A trio of British technology companies comprising Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems – leaders in their respective fields – have combined forces to develop a powerful, highly effective and fully integrated Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) to combat the growing threat of malicious micro, mini and larger unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) integrates the Blighter A400 Series Ku band electronic scanning air security radar, Chess Dynamics’ stabilised electro-optic director, infrared and daylight cameras and target tracking software, and a directional radio frequency (RF) inhibitor/jammer system from Enterprise Control Systems to detect, track, classify, disrupt and neutralise UAVs at ranges of up to 8km. The AUDS system is even effective against so-called Group 1 micro UAVs at ranges of up to 2km and Group 1 mini UAVs at ranges of several kms.
Mark Radford, CEO, Blighter Surveillance Systems, said: “We formed the all-British AUDS team in 2014 as we were each acutely aware of the urgent operational requirement from our customers for an effective and affordable anti-UAV system. Working in partnership, we have developed some clever technology (patents are pending) that integrates the different sensors, effector and electro-mechanical positioning systems to disrupt and bring down any malicious drone in a phased and controlled manner.”
According to the AUDS team, the technology has been extensively tested in South Korea along the 250km demilitarised zone (DMZ), where Blighter radars have been deployed for some years. In March 2015, the AUDS team took part in multi-supplier French Government trials in Captieux, France, where its counter UAV system proved highly successful in detecting and neutralising a variety of fixed and rotary wing micro, compact and standard UAVs. And last week, the system also performed well in UK Government sponsored counter UAV trials (known as Bristow 15) in West Freugh, Scotland.
The AUDS system is designed for counter UAV operations in remote border sites or urban areas. It can be operated from fixed locations and from mobile platforms. Key features and benefits include:
– Fully electronic scanning radar technology with Doppler processing allowing all weather, 24-hour detection of both fast and slow moving micro and mini UAV targets with unsurpassed ground clutter suppression for near horizon operation;
– Highly accurate stabilised pan and tilt director combined with the very latest electro-optic infrared day and night cameras and state-of-the-art digital video tracking technology to automatically track the UAV and classify the target;
Colin Bullock, CEO, Enterprise Control Systems, said: “We believe that with the combination of our three systems – best-in-class expertise in radar detection, camera & video tracking and RF jamming & data communications – we have a world-beating product that competes even with systems based around expensive military 3-D air security radars. And, AUDS is available at commercial (COTS) prices right now.”
With incidents of UAV and drone related security breaches occurring on an almost daily basis, the AUDS system is able to address the heightened concern about UAVs within military, government, critical infrastructure and commercial security organisations. While UAVs have many positive applications, it’s expected that they’ll be used increasingly for malicious purposes – they can carry cameras, weapons, toxic chemicals and explosives – and be used increasingly for terrorism, espionage and smuggling purposes.
Graham Beall, managing director, Chess Dynamics, said: “This is truly an exciting collaboration – three British high-tech companies with different technologies and expertise working together to address the global problem of UAV detection. Our new invention is a complete smart sensor and effector package that can automatically detect, track, classify and when required neutralise the potential impact of malicious UAVs with a measured response. These three fully integrated technologies give AUDS a truly optimised Sensor Effector Mix.”
Blighter Surveillance Systems is an electronic-scanning radar and sensor solution provider delivering an integrated multi-sensor package to systems integrators comprising the Blighter electronic-scanning radars, cameras, thermal imagers, trackers and software solutions. Blighter radars combine patented solid-state Passive Electronic Scanning Array (PESA) technology – utilising digital beamforming (DBF) on transmit and receive – with advanced Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) and Doppler processing to provide a robust and persistent surveillance capability and an unmatched combination of high reliability, accuracy and performance with a low cost of ownership. Products are manufactured under a BS EN ISO 9001:2008 certified management system. Blighter Surveillance Systems is a Plextek Group company, a leading British design house and technology innovator, and is based at Great Chesterford on the outskirts of Cambridge, England.
Chess Dynamics is an entirely UK owned British company providing end to end electro-optic solutions. Its platforms and cameras are in service with military forces around the world. The Hawkeye electro-optic surveillance system (Hawkeye EOSS), at the heart of AUDS, combines the combat proven COBRA pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) dual axis stabilised positioner, a cooled or uncooled IR camera with Chess Dynamics’ advanced Piranha 46 daylight camera along with our own high performance digital video tracking and Graphical User Interface (GUI) software. This surveillance system is in service with the Royal Navy and the British Army and has been used on operations in Afghanistan. Chess Dynamics’ products and EO systems are manufactured on site to BS ES ISO 9001:2008, MIL-STD-461 and 810C. Chess Dynamics is based in Horsham, West Sussex.
For over 25 years Enterprise Control Systems Ltd (ECS) has been supplying mission critical RF inhibition systems and surveillance data links in support of security services around the world. ECS is a proven and trusted British supplier to the UK MoD, the UK Police and to specialist military and government users in over 40 other countries. ECS designs and produces a range of programmable jammers (RF Inhibitors) to counter a variety of threats. ECS understands the complex integration necessary between equipment performance, training, tactics, techniques and threat assessment needed to achieve optimum user capability in demanding and dynamic situations. ECS also designs and produces specialist COFDM data links optimised for use in high level military and security domains. ECS data links are fully secured (encrypted), optimised for long range performance and are designed to be robust in complex RF environments. ECS brings together their expertise in data link technology and RF Inhibition to provide a highly effective RF Disruptor for AUDS. ECS is based in Wappenham, Northamptonshire in the UK.