Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2019

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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60   June/July 2019 unmanned systems inside COUNTER-UAS: Analysis, Tracking, Jamming, Elimination FROM GATWICK TO NEWARK, POSSIBLE DRONE INCURSIONS have created near-chaos. What can be done about them? This synopsis of Inside Unmanned Systems' debut "Drone Beat" podcast series captures a contending range of C–UAS developments, from strengths to limits. Hosted by Major General James Poss (Ret.), CEO of ISR Ideas consulting, and Shawn Bul- lard, president of Duetto Group government relations strate- gists, this wrap-up spotlights the latest C-UAS insights from a roster of expert special guests. THE THREAT ISIS is many things, and one of them in- volves a claim to being the father of the bad-actor drone threat. Signif icantly modifying off-the-shelf sUAS and incor- porating GPS, the militant group began delivering precision-accurate grenades on top of Iraqi forces clearing explosives from recaptured territory. "Not only did the guys have a hard time with clearing the IEDs that are in the ground, they had to worry about the ones falling from the sky," recalled Dan Johnson of Oracle, formerly a small UAS analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. Peak activity ran from 2015-17. How often did ISIS drones strike? "Dozens of times." Johnson, who also logged 30 years of ISR (intelligence, surveillance and recon- naissance) experience with the U.S. Air Force, went on to cite a worldwide rogue's gallery of drone threats. In Mexico, car- tels so vigorously followed the training of the Marines tasked with taking them out that those troops were forced to establish counter-drone capability. Last August t wo commercia l drones of uncer tain ownership detonated explosives during a speech by controversial Venezuelan presi- dent Nicolas Maduro. A Russian "suicide drone," Johnson reported, can f ly at 80 mph with a 6-lb charge for up to 30 min- utes. And while payload restrictions min- imize drug smuggling itself, drones have been used to surveil the authorities, and to drop escape tools into penitentiaries. "The ability to determine between friend and foe—it's a huge concern right now," Johnson said. Last December's reported drone incur- sion at London's Gatwick Airport took wariness to a new level. Gatwick: "I called it out as an act of terrorism," said Geoff by ABE PECK, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Photos courtesy of Gryphon Sensors. Pugh, UK general manager for Consortiq Limited, a training consultancy and soft- ware organization in the small-drone space. "They disrupted the second-busiest airport in the UK. It affected over 140,000 passengers over a three-day period. A can- cellation of 1,000 f lights." An estimated bill "in the tens of millions." Pugh, who has an extensive background in military air traffic control, noted the potential for a coordinated attack affect- ing a number of big European hubs. In that case, "we could have been talking about a very serious aviation incident." Agencies have not been "asleep at the rotor." Forty-two states have their own counter-UAS enforcement and regulations. Rewritten federal standards now cover "emerging disruptive technologies," in- cluding sUAS. And in December, President Trump signed the "National Strategy for Aviation Security." Ironically, drone advantages can con- tain rea l r isk. " The drone industr y is focusing really heavily on ease of use of these platforms," Pugh said, "so some- one untrained can intuitively learn and understand how to use that technology." Consor tiq CEO Paul R igby echoed his concern, "You're bringing air force ca- pability to your average person, off the shelf. It can cause untold harm and dis- ruption to any number of people." TRACKING THE THREAT So, what are some technical solutions that enable identification and tracking of a UAS with hostile intent? Rohde & Schwarz' customer base ranges across defense, intellectual property pro- tection and power plant security. Its ap- proach to drone detection involves refer- encing RF frequencies from 20 megs to 6

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