It’s been called an anti-drone “death ray,” a “drone zapper” and a drone “freezing ray,” and it looks and sounds like something out of an early Flash Gordon episode. But whatever you call it, the Anti-AUV Defense System (AUDS) is here.
The AUDS was introduced at the commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas this week. Produced by a team of three British engineering firms, each providing a component of the technology, the AUDS is sold and supported by Colorado-Based Liteye Systems, which describes the system:
The AUDS Technology Team brings together three leading British companies each with the unique capabilities required to create AUDS. The Blighter Surveillance Systems Blighter A400 series Air Security radar is able to DETECT small UAVs in all weather conditions 24 hours a day. The Chess Dynamics EO/IR camera system, with state-of-the-art video tracking technology, is able to TRACK the UAV and, combined with radar target information, classify the target. The operator is then able to make a timely and informed decision to use the Enterprise Control Systems Ltd, ECS, smart RF inhibitor to selectively interfere with the C2 channels on the UAV allowing the system to DISRUPT the UAV’s mission.
Reports vary on the range that the AUDS covers, with some sources claiming that the device can disable drones at a range of up to 5 miles, while others estimate a more conservative 1 mile radius. Developers claim that the AUDS allows the user to decide whether to “freeze” a drone for long enough to alert the operator that there is a problem, or to completely disable the drone, causing it to fall. The new technology would seem to offer a solution to growing concern about drone activity near airports, natural disasters, and prisons; but the hefty price tag of 1.2 million dollars would seem to limit use to government and large enterprise entities.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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