Drones

Anti-UAV Defense System uses radio beam to disable drones

Anti-UAV Defense System uses r...
The AUDS can freeze drones using a directional radio beam
The AUDS can freeze drones using a directional radio beam
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The AUDS can freeze drones using a directional radio beam
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The AUDS can freeze drones using a directional radio beam
The AUDS was developed by a partnership of three British companies
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The AUDS was developed by a partnership of three British companies
The AUDS installed in a van
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The AUDS installed in a van
The AUDS is effective at ranges up to 8 km (5 mi)
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The AUDS is effective at ranges up to 8 km (5 mi)
The AUDS optical system cab render drone cameras useless
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The AUDS optical system cab render drone cameras useless

Sophisticated, easy to fly drones are everywhere these days and like most new technologies, they have the potential for mischievous or malicious applications as well as positive ones. It follows that there's an increasing demand for improved surveillance and countermeasures specifically tailored for this type of aircraft. Billed as the world's first fully integrated system designed to detect, track and disrupt small and large drones, the Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) from Blighter Surveillance Systems uses radio beams to freeze drones in midair by interfering with their control channels.

The AUDS was developed by a partnership of three British companies: Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics, and Enterprise Control Systems. The system is of a modular design for fixed or mobile platforms with each individual unit weighing about 25 kg (55 lb). These units consist of a A400 Series Ku band electronic scanning air security radar, a stabilized x30 electro-optic director with infrared, thermal, and daylight cameras, and a directional radio frequency (RF) inhibitor. The AUDS uses the radar and optical trackers connected to proprietary software to detect, track, and identify the drone at distances of up to 8 km (5 mi).

Once the suspect drone is locked onto, a radio inhibitor/jammer fires a 4-watt directional beam at the craft, which is much more powerful at reception than the signal from the drone's controller. According to Blighter, the AUDS can briefly inhibit the drone to make the operator think it's malfunctioning or lock it until the drone's batteries drain and it crashes. The latest version of the system uses a quad-band radio frequency (RF) inhibitor/jammer that can disrupt all commercial drone licensed telemetry bands, and is effective against micro UAVs at up to 2 km (1.2 mi) and mini UAVs at longer ranges.

In addition to the radio disruptor, AUDS also has an optical disruptor that can disrupt the auto focus on the drone's camera, rendering it useless.

The AUDS installed in a van
The AUDS installed in a van

"Countering drones is now a global issue and an increasing concern for the military, government, and homeland security forces across every continent," says Graham Beall, managing director, Chess Dynamics. "It's expected that unmanned aircraft systems will be used increasingly for malicious purposes as they can carry cameras, weapons, toxic chemicals and explosives and are being used increasingly for terrorism, espionage, and smuggling purposes."

"Our system has been developed to address this urgent operational requirement and has been successful in government sponsored counter-UAV trials, detecting, and disrupting a variety of fixed and rotary wing drones in under 15 seconds. The new capabilities further enhances the system's suitability for countering rogue or malicious unmanned aircraft systems."

The AUDS made its public debut in May and has undergone testing in Europe and North America in different terrains ranging from open country to urban settings. A production version was showcased at the DSEI Show in London last month and is available from Blighter or Lighteye Systems in the US for £800,000 (US$1.2 million).

The video below introduces the AUDS.

AUDS - Anti-UAV Defence System (11 May 2015)

Source: Blighter

12 comments
Freyr Gunnar
For that money, how many teachers or nurses can we hire for one year?
Toffe Carling
Well, nice that some are making money from the drone scare. Considering that the actually drones have less mass than birds. And out of all the drone sightings by pilots and airport officials there is a very tiny % that are actually drones, not birds or other airplanes and so on. Yes they can be dangerous, but the response by authority are not to educate them self but to fight back like every one enjoying drones for a hobby are all terrorists.
drgnfly004
sounds like a interesting solution to a non existent problem, my questions are first what if i am flying my drone on 433mhz control or 900mhz control i know most are on 2.4ghz with video on that or on 5.8ghz there are a lot of control links out there to fly on and i just cant see the fcc allowing blanket jamming. next question what if the drone is not under active control? what if it is flying a way-point mission? most are capable of this, all of mine are, this type of system has been around for a long time and autonomous flight with obstacle avoidance is now on the market so i think this is a solution that is already obsolete
science ninja
and when some one wraps it all in a fine copper screen and all flight info embedded on a chip, what then?
StWils
These kinds of countermeasures will only be effective until someone figures out how to use the massive computing capacity of current smartphones to create a UAV that needs little if any external control. A self directed UAV would only occasionally need to report flight, position, and mission progress details to a controller who also may only occasionally send instructions as a mission is executed. Limiting external communication is required to permit a largely autonomous UAV to operate in the dark. Conversely, autonomous operation immediately limits the effectiveness of any jamming or communications denial tactic. Given the progress in both smartphone development and robotics I am sure this can be accomplished now. The large body of expertise and technology choices for highly distributed embedded computing enables smartphones and local networks of smartphones to distribute complex operations inside a small space. This can easily be shielded to isolate internal & external elements. Now, any such UAV will still not be one of the tiny toy drones but will be a more substantial vehicle and will require a sizeable state sponsored level of investment. This is not likely to ever be achievable by some lone punk in his mom's basement. However, a well funded but small team could re-purpose otherwise harmless civilian systems for a hostile dual-use application.
Les.B.
Good that there is response to the problem before it gets worse. But 1.2million? How about a sharpshooter? A drone operator could easily hack his toy to operate on an alternate frequency and avoid being outed by this 1.2 mil system.
Ormond Otvos
Programmed signal overload transfer to five minute autonomous flight from waypoints should do the trick. Jamming GPS signals is illegal.
AliciaRussell
This is good news and bad news. The good news is that there is now something that the media can point an and say "See, there is a cure for the "DRONE" problem", and the worry-warts have piece of mind and a false sense of security for only $1.2 Million thus deflecting the heat off the hobbyist, if only for a while until Billy posts a video on YouTube of his neighbor's rose bush without permission. Bad news is that it is almost laughable as to how easy and how many ways a $1.2 Million piece of ordnance can be circumvented.
Jay_Wilson
One AUDS costs $1,200,000 and takes 15 seconds to disable a <$1k drone. How many will it take to stop a swarm of drones flying low coming from all directions? How may will need to be deployed to guard every potential target? Have fun while you can. I have the feeling the future will not be (hobby) drone-friendly.
alcalde
@Freyr Gunnar: "For that money, how many teachers or nurses can we hire for one year?" How effective will those teachers or nurses be at knocking drones out of the sky?