There’s a lot of options out there these days for countering insurgent drones, but none of them until now providing the ability to detect small drones using a radar detection system that operates in a 3D, full dome, says perimater protection company SpotterRF.
As aerial threats such as the drone attack on Venezuelan President, Maduro, become an increasingly real threat, numerous drone jamming and counter-drone systems are being developed.
Often these counter-drone systems, which are also being deployed to tackle problems such as illegal drone deliveries to prisons or for drone espionage of critical and sensitive locations, are inherently limited in their capabilities.
“Optical and thermal sensors don’t have large enough fields of view to detect targets in the sky. Additionally, they are affected by daily weather conditions, further reducing detection probability. Acoustic sensors are prone to noise pollution and are not able to provide precise tracking of targets”
They can be limited in range, often only able to detect several hundred feet out. Radio transmission detection systems are typically limited to known frequencies and cannot detect sUAS that are not being actively controlled by an RF signal.”
Other radar systems range from large rotating radars with limited vertical coverage leaving large gaps above the radar, to systems that require many different radar panels to be used simultaneously increasing the complexity and the cost,” the company states in a press release.
SpotterRF’s response to such shortcomings has been to create the 3D-500, a radar detection system that monitors a full dome area, from 0 to 90 degrees vertically to 360 degrees in the horizontal plane.
The system, which weighs in at less than 6kg and includes a long-range optical/thermal camera and optional RF jammer, can cover an impressive 500m wide radius, with no gaps in coverage, providing an impenetrable, complete, counter-drone solution.
How does it work? SpotterRF says the system is deceptively simple to use.
Upon setting up the 3D-500 in the centre of the area requiring protection from insurgent drones, the 3D radar goes into action; if any drone enters the area, it is then tracked by the built-in PTZ camera and an alarm triggered to the operator who can see the threat in real-time via their screen.
As soon as the threat is noted by the operator, a decision can be made to to activate a directional RF jammer.
The directional RF jammer then sends the drone back to its pilot, allowing tracking of the perpetrator.
If no operator is able to actively monitor drone threats, the 3D-500 can be set to automatically apply ‘threat mitigation protocols’.
There are other 3D counter-drone solutions on the market – Kongsberg Geospatial’s Argus CUAS and Qinteiq’s Obsidian, for example, but SpotterRF are sure they’ve got it pegged – with lower power usage, imperviance to inclement weather as well as ability to track threats in all 3 dimensions, the company says it is “perfect for protecting assets and personnel from the growing threat of drones.”
“This solution is unique in the industry in nearly every aspect,” says SpotterRF.