The UK’s Chess Dynamics has developed an automated drone protection systems specifically for use at airports. Based on the military Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) AUDS, installed by Chess at London Gatwick Airport following the sustained drone attack in December 2018 which closed the airport, “the new scalable systems have been developed specifically to offer protection within the airport perimeter and flightpath for up to 10km from the runway,” says the company.
Graham Beall, Managing Director of the Chess Group, said: “The recent high profile drone attacks at international airports highlighted the urgent requirement for effective counter-drone technologies that meet the specific needs of airports to ensure public safety, and reduce the risk of costly operational downtime when suspected attacks occur.”
Based on two elements – AirGuard – protecting the airport perimeter, and AirShield – protecting the flightpath, the systems are configured to the specific requirements and desired level of security of each installation. Both systems are aimed at providing fully automated detection and alert to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) presence to minimise resource required, and significantly reduce the risk of error and security response delay.
AirGuard offers a 3D detection and protection ‘bubble’ around the perimeter of the airport. Incorporating multiple sensors including radar, acoustic sensors, radio frequency (RF) direction-finders and electro-optical (EO) video tracking technology, the system automatically detects and tracks airborne objects and flags an alert to the operator. Using real-time analysis of the camera output, the operator can classify the threat and use a simple system to respond to an emerging situation, escalating or downgrading the security threat as required. It also allows the operators to provide necessary security agencies with accurate information, including recorded video evidence for future prosecution purposes, whilst minimising potential disruption from false alarms.
AirShield offers Air Traffic Control (ATC) operations an automated UAV detection and alert solution to maximise protection of the flightpath up to 10km from the runway, enabling rapid decisions to be made, including ordering aircraft to divert their course, should a threat be identified.
Installed as a completely self-contained and stand-alone 3D radar electro-optic solution, the system can be fully integrated into existing ATC infrastructure. It is capable of auto-alerting operators of using radar detection and automatically enables real-time tracking and classification using multi-spectrum electro-optical video capability. The system is able to provide ATC with fast and accurate location, flight velocity and bearing data until the point where the UAV is no longer a danger to aircraft.