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In recent years, Singapore has been showing a deep interest in the drone business, and more specifically drone detection. The country has acquired an advanced radar system which is able to detect and track even small consumer drones within a radius of 5km. The counter-drone detection system, Gamekeeper, has been installed near the Singapore Flyer, a giant Ferris wheel.

Made by radar technology company Aveillant, the system was sold in February to ST Electronics (Satcom & Sensor Systems).

According to todayonline,com, Singapore is the systems’ “second installation in major urban environments”, after Monaco. France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport is the third location to have installed the system. The system is designed to detect, track and classify targets the size of a small consumer drone.

Unlike a traditional radar system that scans an area, the Gamekeeper continuously gathers 3D positions and motion information of every object detected, according to a statement on Aveillant’s website. A computer, through complex algorithms, will then distinguish targets of interest from the “background clutter” and classify them either as Unmanned Air Systems or other targets, such as birds.

In Singapore, permits are required to fly unmanned systems that weigh more than 7kg. Users of lighter drones must seek approval to operate them for business purposes or within restricted zones. For this year’s National Day Parade, a temporary restricted area has been established around the Marina Bay Floating Platform and its surrounding areas.

This is to “ensure the safety of low-level aircraft rehearsing for and participating in the aerial fly past for National Day Parade 2017”, parade organisers said.

Last year, the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix established a similar temporary restricted area to prevent unauthorised flying of unmanned aircraft like drones and other aerial activities. This was to allow low-level helicopter flights for aerial broadcast. Anyone found to be carrying out unauthorised aerial activities in a temporary restricted area can be fined up to 14,500$ in the first instance. In subsequent instances, they may be fined up to 29,000$ and/or jailed for up to 15 months, according to advisories issued.