to provide a tailored airport solution.

Another company specialising in handheld effectors is Openworks, whose portable Skywall 100 net-catcher system is deployed at London Gatwick and Heathrow airports alongside the AUDS solution provided by Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics, and Enterprise Control Systems. Director James Cross said as drones become more autonomous a layered defence is needed with multiple solutions. “The key is how they work together and make use of smart integration.” The company recently launched Skywall 300, a remotely operated net-capture system currently under test in the US. Metis Aerospace’s passive RF detection and tracking device SKYPERION is also an integral part of the AUDS solution at London Gatwick providing 24/7 detection and tracking capability. By triangulating results from a few devices, the system has the ability to locate a drone and its operator.

Among solutions emerging from outside the military sector, experienced suppliers of avian detection and dispersion solutions have been quick to diversify to offer drone detection capability. Robin Radar’s 3D Flex radar provides avian surveillance at airports across Europe and Asia, while its X-band ELVIRA model is validated for drone detection. ELVIRA tracks, alarms and records autonomous drone activity using micro-Doppler classification.

Meanwhile, DeTect supplies its solid-state S-band MERLIN bird radar to airports throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The company’s DroneWatcher detection and defence system consists of three technologies that can operate independently or together to provide multi-layer security. In addition to its HARRIER radar designed to track small cooperative and non-cooperative targets over 2 miles range, it includes an APP which tracks and records consumer drones, and RF tracking device which can be installed around an airport. DeTect supplied a dual-function DroneWatcher and MERLIN bird radar at Panama City Florida Airport in 2017, and is working with San Diego International Airport on drone protection solutions based on DroneWatcher.

Monitoring drone activity is a prerequisite to managing drone incursions at an airport according to Qolcom, a network integrator working with DeDrone to provide drone detection and tracking services. The partners installed drone detection technology at more than four regional UK airports during 2018 to identify and analyse drone activity. According to the White Paper https://www.qolcom.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Dedrone_Airport_Airspace_Activity_Study_2018.pdf  published by the partners, 285 drones were detected over 148 days, most often at weekends. The data identified the make of drone, flight frequency and time of day. As a result, the airports have a baseline of data to work with their leadership and community liaisons to build awareness campaigns and target resources. Both London-City and Edinburgh airports selected Qolcom and Dedrone to provide drone monitoring services in the second half of 2018. The advantage of identifying and managing unintended drone incursions is the first step towards managing very exceptional planned incursions.

“No one accept model for airport-based C-UAS equipment – Raytheon’s Todd Probert.

At the Paris Air Show, Todd Probert, Vice President of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services said that controlling drone incursions at airports and in commercial airspace is already posing real challenges to operators, as incidents at Heathrow, Gatwick and now Changi airports have shown.  He speaks here to Michael Doran.

Is the need for counter-drone technology now accepted by airports?

“It’s come on overnight as a concern, literally within the last year you started to hear of significant incursions and so again there is a reactive nature to it. The fact is there’s no accepted model, whereas for the physical security of the airport there’s an accepted model now at every airport in the world.  There is a physical checkpoint you have to pass through but that commonality is not the same with drone incursions. We’re at the very early stages of this but I expect it’s going to take on that level of consistency at some point going forward. Maybe there will be three or four different flavours, but there’s not going to be tens of flavours of how we go attack this. We’re building our system to evolve naturally – a common operating picture, ability to put in a number of different sensors and effectors and sit down with our customers and come up with a systems level approach to solve their problem.

What about geo-fencing as a solution?

You could go work with that but then you’ve got the limitations that the drone is going to have to know physically where it is, so that’s going to mandate some level of technology on the drone. All things are possible but what we see now is these things are down in the tens of dollars and if we start to layer more technology in it’s going to raise the cost.

What types of responses are airports looking for?

We’re seeing a number of airports who just want good situational awareness to understand what’s out there but who don’t necessarily want to get involved in the ‘do something about it’ part.  They will rely on stop-gap type of procedures where you hold all air traffic and you send the police out to take a look but there are also those who want to take a measured response to physically remove the threat.

Where do you start in working with airports?

We’re seeing a number of our customers who want to have situational awareness in their space coupled with a measured response. Our core product is Windshear, a common operating picture of whatever area you want to protect, integrated with optical or radar interfaces to put sensors within the matrix, and then an effector to build a layered defence. The simplest way to take out a large class of these drones is to overpower the communications link that’s being used to command and control them. You can imagine a simple system that has basic radar and camera capability and then jammer functionality but is expandable.

We are tied in with our air traffic control focus and our anti-air heritage to all of the various communities that might use this technology, so we’re very intimate with how this is emerging.

We fundamentally see this as a reactive market so we have tried to craft a solution that will naturally evolve so our solution, Windshear, is physically flexible to allow for that maturation of concept of operations, any number of sensor plugins, any number of effector plugins, to allow us to hopefully to address whatever the threat is now and in the foreseeable future.” (Source: https://www.unmannedairspace.info)

05 Jul 19. Rostec launches mobile drone detection system for civil and defence applications. Avtomatika Concern (part of Rostec) has presented the Sapsan-Bekas mobile system for detecting and disabling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2019, according to the company. The system can detect a UAV at a distance of 10 km, track its movement and disable it at a distance of over 6 km by suppressing communications and control of the UAV.

