Airspace for the flying public today is perpetually congested yet remarkably safe, thanks in no small part to a well-established air traffic control system that tracks, guides and continuously monitors thousands of flights a day. When it comes to small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) such as commercial quadcopters, however, no such comprehensive tracking system exists. And as off-the-shelf UAS become less expensive, easier to fly, and more adaptable for terrorist or military purposes, U.S. forces will increasingly be challenged by the need to quickly detect and identify such craft—especially in urban areas, where sight lines are limited and many objects may be moving at similar speeds.
DARPA’s Aerial Dragnet program aims to achieve the technically difficult goal of detecting and tracking small UAS in urban terrain. The program seeks innovative technologies to provide persistent, wide-area surveillance of all UAS operating below 1,000 feet in a large city. While Aerial Dragnet’s focus is on protecting military troops operating in urban settings overseas, the system could ultimately find civilian application to help protect U.S. metropolitan areas from UAS-enabled terrorist threats.
One of the participating companies, Echodyne, offered this on its role with the project.
The DARPA testing involved radar sensors on two large tethered aerostat balloons flying at up to 400 feet above ground level (AGL) over San Diego and National City, as well as fixed building-top and tower mounted locations providing large-area coverage. The sensors were tuned to detect and track small drones and distinguish them from background objects such as buildings, vehicles, and birds. The testing assessed how well the system could detect, track and identify over 150 sorties of drones including various commercial off-the-shelf models, similar to those available at electronics stores or online retailers, which simulated unauthorized / unidentified drones flying in the city.
Beitrag im Original auf http://uasmagazine.com/articles/2095/darpa-echodyne-work-together-on-aerial-dragnet-system, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von The UAS Magazine automatisch importiert. Original in englischer Sprache. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung von UAV DACH e.V. wieder.