Farnborough Air Show

L3 Guards Against Multiple Drone Threats

 - July 18, 2018, 7:23 AM
L3’s Manned-to-unmanned Team technology is used on the U.S. Army’s Apache attack helicopters, as well as multiple unmanned platforms. The Dutch military has also selected it.

Businesses wanting to protect their facilities from possible security breaches by unmanned aircraft are looking for ways to be able to monitor and potentially block drone activity. According to L3 Communications, its Drone Guardian Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System provides a flexible and scalable way to put this protection in place in settings as diverse as a city center financial institution, a large, standalone industrial site, or the home of a high-net-worth individual.

The company is currently trialing the use of Drone Guardian in the city of Manchester in northwest England. “Drone Guardian involves the integration of multiple sensors into a command and control capability that can detect drones and deploy an appropriate response to them,” explained Chris Knapman, L3 vice president of business development. “It correlates and creates a single picture of the drone threat.”

The system harnesses advanced sensor fusion technology to integrate inputs from real-time sensors such as radio frequency detection, radars, electro-optical cameras that can be cued from the system or other sensors. It can also manage and initiate responses to drone threats, such as jammers or kinetic energy.

L3 (Chalet A15) can help customers to establish a distributed sensor network around the area to be protected. It can also help to train security personnel to use the technology to manage the response to drone threats in a way that takes full account of the location. 

The U.S.-based group has set up a Drone Guardian network this week at the Farnborough Airshow site. This consists of four radio frequency nodes around the airfield and a 30-degree arc camera, with staring capability that looks for individual pixel movement across the field of view. The camera can zoom and its pictures integrated with CCTV cameras.

Manned-to-unmanned Teaming

L-3 also is demonstrating the latest version of its Manned-to-unmanned Team (MUMT) suite of integrated products for improving situational awareness and decision-making in a combat situation. The technology allows pilots to share high bandwidth data, video and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information with other pilots or unmanned aircraft.

According to Rob Johnston, L3 Communications’ director of business development, MUMT facilitates faster and more informed decision-making in the battlefield—reducing the danger of friendly-fire incidents. It also saves cost by increasing the capacity of warfighters to monitor and deal with hostile targets. For instance, the equipment is ideal for situations in which a pilot needs to hand off a mission to a colleague.

MUMT is being used by the U.S. Army’s Apache attack helicopters and various unmanned platforms. It has also been selected by the Dutch military.