Drone Detection and Neutralisation Technologies – Part II

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Since 2015, CERBAIR developed its own radiofrequency spectrum analysis algorithm. In the first part of this post, we showed the pros and cons of every type of detection technologies. Among its perks, cost effectiveness is perhaps the main factor that led us to this choice. It is the backbone of our competitiveness. Radiofrequency is also the only available technology that allows the user to detect both the drone and its pilot, a key advantage for law enforcement. Using the same data, the drone model can be identified as well. Furthermore, detection using this method is passive, emitting no interferences of any kind. By applying our sorting algorithms, we have managed to push the ranges up to 4 km in optimal conditions. But it is one thing to detect an incoming threat from afar. Whether the motive is espionage, collision or attack, a sensitive site needs to have its resources protected by a jamming device, capable of preventing the threat from penetrating its valuable airspace and assets. Is radiofrequency-based jamming a proper solution to get rid of malevolent drones ?

 

A/ The three decisive factors of a realistic CUAV offer. 

Before we deep dive into “the art of neutralisation”, a dual detection-jamming solution should rely on three pillars:

  • The versatility of the offer
  • The cost-efficiency
  • The reliance and accuracy, through a multi-technology solution

1. The Versatility of our Offer

Based on our RF spectrum analysis technology, we offer three different dual detection-jamming solutions with different formats. The latter deeply impacts the efficiency and availability of the protection.

  • Stationary solution: the CERBAIR Stationary solution is permanently installed on the sensitive site. The number of HYDRA™ RF sensors and their configuration depend mainly on the specifications of the site. It is always possible to upgrade the solution after installation without having to replace the entire system, letting the user a perfect control of budget and evolving security needs. Thus, we fulfil our scalability promises. A GUI* can also be implemented into the existing security systems. This solution is especially dedicated to provide a reliable coverage to permanent sensitive sites: official buildings, nuclear power plants, military bases, etc…
  • Mobile solution: the CERBAIR mobile solution is especially designed to detect drones and protect sensitive sites or events over short periods of time. Due to its reduced size, it can easily fit into a SUV, heli or airplane, making transport hassle-free. Only requiring 2 operators, installation is rapid and easy. This system is 100% autonomous and powered by an external generator or can be plugged into a general power supply.
  • Portable solution: our portable anti-drone solution, called CHIMERA, provides power and ease-of-use in a small and cost-efficient package. The combination of our detection and neutralisation technologies make this solution unique on the market. It is ideal for use by Law Enforcement officers in urban environments.

2. The Cost-Efficiency

The answer comes from the asymmetrical nature of this fight.

  • Ease of installation and use, close to no maintenance, non-prohibitive price, accessibility on the civilian market and on-line stores, availability of unrestricted off-the-shelf components, etc… These factors explain why civilian drones are affordable to any potential attackers.
  • On the other hand, classic AA* defence can find themselves unsuited for such type of threats. More expensive by factors of thousands, regulatory constraints that only make it available for military and law enforcement, complexity and time of installation and use, etc…

This asymmetrical nature justifies the need for cost-effectiveness, increased availability, and accessibility to non-specialized operators. Thanks to its historical design-to-cost strategy, CERBAIR has targeted this very market, offering the most cost-effective solution to its clients worldwide.

3. A Multi-Technology Solution

As shown in our Incident Drone Reports, the threat is, in essence, ever-changing (for instance C4 and handmade grenades tapped to drones in Mexico and Middle-East). CERBAIR is developing additional detection technologies conceived to be plugged to the radiofrequency core. Our project is to create a final solution which would be able to combine radiofrequency, radar, acoustic and optronic able to combine every advantage of each technologies into a single hardware base.

The process works as follows:

  • The RF sensors detect when the drone is powered up. The sensors are able to track the drone on a 360° basis.
  • Once the RF device have detected a drone, an integrated radar and an acoustic sensor further enhances the UAV tracking.
  • The optronic module then allows the user to confirm the model of the civilian drone indicated by the detection algorithm, further removing doubt from the equation.

 

B/ RF-based UAV neutralization: drawbacks VS perks

1. Neutralization technologies and its challenges

  • Jamming solutions rely on technologies unrestricted to civilian infrastructures. 
  • An anti-drone offer should rely on non-kinetic means of defence, as it should be proper to use in urban areas.
  • Optimal cost-efficiency should be one of the main priorities. This could be achieved by using a common hardware base for both detection and jamming.
  • Finally, as civilian drones can potentially pose as a mobile and ever-changing threat, scalability and updatability are factors worth mentioning.

