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A counter- system can be used to detect, track, mitigate or classify a small (S ). The use of S s for both legitimate and unauthorized purposes is on the rise, leading to a flurry of campaigns and new regulations from the FAA in recent years. There are already quite a few counter- systems in the market, now the question is which one best suits the needs of emergency responders. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a guide identifying 13 counter-unmanned aerial systems.
NUSTL’s (National Urban Security Technology Laboratory) SAVER program has conducted the market survey of counter-unmanned aerial systems to assist emergency responders in identifying useful products. The SAVER program was devised to help emergency responders making procurement decisions.
The guide states that most of the S-related incidents reported to law enforcement involve the unintentional misuse of S , and pose safety rather than security risks. The products described in the market survey offer responders the ability to track and/or mitigate S that could pose a threat to public safety and critical infrastructure, according to hstoday.us.
The 13 systems vary hugely in price, ranging from $7,500 to $1.9 million. At the top end of the scale is an anti- defense system from Liteye Systems, which consists of a radar sensor, EO suite and a directional RF inhibitor. It can detect, track, classify and mitigate S by selectively interfering with its C2 channels. It can be attached to a vehicle, or the stationary variant can be set-up on a mast, and it includes a thermal camera and a video tracker.
Closely behind the Liteye C-, in price terms, is the Sky Tracker from CACI international, a fixed system that can cover large areas by networking several systems together. The Sky Tracker, which costs $1.5 million, uses proprietary algorithms to track and classify S . The system’s RF jammer can emulate S signals to hijack the command and control system, preventing it communicating with the pilot on the ground.
For first responders who are looking for C- that detect and classify, but don’t mitigate S , the study outlines the features of the Elvira from Robin Radar Systems and the X from Spotter RF.
The least expensive product surveyed is the Excipio Net Gun, from Theiss Solutions and Carolina Unmanned Vehicles, at just $7.5 k. It is used solely for mitigating S , which it does by launching a net to either ensnare the S or launch it to another location.
The report concludes by pointing out that responders need to be aware of laws that might prohibit the use of certain C- features in their jurisdictions when making procurement decisions.