The rising threat of small, unmanned drones near airports is becoming increasingly important to the US.
Now a UK-developed system capable of jamming signals on UAVs is going to be trialed by the US aviation authority.
The system uses high powered radio waves to disable drones, effectively blocking their communication and switching them off in midair.
Three British companies developed the Anti-UAV Defense System (Auds), which is due to be included in new trials by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is expanding efforts to source technology that can detect small, unmanned aerial vehicles near airports.
‘Sometimes people fly drones in an unsafe manner,’ said Marke ‘Hoot’ Gibson, an FAA senior adviser.
‘Government and industry share responsibility for keeping the skies safe, and we’re pleased these three companies have taken on this important challenge.’
The FAA has not yet replied to MailOnline about which airports will use the system and when the trials will begin.
Auds was designed by Enterprise Control Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems and Chess Dynamics.
It is designed for countering drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in remote border areas, at key infrastructure sites such as airports, air fields, nuclear power stations, oil refineries or for protecting political or sporting events in urban areas.
Mark Radford, speaking for the Auds team, said, ‘We are delighted to have been selected for this strategic counter-UAS programme through Liteye.
‘The FAA contacted our team following the success of AUDS at US Government sponsored counter UAV trials at the end of 2015.
‘These trials confirmed that our production system was able to detect, track, disrupt and defeat a wide range of micro, mini and larger unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones – even on unscripted sorties.’
Auds can detect a drone six miles (10km) away using electronic scanning radar, track it using precision infrared and daylight cameras and specialist video tracking software before disrupting the flight using an inhibitor to block the radio signals that control it.
This detect, track, disrupt, defeat process is very quick and typically takes 8-15 secs.
The Auds team has now carried out over 400 hours of ‘live’ testing in government related trials against more than 400 flown sorties of group 1 UAVs.
‘Auds is able to operate effectively in complex airport environments night and day whatever the weather and without disrupting other airport equipment,’ added Mark Radford.
‘Using Auds, the operator can effectively take control of a drone and force a safe landing inside or outside the airport perimeter.
‘The system can also assist airport authorities to track down the UAV pilots for prosecution by providing evidence (video footage or radar tracks) to the relevant authorities.’
The technology will be tested at several airports to be selected by the FAA.
Two other firms – Gryphon Sensors LLC and Sensofusion, both US-based – will also take part.
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