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The low altitude flight and small size of small drones make them hard to track. Therefore they have become an increasing threat to militaries, security forces, and critical infrastructures such as airports.

Obsidian, a new counter-drone technology by Qinetiq, uses low-cost 3D radar to track and discern between threats so they can be either engaged if they present a risk, or ignored if they do not. 

Interested in learning more about counter-drone solutions? Attend the AUS&R Unmanned Systems and Robotics Conference and Exhibition on September 6, 2020

The technology for the system derives from the ALARM system used by the British Army to provide warning of impending aerial attacks, according to

The system can maintain tracking while a target is stationary or hovering by detecting the rotation of a small UAV’s rotor blades, reducing the chances of classifying another object as a drone.

According to the company website, their Palisade Surveillance Management System, a fielded multi-sensor software system providing an intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI), constitutes a cost-effective control-room solution requiring minimal manning. It assesses threat tracks from the Obsidian radar in real-time, classifies drones when detected, and automatically cross-cues the camera in 3D to accurately zoom onto the target of interest. Video clips are automatically tagged and alerts are automatically generated. 

Palisade employs advanced, patented tracking and fusion algorithms which turn raw sensor outputs into robust tracks and alerts. Intuitive, uncluttered displays enable operators to react to alerts with minimal effort.

The Obsidian system has already been deployed in a commercial capacity, and last October, Qinetiq began trials with the system in Canada.

Attend the AUS&R Unmanned Systems and Robotics Conference and Exhibition on September 6, 2020

Details and registration