As part of its Pathfinder Program, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) detect-track-disrupt-defeat system from a trio of British companies for evaluation at U.S. airports.
The Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) was developed by Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems. The FAA has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with Liteye Systems, the AUDS team’s manufacturing and integration partner in North America, to test AUDS at airports selected by the FAA.
According to the companies, the counter-UAV system can detect a drone six miles away by using electronic scanning radar. It can then track the UAV by using precision infrared, daylight cameras and video-tracking software before disrupting the flight using an inhibitor to block the radio signals that control it. The companies say the process typically takes 8-15 seconds.
“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, speaking for AUDS. “Using AUDS, the operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter.
“The system can also assist airport authorities to track down the UAV pilots for prosecution by providing evidence – video footage or radar tracks – to the relevant authorities. We can also integrate friendly assets into the AUDS platform – for example, a friendly drone – to extend the threat detection and situational awareness capabilities of the system and to help capture rogue drone pilots.”
The AUDS system is designed for countering UAVs in remote border areas; at key infrastructure sites such as airports, airfields, nuclear power stations or oil refineries; or at political or sporting events. It can be operated from fixed locations and from mobile platforms.