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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61 June/July 2019  unmanned systems inside gigs. An expandable library identifies the drone type, and intersecting sensor sig- nals locate the controller geographically. "Not within a couple of inches, but we can give you the street corner the guy might be operating on," said David Sandler, an ISR system specialist with the company. RF detection has a low number of false positives, said Sandler, whose background is in electrical and computer engineering. And while RF systems can have difficulty detecting autonomous drones, Sandler noted that more than 90% of the market uses GPS or waypoint navigation. Cra ig Ma rchin kowsk i, d irec tor at Gryphon Sensors in North Syracuse, New York, identified issues around drone de- tection that his company's Skylight UTM System solution addresses. "Low, slow tar- gets are more challenging" than manned craft, while traditional radar calibrated for large aircraft fairly high may encounter issues with ground clutter and ref lections. "It's challenging to pull the signal you're looking for out of the noise." Consequently, Gryphon deploys multiple technologies—radar, cameras, spectrum sensing—to yield the highest probability of detection, the lowest number of false alarms and the earliest possible warning. The need for detection will only in- crease. "Long game here," Marchinkowski concluded. "And we have to keep getting better." JAMMING THE THREAT Luke Fox, CEO of WhiteFox Defense, seeks to stop rogue drones in a legal and safe manner by spoofing, controlling and removing them. "That comes by just cre- ating a system that's the highway patrol in the sky, helping to stop the clueless and the careless and those opportunistic criminals." In WhiteFox' case, that in- volves detecting and interdicting drones through the communications links be- tween them and their operators. "Our technology actually takes the origi- nal controller signal, blocks out the original Luke Fox, CEO, WhiteFox Defense ber north of 60. More than 50 people at the company have analyzed signals to under- stand threats and build libraries. "Ph.Ds all the way down to world-class hackers," Fox said. The WhiteFox solution—DroneFox— capitalizes on drones operating on bands that have no privacy expectation unless personal identif ication information is involved, as clarified by last year's FA A Reauthorization Act. The control-reroute- safely land cycle happens with the press of a button "in 0.6 seconds on average," Fox said. "So simply and so simplistically that people are like, 'Where's the explosion?' " Fox echoed the Consortiq spokepersons' view of drone simplicity as a double-edged sword. Some customers—especially those in the area of protecting business continu- ity—have never f lown drones before. "We teach them in 45 seconds. They say, 'Holy cow, this is so easy.' We say, 'That's exactly the problem.' " "KINETIC SYSTEMS HAVE A PLACE. Shooting projectiles, chasing it down, shooting a net at it, all of those things have a place. But not in the urban environment, not in airspace where you are going to cause more disruption." LEFT: The Gryphon R1410 AESA 3-D radar system detects surface and air targets for surveillance of borders, coastlines, critical infrastructure and airspace. RIGHT: The Skylight ® interior gives operators a clear airspace picture across multiple screens. sponsored by pilot and then reroutes the drone and safely lands it," Fox explained. "It's effective against dozens of swarm drones at a given time." The San Luis Obispo, California, com- pany's approach is based on using artifi- cial intelligence to understand the main drone-communication languages—about six—and the variants that take that num-

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