Three British companies, Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems, have developed an anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS) and through their North American manufacturing and integration partner, Liteye Systems, have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) with the FAA. The technology is capable of identifying and disabling UAVs or drones operating within airport UAV exclusion zones.
According to Mark Radford on behalf of the AUDS team, “The trials confirmed that our production system was able to detect, track, disrupt and defeat a wide range of micro, mini and larger UAVs or drones—even on unscripted sorties. AUDS is able to operate effectively in complex airport environments, night and day, whatever the weather, and without disrupting other airport equipment. Using AUDS, the operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter.”
In a period of between 8 and 15 seconds and through electronic scanning radar, AUDS can detect the presence of a drone up to 6 miles (10km) distant while tracking it using infrared and daylight cameras. Consequent to that, it can then block the signals controlling the drone. Aside from the safety aspect, where prosecution is concerned, the system can be used to help airports trace transgressing UAV pilots thought the provision of video footage and radar tracks.
So far the AUDS has been tested for over 400 hours in government-related trials, though it is one of three options being considered by the FAA as part of its Pathfinder Program to explore the technologies available for the identification of UAVs that fly too close to airports. Currently the FAA receives over 100 reports of UAVs flying too close to either an aircraft or airport from pilots alone.
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