“The device consists of three subsystems: signals detection and direction finding of drones, active radar, video and optoelectronic tracking, as well as a radio suppression subsystem. Sapsan-Bekas is capable of round-the-clock monitoring of the airspace and recognizing airborne objects using video and thermal imaging tools,” said a company press release published on South Africa’s Defence Web site.

“This new system by the Avomatika Concern will become a part of Rostec’s products intended for countering both civilian and military UAVs. Sapsan-Bekas is capable of countering UAVs both in manual and automatic modes in a wide frequency range – from 400 MHz to 6 GHz. The system is highly maneuverable since it is installed on an automobile chassis – this is a key requirement for various security agencies. Mobility is also important for civilian customers, since it allows you to quickly move the system from one facility to another”, said the Executive Director of Rostec, Oleg Evtushenko.

According to the news report the UAV radio suppression subsystem used in Sapsan-Bekas is called Luch (Russian: ray, beam), which was also presented for the first time at ARMY-2019. It affects the drone’s channels of navigation, control and transmission of information, simultaneously blocking eleven frequency bands. The system works on the “friend or foe” principle and does not affect UAVs whose information is entered into the system’s database in advance. The subsystem can also work autonomously outside the system configuration due to a separate control panel.

“One of the main advantages of Sapsan-Bekas is its versatility and flexibility. The functionality of the system is easy to adapt to the needs of customers. For example, civilian companies, including energy companies, are mostly interested in signals intelligence equipment, and often don’t need radiolocation capabilities – the concern is ready to make a product for them in the required configuration”, said Vladimir Kabanov, CEO of the Avtomatika Concern.

The company is already prepared to deliver Sapsan-Bekas to civilian customers. Before supplying to security agencies is possible, the system must first pass the testing scheduled for autumn 2019.

For more information: https://defenceweb.co.za/office/rostec/PressRelease.php?StoryID=92163

(Source: https://www.unmannedairspace.info)

04 Jul 19. US Air Force “takes delivery of C-UAS equipment at strategic strike bases.” www.uasvision.com and Air Force News report that several US Strategic Command and Air Force Global Strike Command sites have taken delivery of counter-UAS systems. Speaking at an Air Force Life Cycle Management Conference recently in Dayton, Ohio, Steve Wert, the Air Force’s digital program executive officer, described the new systems as “a command-and-control capability integrated with some detection and some jamming,” but did not mention kinetic attacks. According to the magazine article: “The systems provide “a composite suite of options” to sense and defeat drones attempting to enter restricted airspace around nuclear, space, electronic warfare, long-range strike, and missile defense resources, Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said. “The concept of ‘tailored and layered defense’ provides the ability to execute kinetic solutions, such as traditional ballistic rounds and capture nets, coupled with other countermeasures that disrupt the operator’s ability to navigate drones in our restricted airspace,” she said.

Air Force News reports that the US Air Force and Army are also collaborating on using 40mm ammunition with nets that deploy and wrap around the drones to bring them down. “We’ve had some recent success working with the Army on kinetic defeat, successful test round firings,” Wert said. “The idea of a net round is probably a good solution, but that system’s becoming accurate enough where the training rounds are directly hitting UAVs, so very good results there.”

“In May, Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord told reporters Defense Department officials were concerned that military personnel weren’t aware of their options for addressing UAVs and the services weren’t sharing their ideas. Combatant command representatives and acquisition officials meet each month to discuss the right way forward.  That’s generated a list of counter-UAS systems in the DOD with details on their maturity, how many are deployed, and how they are used, Lord said. The Air Force is also working toward laser and microwave weapons for that purpose.”“Over the past few years, Defense Department officials have pointed to instances of enemy combatants dispatching small drones for strike and intelligence-gathering in the Middle East and of unmanned aerial vehicles lingering near high-end aircraft. US Strategic Command did not answer how many little aircraft have been spotted lately or if the number is growing.” “So far, they’ve been incidental activities,” STRATCOM boss Gen. John Hyten said at a 2017 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “But the fact that they’re occurring, and then if you watch what is happening overseas in the [US Central Command theater] with the use of lethal UAVs and the use of UAVs for surveillance on the part of a terrorist adversary, I’m very concerned that those same kind of UAVs could be employed against our weapon storage facilities, especially on the nuclear weapon storage facilities.”

“Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes in 2017 also noted two incidents that interfered with operations on the same day and required reports to Air Force leadership. Conventional military assets need similar policies and protections as STRATCOM has put in place over the past few years, allowing workers to track and engage drones when needed, he argued. “At one base, the gate guard watched one fly over the top of the gate shack, tracked it while it flew over the flight line for a little while, and then flew back out and left,” Holmes said. “The other incident was an F-22 . . . had a near collision with a small UAS, and I don’t have anything that I can do about it.” (Source: https://www.unmannedairspace.info)

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Blighter® Surveillance Systems (BSS) is a UK-based electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.

The Blighter electronic-scanning (e-scan) FMCW Doppler ground surveillance radar (GSR) is a unique patented product that provides robust intruder detection capabilities under the most difficult terrain and weather conditions. With no mechanical moving parts and 100% solid-state design, the Blighter radar family of products are extremely reliable and robust and require no routine maintenance for five years. The Blighter radar can operate over land and water rapidly searching for intruders as small a crawling person, kayaks and even low-flying objects. In its long-range modes the Blighter radar can rapidly scan an area in excess of 3,000 km² to ensure that intruders are detected, identified and intercepted before they reach critical areas.

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