Anti-drone shield passes tests for airport protection

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Following the three-day closure of Gatwick in the UK, which resulted in the suspension of 1,000 flights during Christmas, aerospace technology firm Indra has announced its anti-drone system has passed tests making it suitable for use in airports.

ARMS (Anti RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) Multisensor System) can detect the presence of drones up to several kilometers away, is able to identify the models and can neutralize them if they invade the air space which is being protected.

The system, which was launched in March 2017, has been tested in countries where this type of threat is more common and dangerous than in Europe, said Indra.

The system can be used to disable a single drone or a whole swarm of drones, applying more aggressive measures. If an invasion occurs from different points simultaneously, it activates a full protection dome.

ARMS’ ability to modulate its response is key to operating in an airport without interfering with aircrafts’ electronic equipment. The system can also be integrated with the tower or control center systems to exchange information and be able to detect immediately any object that if flying without authorization.

The ARMS system consists of a radar and infrared cameras to perform detection and identification tasks. It has electronic warfare sensors which sweep the radio spectrum to determine the type of link, frequency or navigation system used by the drone.

ARMS’ jamming equipment can then cut off communication with the pilot and blind the navigation systems of the device. It can also use spoofing techniques to take over control and land the drone in the desired location.

In addition, the system is able to determine the most likely area from which the operator may be acting to facilitate their arrest. The operator of ARMS supervises the entire operation from a control position.

According to Indra these “soft-killing” methods protect civil environments and can neutralize any of the drone models available in the market. The system can also be adapted to incorporate hard-killing techniques to shoot down the aircraft.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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