2. MEDUSA, CERBAIR’s answer to the growing civilian drone threat

Before we compare an RF-based UAV jamming solution to the aforementioned factors, we must first further elaborate its functioning.

MEDUSA™ is a compact neutralization solution, able to fit in the trunk of any SUV. It comes in addition to the HYDRA™ detection module, receiving live data from our RF spectrum analyzer.

  • Based on the information provided by our detection module HYDRA™, MEDUSA™ then takes control and sends pulses on the same RF band. Unable to receive orders from its operator, the drone finds itself isolated.
  • At this stage, three reactions can be initiated, according to the manufacturer’s or the operator’s settings:
    • RTH*: The Return Home function can be triggered. Unable to communicate with its pilot, the civilian UAV returns to a predetermined location set up in advance. Useful against ill-trained civilians, who only crossed boundaries by inadvertence or loss of control. The drone automatically comes back to the user.
    • The second jamming option will force the drone to hover at the same location until it runs out of battery.
    • By breaking the link between the UAV and its operator, the only possible option for the drone is to activate the soft landing procedure.

NB : user doesn’t have a hand over which reaction will be triggered. This factor strictly depends on the security protocols the drones use.

3/ Pros and cons

The drawbacks of an RF-based jamming solution:

  • Up to now, autonomous drones remain undetected due to the lack of ascending and descending signals.
  • Ambient RF pollution, which can be found in urban environment, is also an issue which our team of engineers are currently working on.

The perks of our solution:

  • The detection and jamming module work in tandem, further facilitating the security procedures on the client’s sites.
  • According to the sensitive location specifications, the end-user can choose the format and the number of required solutions, thanks to the scalability of our offer.
  • The RF database is regularly updated, upgrading the coverage.
  • Using this technological core, our client neutralize the drone. Operations meant to prevent drug smugglings are greatly facilitated. A situation well known by CBP agents (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), who face regular drug smuggling along the Mexican border.

 

CERBAIR aims to provide the most cost-effective solution on the market and appropriately respond to the asymmetrical nature of the threat. Our solutions are designed to be used for sensitive site protection, whether permanently or temporarily. Scalability and adaptability for safer skies.

Want to Learn More?

The anti-drone market is is crowded (more than 220 providers worldwide) and choosing the right system might seem impossibly intimidating. CERBAIR has produced a white paper on the subject, complete with descriptions of drone detection and neutralization systems and a convenient checklist to help security administrators determine the best choice for their airspace. Download your copy ofThe Beginner’s Guide to Securing Sensitive Airspace with Anti-Drone Technology to learn more.

Additionally, contact us for more info on our solutions our sales team is fully ready to answer.

 


CUAV: Counter-Unmanned-Aerial Vehicule

AA: Anti-Aerial (Defence)

GUI: General User Interface

RTH: For instance, in 2015, a civilian flew an unrestricted drone under alcohol influence over the White House garden, crashing onto a tree. Although his intents weren’t harmful, an C-UAV solution able to trigger an RTH function would have been useful in this situation.

Lucas Le Bell invited at #StartupandCo to showcase
#CerbAir recent success story

On Air: Cerbair’s CEO invited at France’s first business news channel.

CerbAir offers complete Anti-Drone solutions to secure sensitive sites and events against malicious drone use. With a number of detection and countermeasure systems already installed around the World, the French leader in Anti-Drone solutions announced the conclusion of a 5.5 million € round of financing.

Last February 25, Sébastien Couasnon, anchor at BFMBusiness, decrypted the recent fundraising and the strategy to develop systems against malevolent drones with Lucas Le Bell, co-founder of CerbAir with Olivier Le Blainvaux in 2015.

In this short abstract, you’ll learn :

    • how we can detect, identify and neutralize malicious drones.
    • it is not a bullet proof technology.
    • CerbAir’s experience on different business types from civilian to army and police.

 

Visit our YouTube channel and enable the english subtitles with the gear icon (bottom right).

 

CerbAir is a French defense and security company that was launched in 2015 after the increasing number of drone incidents entailed the need to protect all sensitive sites from this new airborne threat. Strongly convinced that air space security is a shared concern, CerbAir offers the most cost-effective solutions on the market.

