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Many defence experts are worried about the increasing prevalence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and their potential to be used for spying or terrorist activity. Defence manufacturer Airbus is not content to merely worry and has developed a system to counter this emerging threat.
“All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to critical installations such as factories, airports or nuclear plants,” Thomas Müller, head of Electronics and Border Security at Airbus Defence and Space, said. “As a specialist in defense electronics, we have all the technologies in our portfolio and the integration knowledge which are needed to set up a quick-response protection system with extremely low false alarm rates.”
Airbus unveiled the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It apparently combines multiple-source sensor data, which undergoes fusion and analysis, for effective use of built-in jamming technology.
The system is equipped with infrared cameras and direction finders that can pinpoint a UAV at distances as large as 10 km. Analytics software can determine whether this particular flying machine poses a credible threat, and if the UAV is considered dangerous, the system enables its jammer to break the data link between the machine and its operator or navigation system.
Additionally, the system is able to locate the position of the ground-based pilot, so law enforcement can be sent to apprehend the suspect. In the right conditions, the system can even take control over the UAV.
“Since the jamming technology contains versatile receiving and transmitting capabilities, more sophisticated measures like remote control classification and GPS spoofing can be utilized as well. This allows effective and specific jamming and, therefore, a takeover of the UAV,” the company said.
Operational systems should be available mid-2016.