From Snooping to Outright Attack: The Case for Counter-Drone Operations in the 21st Century
Evolving challenges. An evolved response: Vaeros.
For more than five decades, The Aerospace Corporation has provided objective technical expertise, analysis, and assessments for global customers pursuing the most complex and innovative missions.
Vaeros, a division of The Aerospace Corporation, brings this rich resource of talent and technical capabilities to bear on multiple challenges in diverse, high-consequence environments.
We know that drone technology represents a new and ever-evolving security and privacy concern. In the face of this challenge, Vaeros has the tools and expertise necessary to enable your success—no matter the industry, no matter the mission.
Drones for good.
Drone technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and with that ubiquity comes the reality that drones can accomplish a myriad of positive tasks, provide a wealth of insight, and even keep people out of harm’s way.
We’ve seen drones used for public safety—from facilitating rescue missions for people who may have otherwise perished, to examining environments for fire inspection, to monitoring and nourishing crops and thereby improving food production for a hungry world.
The accidental vs. the malevolent drone.
We have also seen drones being used in unpredictable ways—drifting into the flight paths of major airports, hovering near forest fires and blocking access of firefighting aircraft, or flying dangerously close to medevac helicopters and causing potential risk to pilot and passengers.
Despite a clear risk, these can be described as accidents by guileless or inexperienced operators.
But we are also seeing drone activity—controlled by individuals or rogue groups—that are not accidents and are clearly designed for an illegal or threatening purpose. These include smuggling weapons into prisons; flying drugs across international borders; monitoring sensitive government, public, and industrial facilities; or simply spying with high-quality audio/video systems in order to steal intellectual property.
Drones have been modified to transport and remotely fire pistols and shotguns, or release payloads onto targets. Soon we’re likely to see drones used to attack with explosives, release chemical and biological agents, or swarm with dozens of other drones in coordinated attacks designed to overwhelm targets and override their defenses.
Protecting people, places, and privacy from drones.
For government agencies, public safety organizations, and large commercial companies, rogue drones represent a serious and growing risk to the security of personnel, physical property, privacy, and intellectual property.
Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her security retinue watched helplessly as a drone landed on the podium on which she was speaking. In 2015, a drone landed on the White House lawn, triggering a security lockdown.
Privacy concerns, meanwhile, represent a real and potentially business-ending threat, as in the case of intellectual property theft. For example, there are recent incidents in which companies have flown drones above the facilities of their competitors to spy on their operations. This kind of spying can have dramatic impact in terms of business lost, jobs lost, and operations negatively impacted.
What to do about drones.
Because locations, platforms, intent, and techniques used by drone operators are different and constantly changing, there is no silver bullet for the drone threat. What’s needed is a policy and methodology for counter-drone operations that reduce or eliminate the threat to government facilities, commercial operations, and the public at large.
The system and method for counter-drone operations.
Vaeros implements a methodology for counter-drone operations that focuses on four key areas: technology foraging, situational awareness, active detection and response, and training and education.
Our comprehensive and systemic approach is designed to keep pace with evolving technology while delivering advanced capabilities and insight to those concerned with the risks of drone attack—from federal agencies, to public safety personnel, to corporate security staff. Each aspect involves the following:
Part I: Technology Foraging
- Identify and assess emerging counter-drone technologies for agencies and commercial companies to actively detect and track drones
- Evaluate commercial technology and emerging technology from start-ups, universities, and government labs
Part II: Situational Awareness
- Perform vulnerability assessment and site survey for area of interest
- Identify and catalogue likely launch sites; insert to geographic information system with ingress-routing probability
- Evaluate existing security systems and procedures; support integration of counter-drone operations with existing systems and procedures
Part III: Active Detection and Response
- Identify and evaluate technology for agencies and commercial companies to actively detect and track drones for their specific facilities, borders, coastlines, or operating area
- Evaluate technical and operational merit of response options, including human response, and legal and technology response
- Monitor marketplace and identify potential-fit technologies as they come online
Part IV: Training and Education
- Support training and education on drone technology and counter-drone operations
- Fly drones onsite to test and model weak points of system
- Support ongoing training for drone technology, including imaging, communications, and control systems
By integrating these key technology, knowledge, and training areas and converting them to practice, we are helping to solve the drone problem and are protecting our customers’ personnel, privacy, and security.
Get additional information and insight.
The following technical papers, brochures, and associated materials provide additional information on how we are enabling success for customers in an evolving and drone-enabled world.
Contact Vaeros today to learn how we can help enable your success.