The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended its deadline for requests for information (RFI) from industry from February 7 to February 14 for its latest counter-UAS system acquisition programme “to address current and future threats and gaps regarding unmanned aircraft systems.”
According to the tender document:
“DHS is interested in learning about the availability of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS), which include the capability to detect, identify, classify, track, and/or mitigate these threats. DHS has an operational need for fixed site as well as rapidly deployable, mobile, and single person-portable employment modes to provide situational awareness and mitigation capabilities for personnel in the field.
“This RFI seeks to obtain information from industry about the availability of C-UASs with the characteristics described in Attachment A, C-UAS Characteristics. C-UASs described in the responses to the RFI shall have both a Technology Readiness Level and a Manufacturing Readiness Level of 6 or greater. Please refer to the DHS S&T Product Realization of Oct 2013 for level information.
This capability aligns with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) missions and Strategic Goal 1, “Counter Terrorism and Homeland Security Threats”, and associated objectives
- Objective 1.1 Collect, analyze, and share actionable intelligence
- Objective 1.2 Detect and disrupt threats
- Objective 1.3 Protect designated leadership, events, and soft targets
- Objective 1.4 Counter weapons of mass destruction and emerging threats
C-UASs will align with these overarching goals and mission priorities. In order to meet these goals and mission priorities, the core mission capabilities of the C-UAS include the following Mission Thread capabilities:
Predict: The capability to receive flight information, intelligence, and other advance and historical information.
Detect: To discover the presence of an unmanned airborne object within a defined reaction time and within a defined volume of airspace during all weather, day/night, 24x7x365.
Identify: To positively ascertain a detected Track of Interest (ToI) with a unique identifier and aircraft characteristics.
Classify: To determine the level of threat, risk, and/or intent of a detected ToI.
Track: To follow the progress or movements of a ToI continuously from detection through response for total airspace situational awareness.
Respond: To employ resources to address a potential incursion.
C-UASs will be responsible for countering the threat of UASs. Each C-UAS will be responsible for monitoring its area of coverage. The number of C-UAS deployed across locations will vary based on geography, availability of equipment and trained operators, and operational need. When deployed, the system will provide the C-UAS operator with information regarding detection, identification, classification, tracking, and mitigation of UAS threats. These UASs typically consist of a UAV (drone), a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The drones can be of varying sizes and weights, as well as varying configurations such as fixed-wing, vertical takeoff and landing, or hybrid. In addition, the sensor and payload capabilities vary between drones, as well as the data collection and transmission capabilities.
One example of an operational scenario includes a fixed C-UAS deployed to an operating area of interest.
- Upon detecting drone threats, the system logs the information and notifies the operator of a threat (either locally on the system interface, or remotely via connection to an information network).
- Next, the system begins to track the drone (determines drone and operator location and flight path) and attempts to classify and identify drones in terms of known characteristics (e.g., model, weight, payload, frequency, and launch location).
- In addition, the information collected in real-time will allow operators to take appropriate action given the drones known location.
- If deemed necessary and in accordance with policy, the system will enable operators to disrupt or deny further operation of the drone.
Throughout the scenario, the system data and intelligence are logged to increase awareness to the current and future drone threat.
For more information
 Department of Homeland Security, (n.d.). “The DHS Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2020-2024”. [Online]. Available: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/19_0702_plcy_dhs-strategic-plan-fy20-24.pdf