Ground-based UAV mitigation tech entering market

By Luke Geiver | October 15, 2015

Technology breakthroughs in the unmanned aircraft systems industry aren’t just happening through air-based applications. Lockheed Martin, the global security and aerospace entity, has unveiled a new ground-base system designed to detect and counter emerging threats from unmanned aircraft vehicles. The system—ICARUS—can detect, locate and mitigate an approaching UAV from its ground location. 

The system relies on data captured through imagery, acoustic and radio frequency sensors. According to Lockheed, the system can cancel out the UAVs cameras, disable flight or take control of the UAV to move it to a safe zone. 

“The U.S. government is seeing an increase in the use of commercially available UAS platforms for surveillance and weaponization,” said Deon Viergutz, vice president of cyber solutions for Lockheed Martin. The company has “developed in ICARUS a system that can detect, recognize and counteract these systems with pinpoint accuracy.” 

Battelle, a national research entity based in Ohio, has also entered the anti-UAS technology space. This month, Battelle announced the release of the trademarked DroneDefender, a portable, accurate, rapid-to-use counter-weapon to stop suspicious or hostile drones in flight. 

The point-and-shoot system features a 400 meter range. Battelle has designed the system to “repel undesirable UAS attention without doing damage to the UAS.” The system weighs less than 10 pounds and can be set-up in a fixed or portable scenario. The system’s operational time is roughly 10 minutes. 

Applicable frequencies that can be altered with the system include GPS and ISM bands. The physical apparatus has a 30 degree cone from which it can alter the flight path of the UAS. Battelle has demonstrated the system through field trials and features a demonstrational video in which a sUAV attempts to fly over a restricted, fenced area. Using the DroneDefender, a security agent points the system at the incoming UAV and slowly directs the drone to the ground using the system.