Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2018

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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65 April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside Already in phase one, geofencing is referenced, so UAVs are in it from the beginning. By phase four, which is 2030 and beyond, we get full integra- tion of UAVs into existing air traffic management." MOVING ON Crossing back to Nuremberg, we spoke to Julia Gonschorek, who is a project manager and research fellow at Germany's inf luential European Aviation Security Center (EASC). She said, "As far as I know the [EU RPAS] regulation will come. But we are not so sure about when exactly it would start in Germany. Not before 2025-2030, in any case, because even if the Union ac- cepts it, passes it, then Germany still has to decide for itself. We still have to design our own rules, our own law, and the law enforcement aspects have to be finished with the SESAR regulations as well." So, meanwhile, the industry will simply continue to move for ward without the EU regulation? "Yes, that's right," Gonschorek said. Has the EU RPAS regulation initia- tive been an exercise in futility? Will it have any relevance in 2030? Many are already looking for other solutions, possibly to be provided by a group like JARUS, the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems. This is a global assembly of national aviation authorities aiming, like the EU, to recommend a single set of tech- nical, safety and operational require- ments for drones. Time will tell who gets there first. Wherever the legal wrangling leads, one thing is certain, the rate at which drones are being put into service is not going to decrease. Drones represent a huge potential for innovation and busi- ness opportunities, and the majority of these systems are providing or will provide valuable and beneficial servic- es. And then, conversely, in the wrong hands, they will also pose a real threat. BRINGING THEM DOWN At the Nuremberg show, we met Johannes Petz, sales director, counter UAV, for German company Hensoldt. He introduced us to Xpeller. "It's not just a jammer," he said. "It's a portable, counter-UAV system, equipped with a jammer but also a re- ceiving part. It has an RF detector for picking up the drone signal, either the remote control or the video downlink. It gives out an alert, so it vibrates, and we get some information via head- phones. Then you can switch on the jammer." B u t a r e n' t j a m m e r s i l l e g a l? "Jamming, per se, is not illegal [in Germany]," Petz said, "but there are some very tough restrictions. It's al- lowed for some police services, like in certain scenarios if there's a threat to life, or for example if a political VIP visits Berlin, then it's a different story. If you want to protect such an event, police or institutional users with the respective mandate are allowed to do so. But for private companies, for pri- vate persons, for sure it's not allowed." The relevant authority in Germany is the 'Bundesnetzagentur'. "It's like the FCC in the US," Petz said. "You have to contact them, explain your purpose, and you may be given permission to use a jammer for a specific period of time. I believe this is the way it works in most countries. "So we can install Xpeller at a fixed site, or integrated into a vehicle," Petz "THE ONE YOU SEE ABOVE YOU RIGHT NOW IS ACTUALLY JUST FOR DEMONSTRATION; IT'S ABOUT ONE-THIRD THE SIZE OF THE ACTUAL OPERATIONAL SHIP." Michael Rappsilber Airbus system and test engineer said. "And over here you can see the portable version [indicating a man- nequin in military garb, fitted with various antennae and other electronic gizmos]. This here is more for mili- tary guys, where they don't care about the collateral effects of jamming. Of course we can also reduce these side effects by making the signal very di- rected, or limiting it to only a short period of time, and we can also tweak the output power a little bit. "We just had our jammers installed at an airport for a test we wanted to run, like a pilot project, and we were able to modify our jammers in such a way that the German FCC allowed us to do our testing." There were many other examples of new drone-related ideas, prod- ucts and services across the events in Munich and Nuremberg. Clearly the growing number of possible applica- tions is also bringing new questions about safety, where and when they can be f lown, and how to deal with rogues, all of which means, if nothing else, that there remains a lot of work to be done by all concerned. Which is good news for all concerned.

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