Airbus and Dedrone will work on long-range sensors and jamming technologies to take out ‘illegal’ drone pilots
With drone-related incidents near airports and at public events like football matches on the rise, aerospace manufacturer Airbus has partnered with an anti-drone company to design technology that ‘protects’ lower airspaces from small, consumer UAVs.
San Francisco-based Dedrone, which sells drone detection technology, will work with the border security division of Airbus to design systems that can defend against unauthorised entry of drones into low-altitude airspaces.
Dedrone already makes drone detection technology in the form of multi-sensor platforms to protect prisons, sports events, private properties and airports from illegal drone pilots.
Dedrone’s anti-drone software and hardware is called DroneTracker, and the company says it is already in service in sports stadiums like New York’s Citi Field. DroneTracker uses visual and acoustic sensors, combined with frequency scanners, to detect drones and alert authorities. Now, with Airbus jamming technology, Dedrone can automatically engage ‘defense mechanisms’ and detect low-flying drones from up to six miles away.
“All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to major events or critical installations such as airports,” said Thomas Müller, managing director of Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security (EBS).
“By pooling the capabilities of Airbus, with our long-range radar and jamming functions, and those of Dedrone, with their market-leading multi-sensor platform, we have a wide deployment range covering both urban and rural areas.”
Airbus’ jamming signals claim to only block the frequencies used by the drone operator, leaving other frequencies in the area operational. The Counter-UAV System has been tested at Airbus Defence and Space’s own facility and during customer presentations in Germany and France, and the two companies said an operational system should be available by the end of 2016.
Dedrone’s CEO Jörg Lamprecht said: “Small drones have until now conquered lower airspace as criminals discovered this technology for smuggling, espionage and terrorist attacks.
“We offer an effective solution for this new threat that secures lower airspace once again. Airbus’ and our systems complement each other perfectly, and combine early detection of drones in near and far fields with the ability to initiate effective countermeasures automatically.”