 

More about BFM Business

BFM Business is the 1st French channel of continuous economic and financial information, with exclusive interviews of CEOs, entrepreneurs, politicians, experts and economists covering all French and international news. This cross-channel news network has the strongest affinity on the market with decision-makers, top executives, SME managers and executives of large companies.

BFM Business offers essential daily meetings such as “Good Morning Business“, debates with “The Experts“, “Culture Geek” or “Tech&Co“.

Tech&Co became the “Rendez-vous” for digital news. Sébastien Couasnon, his columnists and guests comment on the major trends that are shaking up players in the economy and tech.

The television station transmits in 16:9 format on TNT in the Paris region (channel 24) and by satellite in Western Europe and North Africa via Eutelsat 5 West A, available through Fransat (51) and Orange TV (228), SFR (46), Bouygues (242), Free (347), Canal+ (108).

Press Release: CerbAir awarded at EIT Digital Challenge for being one of the “scaleups” who will change Europe.

Press Release: CerbAir awarded at EIT Digital Challenge for being one of the “scaleups” who will change Europe.

 

On November 7th, Lucas Le Bell, co-founder and CEO of CerbAir, received from Thomas Herlin the valuable prize of EIT Digital, an EU funded European innovation network More than 279 scaleups were competing for the most prestigious competition of the European deep tech. Since 2014, the EIT Digital has distinguished the expertise of European companies from start-up to scaleup. It focuses on encouraging companies that will have an impact on the future of Europe.

At the end of a competition gathering candidates from 33 different countries, CerbAir won the first prize in the “Digital Cities” category. An award also accompanied by a grant and a support in development.

This is not your usual competition where just the winners count,” states Chahab Nastar, Chief Innovation Officer at EIT Digital. “The 25 finalists have been carefully selected; they are all winners in the sense that they all have evidence of growth potential. The juries saw tremendous qualities in the 10 companies that came on top. We now welcome them into the EIT Digital Accelerator and will give them dedicated pan European support for customer acquisition and fundraising. We want them to become large dominant companies in their respective markets” he adds.

I am deeply proud for CerbAir and our team,” says Lucas Le Bell co-founder. “This award also recognize the support of our investors such as MBDA (European missile represented by Denis Gardin), Jean-Michel Aulas through his family office and Technofounders, the French studio startup who helped launch CerbAir,” he recalls.

“We founded CerbAir in 2015 but the production of our radiofrequency (RF) anti-drone solutions was only initiated in 2017. In two years, what a long way!” recalls Lucas Le Bell, graduated from Management School of Lyon. “The prize awarded by the EIT Digital will allow us to access new markets european wide. Our solutions are already implemented with the army and the police operational teams. The support of EIT Digital will allow us to strengthen our position in the institutional and civil sectors,” he comments.

 

About EIT Digital:

EIT Digital aims at global impact through European innovation fueled by entrepreneurial talent and digital technology. EIT Digital strengthens Europe’s position in the digital world by delivering breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeding entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life. EIT Digital helps business and entrepreneurs to be at the frontier of digital innovation by providing them with technology, talent, and growth support.

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organization driving Europe’s digital transformation. Its way of working embodies the future of innovation through a pan-European ecosystem of over 200 top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities and research institutes, where students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs collaborate in an open innovation setting. This pan-European ecosystem is located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Braga, Budapest, Brussels, Eindhoven, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Milano, Munich, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Stockholm, Trento, and San Francisco.

About CerbAir:

CerbAir is the French leader in CUAS (anti-drone) detection and neutralization solutions. CerbAir’s DroneWatch is a combination of scalable, drone detection hardware and of software powered by proprietary algorithms which allow security administrators to detect, characterize and neutralize rogue drones and locate their pilots from the moment the drone remote control is switched on. CerbAir’s technology has assured airspace security and assisted in rogue pilot apprehension at a number of high-profile events including major music festivals in Europe and North America, and over critical infrastructure such as airports, administrative structures and correctional facilities in countries around the globe. CerbAir has earned the trust of major corporate and institutional players like various Ministries of Defense and Ministries of Interior and recently collaborated with the elite French police unit RAID during the 2019 D-Day Commemorations held in Normandy, France. To learn more about CerbAir, visit our homepage: www.cerbair.com

 

In the picture, Lucas Le Bell (Co-founder and CEO), Sébastien Wuidart (CFO)

Press Contact:

Philippe Rouin

VP Marketing

Philippe.rouin@cerbair.com / +33 (0)6 95536655