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To deal with the emerging drone threat, industry developed a variety of protective measures that can be used after a threat is detected. Countering commercial drone (aka UAV) activity by a complete 'reactive chain' - through an automated process that includes early warning, detection and identification, as well as disruptive measures - is addressed by only a few concepts. One of them is a counter-drone solution on offer by the German communications specialist Rohde & Schwarz, named R&S ARDRONIS, which detects commercial drone activity; automatically classifies the type of drone signal; determines the direction of the air vehicle and its pilot; and disrupts the remote control (RC) link to prevent the drone from reaching its intended target.

One wonders what effect this will have on complex environments like the maritime or littoral theatre. The benefits of improved protection against drone attacks was mostly ignored by maritime authorities or naval forces in recent years, so the integration of an appropriate capability - abbreviated C-UAV - on board seagoing platorms and at land-based installations (e.g. harbour or ports) is in strong need as shown from recent threat scenarios. The C-UAV solution designed by Rohde & Schwarz embarks on a totally new approach, with the highly sensitive antennas and monitoring receivers able to collect RC drone signals; displaying concise information on the threat; continuously updating a map that indicates the direction of the drone and its pilot; deploying countermeasures for intercepting the illegal pilot; and, if needed, recording the RC signals as evidence. When it comes to effective countermeasures, R&S ARDRONIS takes advantage of an integrated jammer that disrupts the drone threat with minimum disturbance to other signals in the same frequency band. The maritime/naval user will benefit from another important aspect: R&S ARDRONIS can be deployed as a fixed installation on board a ship to cover its  close vicinty and as a semi-mobile solution providing temporary cover, or as a fully portable system, the latter allowing for ad-hoc security. For portable use, R&S ARDRONIS-I (consisting of the antenna, receiver, notebook plus accessories) can be deployd in a transport box.

Stefan Nitschke

The R&S ARDRONIS anti-drone system can be employed in the maritime/littoral security environment to detect and determine the direction of RC signals in the shortest possible time. (Photo: Stefan Nitschke)

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