The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected the world’s first fully integrated detect-track-disrupt-defeat Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) for evaluation at US airports as part of its Pathfinder Programme. Developed by a trio of British companies – including Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems, and integrated/supported in North America by Liteye Systems Inc. – AUDS is a counter-UAV system that can detect, track, disrupt and defeat a drone within seconds.
The AUDS counter-UAV system can detect a drone six miles (10km) away using electronic scanning radar, track it using precision infrared and daylight cameras and specialist video tracking software before disrupting the flight using an inhibitor to block the radio signals that control it. This detect, track, disrupt, defeat process is very quick and typically takes 8-15 secs. The AUDS team has now carried out over 400 hours of ‘live’ testing in government related trials against more than 400 flown sorties of group 1 UAVs.
Mark Radford, speaking for the AUDS team, said, “We are delighted to have been selected for this strategic counter-UAS programme through Liteye. The FAA contacted our team following the success of AUDS at US Government sponsored counter UAV trials at the end of 2015. These trials confirmed that our production system was able to detect, track, disrupt and defeat a wide range of micro, mini and larger unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) 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, and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter.”
The AUDS system is designed for countering drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in remote border areas, at key infrastructure sites such as airports, air fields, nuclear power stations, oil refineries or for protecting political or sporting events in urban areas. It can be operated from fixed locations and from mobile platforms.
I don’t know whether it is that very British brown or the three posts to transmit invisible beams, but the expression “bad-ass” comes to mind. It is interesting to consider these techniques and capabilities (radar, force down an aircraft) in the context of the conundrum posed by The Economist which addresses statutes against these same things.
When one looks at the list of use cases in the press release, it is clear that providing this type of weapon will be a very big business.