Insights into FAA ARC 383 on UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems

Echodyne recently posted a series of insights illuminating key aspects of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s recent Aviation Rulemaking Committee focused on UAS detection and mitigation systems, also designated 383 ARC. The company co-chaired the working group on systems and technologies for 383 ARC, alongside RTX Corporation.

Under the broad dictum of preserving the integrity and safety of America’s national airspace, the group approached the challenge from four principal perspectives:

* the community in which these systems would operate

* airports

* other critical infrastructure

* systems and technologies

Echodyne provides a summary of seven key considerations from the report, together with associated recommendations.

The Intent of unauthorised operators is extremely difficult to identify, which makes every unauthorised drone a potential threat.

  • Recommendation: support UAS traffic management, UAS service suppliers and other data sources in exchanging and making available as much data as possible relative to current and planned drone operations.

Efficacy – there is little existing expertise in counter-UAS issues outside small communities in federal agencies and industry.

  • Recommendation: fund independent third parties to test performance characteristics and publishing performance data for appropriate users.

Minimum performance standards – create  a baseline set of requirements that any approved equipment or system must meet.

  • Recommendation: place greater emphasis on efficacy, empowering certainty in knowing how equipment or systems will perform, thus easing and facilitating operational deployment.

Risk remains an issue over which critical infrastructure owners/operators remain unconvinced, since they are not being pushed by insurance underwriters to enhance security against drones. And if there were such a push, the solutions would largely be illegal. Granular assessments of risk would allow for facilities that pose the most danger, either to national security or the general population, to receive more attention, better equipment and systems, and the training to conduct the work properly.

  • Recommendation: establish a national framework to assess risk by category of critical infrastructure, akin to the Security Coordinating Councils (SCC) within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Airports are unique – at least sufficiently so to resist templates and models. They are also generically unique, as being the only venues in which crewed and uncrewed aircraft are expected to interact.

  • Recommendation: Empower airports to do what is best at each location, with federal funding if applicable.

Privacy remains an issue – while identifying and tracking UAS seems advisable, should the operator have legitimate expectations of privacy?

  • Recommendation: Privacy should be secondary to security.

Mobile/cellular frequency bands make communication and potential interrogation by counter-drone tools extremely simple. This stems from an early design decision by the drone industry to use unlicensed spectrum.

Recommendation: Multi-layered, multi-sensor counter-UAS solutions are essential for robust security.

For more information: ’24 Key Considerations from the 383 ARC – Echodyne and Untitled (

(Image: The report covers a host of use cases for counter-UAS tools and solutions, ranging from critical infrastructure and physical security to airport proection. Credit: Echodyne)


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