Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security (EBS) and Dedrone, a San Francisco-based developer of a civilian drone-detection system, recently concluded a cooperation agreement to combine their skills to protect lower airspace from small drones.
The partners intend to jointly offer drones defense systems that can reliably detect and defend against the unauthorized entry of drones in critical airspaces.
“All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to major events or critical installations such as airports,” says Thomas Müller, managing director of Airbus DS EBS.
The drone defense system from Airbus and Dedrone uses different sensors – cameras, radars, microphones and directional scanners – that, when combined, can secure the airspace from up to 10 kilometers away.
According to the companies, the information is merged with advanced data fusion and signal analysis technologies; the result is compared to a comprehensive database of drone patterns and signatures, along with real-time analysis of the control signal. When connected to a jammer, communication between the drone and the pilot can be interrupted, and navigation disturbed to repel or disable the drone. Additionally, the location of the pilot can be determined for further investigation.
Thanks to the “smart responsive jamming technology” developed by Airbus DS EBS, the jamming signals block only the frequencies used to operate the drone, but other frequencies in the vicinity remain operational.
Dedrone developed DroneTracker, a drone warning system that is already commercially available and is being deployed in places such as prisons and stadiums. The company recently received $10 million in funding, led by Menlo Ventures.
Mounted on facades, DroneTracker recognizes flying drones by using various visual and acoustic sensors and frequency scanners. Detected signals such as noise, movement patterns, silhouette and frequencies are processed and evaluated by Dedrone software. DroneTracker can identify drones in a radius up to 1 kilometer and alerts security forces.
The companies say the joint counter-UAV system has been tested extensively at Airbus Defence and Space’s own facility and at customer presentations in Germany and France. Depending on the configuration required, an operational system could be available as soon as the end of 2016.