Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.
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50 unmanned systems inside February/March 2017 Photos and Illustrations courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz F rom simple videography to applications of inspection of critical infrastructure, drone technology has become both a pastime for the avid hobbyist and an essential tool for the business entrepreneur. With some estimates at well more than 300,000 drones sold world- wide every month, the commercial sales for drones is expected to reach nearly $10 billion globally by 2025. Due to the wide scale and relatively low cost availability of drone technology, we must also be concerned about the threat this technology can Postprocessing Generation of Evidence Countermeasures Open Interfaces, Extendable Threat Library Situational Awareness Early Warning Customizable Interoperable Signal Disruption Detection, identification, direction finding Data Recording Figure 1: Gives a workflow for consideration and forms the framework for this article on the challenge to address detecting possible threats from drones. » CHALLENGES of DETECTING THREATS from DRONES ENGINEERING » DRONE TECHNOLOGY sponsored by ROHDE & SCHWARZ Radio-controlled drones have quickly caught the imagination of the general public and entrepreneurs who imagined many peaceful uses for them. enable when incorporated into the weapons ar- senal of terrorists and others acting with crimi- nal intent. The challenge of protecting against these threats and the asymmetric damage that can be done by these devices must be considered. Relatively small, radio-controlled aircraft have the ability to breach security fences or police cordons simply by f lying over them. Its mission might be the delivery of weapons that endanger large numbers of people by employ- ing chemical, explosive, biological or incendi- ary agents. Other scenarios include traffick- ing of drugs, weapons or money; disrupting aircraft at airports; jamming of GPS signals at critical infrastructure sites and a variety of uses related to industrial espionage. Stopping a drone is not triv ial–particu- larly when the safety of the general public is a high priority. Early countermeasures have fallen short. Visual and sound detection can be subject to impaired performance and er- rors from environmental interference. To be effective, detection systems must pro- vide a high level of sensitivity, give an early warning, and create no false alarms. A com- plete countermeasure system also requires a safe, reliable means of stopping the threat. Early technologies include drone catchers, laser weapons, and even high-energy EMP (electromagnetic pulse) effectors. Although these countermeasures can be useful in some scenarios, they fall short in other ways. Most technologies intended to destroy drones, for