European UAV manufacturer Aerialtronics has been working with the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) to develop the Interceptor, a system aimed at protecting the public from potential threats resulting from the unlawful use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
The move comes as the government recognises that inexpensive remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), more commonly referred to as drones, can be misused by rogue operators to threaten public order and perform a host of illegal activities such as smuggling. Only this week, a small consumer drone crashed into a tree on the South Lawn as it flew undetected into the grounds of the White House in Washington, USA. This incident could have had catastrophic consequences, raising questions about whether small UAS can be effectively detected and brought down in case of risk.
To combat this, the Dutch National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism — NCTb (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding) — in cooperation with the police, has started the Interceptor development programme and invited companies to submit proposals. The Interceptor system — intelligent and efficient RPAS concept and product against unwanted RPAS — will use drones to perform the interceptor role against other drones creating a potential hazard for public security.
The system will be equipped with means to:
- Pursue a menacing drone;
- Bring it to the ground in a controlled way;
- Render it harmless (while still in the air).
The Interceptor system is likely to be deployed as a mobile as well as fixed system. The mobile deployment is an essential move, given the current market development in the drones sector.
Thanks to the built-in scalability of its countermeasures, the Interceptor will be able to tailor its response according to the situation and threat levels. The first phase of this project will consist of a feasibility study aimed at drafting the requirements and characteristics of the desired system.
Aerialtronics is an international manufacturer of state of the art, high quality unmanned aircraft systems for civilian purposes. The company provides full aerial data solutions to a variety of applications worldwide. Aerialtronics’ systems are designed and developed in-house according to aviation grade quality standards.
Source: Press Release