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One of the challenges faced by anti-UAV technology is how to neutralize threats when they emerge, with civil infrastructure like airports having restrictions that would not be seen in the military space.

The counter-UAV (C-UAV) Hologard system operated at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport is expected to be fully qualified and operational by year-end.

There are two operational requirements for Hologarde, the first is airport safety: protecting aircraft during approach, landing, and takeoff. The second is security: the protection of airport infrastructure. The aim is to secure Charles de Gaulle (and any future customers) from both the accidental intrusion of UAVs, as well as from an intentional attack (from a terrorist organization, for example).

The Gamekeeper radar can provide surveillance of the entire external area of the airport including airport buildings and terminals. The Hologarde project consists of Thales, DSNA (the French Civil Aviation Authority), and ADP Group, a major operator of French airports. Thales became involved in the project through its acquisition last year of Aveillant, the British producer of the Gamekeeper drone detection radar, a key component of Hologarde.

Hologarde is being tested in the airport, while Thales is also carrying out work on the radar at its Brétigny/Orge facilities, near Paris, according to ainonline.com.

The Hologarde team is analyzing a number of potential approaches, including “hijacking” the drone’s navigation systems and forcing it to land. The company is also looking at the potential of using other UAVs as interceptors.

The success of such C-UAV systems is strongly linked to the broader area of unmanned traffic management (UTM). There will eventually come a time when UTM and UAVs, in general, have advanced to the point that there will be regular commercial traffic in the lower airspace; effective UTM systems will enable operators to “deconflict” authorized drones from platforms that pose a potential concern.