Drones

US airports to put drone-disabling system to the test

US airports to put drone-disab...
The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) is capable of picking out threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away
The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) is capable of picking out threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away
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The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) is capable of picking out threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away
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The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) is capable of picking out threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away
The US government is trialing a defense system that scans the area for unmanned drones before using radio beams to stop them in their tracks
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The US government is trialing a defense system that scans the area for unmanned drones before using radio beams to stop them in their tracks
Testing of the AUDS will start at airports selected by the FAA
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Testing of the AUDS will start at airports selected by the FAA
The developers of the AUDS has carried out more than 400 hours of testing
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The developers of the AUDS has carried out more than 400 hours of testing
The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) is capable of picking out threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away
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The Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) is capable of picking out threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away

There's a very good reason the airspace around airports is restricted. But the proliferation of consumer drones is making the job of policing these areas increasingly difficult and raising the prospect of these unmanned aircraft crashing into their commercial cousins. As part of its effort to stop drones flying too close to airports, the US government is trialing a defense system at select US airports that scans the area for unmanned drones before using radio beams to stop them in their tracks.

Called the Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS), the drone disabler to be trialed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is capable of detecting potential threats up to 6 mi (10 km) away through an electronic scanning radar. Once it identifies an incoming drone, it uses infrared and daylight cameras to track its flight path before firing a 4-watt directional beam at the craft to jam its radio signals.

This entire process takes between eight and 15 seconds, and provides neutralization options that include momentarily freezing the drone so the pilot thinks it has malfunctioned, initiating a forced landing and locking it up until the battery dies so it crashes to the ground. The developers of the AUDS have carried out more than 400 hours of testing and believe the technology is ready to come to the aid of drone-wary airport operators in the US.

"AUDS is able to operate effectively in complex airport environments night and day whatever the weather and without disrupting other airport equipment," says Mark Radford, spokesperson for the AUDS team. "Using AUDS, the operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter."

The US government is trialing a defense system that scans the area for unmanned drones before using radio beams to stop them in their tracks
The US government is trialing a defense system that scans the area for unmanned drones before using radio beams to stop them in their tracks

The system was developed by a group of British companies including Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems, and is being adapted for use in North America by Liteye Systems. Not only can it disable drones mid-flight, but could also help track down irresponsible pilots by providing authorities with evidence such as video footage or radar tracks.

The FAA says it receives more than 100 reports of drone sightings in the vicinity of airports and airplanes each month. The agency has been openly working towards preventing potential collisions between manned and unmanned aircraft since October last year, when it began testing another detection technology that could locate drones, but not disable them like the AUDS.

Testing of the AUDS will start at airports selected by the FAA, which will work with the companies behind the technology to assess its effectiveness and safety.

Source: Blighter Surveillance Systems, FAA

10 comments
Synchro
Right, because if there's one thing that's better than a drone in unauthorised airspace, it's an *out of control* drone in unauthorised airspace...
Martin Winlow
I've been saying this for as long as cars have had electronic ignition but, why can't the police use this technology to stop pursuits before the inevitable carnage ensues (day-time TV revenue aside)?
swaan
This is totally useless against drones that have pre-planned flight paths - they don't need radio to operate!
Grunt
So when they "stop it in its tracks", it presumably falls to the ground where it kills a passing pedestrian or scares the living daylights out of a driver with who knows what results. Yep, that sounds like a well thought out plan.
notfromthisplanet
They have to do something. Its only a matter of time before terrorists figure out how to bring down a plane with one of these and in that case the negatives of a crashing or out of control drone are acceptable. Drone swarms are also something the military must be considering as in; How do you defend an aircraft carrier against say 10,000 cheap drones with pre-programmed flight plans and evasive maneuvers? An EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) beam instead of a radio jammer might just be the ticket.
Stephen Mann
There's a reason the technology is being developed in other countries. Radio jammers are illegal in the U.S., even by law enforcement and federal agencies. It won't work anyway. There are more than 1000 different drone models made by 400 manufacturers and they don't all use the same communication and control protocols. The drone hysteria is out of control and anyone with a "solution" to the non-existent problem can get millions in venture capital. There are more than a million of these things flying and there is not a single verifiable report of a drone contacting a manned aircraft. Not one. Yes, the FAA gets drone sightings - and all that means is that someone saw something, so it must be a drone. The FAA drone database includes a drone in a tree, a drone in a person's driveway, a plastic bag in the wind. Stop the irrational fear of drones.
AliciaRussell
Yeah, what Stephen Mann said.
THY
Each and All drones over certain size and over certain travel distance should have an identifiable Software Serial Number inflexibly assigned so it is impossible to remove. All these drones should also require a visible “license plate” given to only those with a “drone drivers’ license”. Do something illegal, like entering a restricted zone: lose your license and your drone, and possibly go to jail. There have already been accidents of drones crashing with vehicles and there will be more every day. Another important fact is invasion of privacy: more and more drones are capable of carrying heavier objects and will be out of control very quickly disregarding if you live in a high-rise. Using heavy drones should be illegal everywhere except with a proper hard-to-get license.
artmez
Does that rule out any legitimate commercial uses of drones? Maybe, but I guess those won't use the same control interfaces as inexpensive "toy" drones. 2 or 3 years ago, Parrot demoed long range operation a 3G/4G interface. There's a YouTube video discussing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1VJ08xPNW0. So, WiFi's limitation can be avoided. This approach at controlling airspace against rogue drones assumes that a terrorist will use standard off-the-shelf commercial equipment. They will probably just use some unlicensed band with a high-power transmitter. Or the cell phone network. There are more workarounds than fixes. I guess this is just supposed to protect airports from simple minded idiots with drones.
JochairThijssen
a ntyide-effetcould be that this gun may stop any air traffic over the airfield