Sunday , January 29 2023

While Gatvick catches unmanned aircraft, the Canadian army looks into an airfield that is resistant to trunks


The key to detecting tiny drone spacecraft spying on military bases or entering the airspace of an airport could be the use of an existing TV signal.

The Canadian National Defense Department is investigating the use of regular television signals to create a radar system that detects flying insect-size intruders, as well as the use of other unmanned aircraft detection techniques.

The military is concerned about the spying of unmanned aircraft that collect real-time video of their operations, as the machines become less, cheaper and more fuel-efficient.

And the chaos caused by drones that fly into the air space at the British airport Gatvick this week show that small devices can have great consequences.

As the drone technology evolves, the unmanned aircraft detection technique must keep pace. Some trunks are even made to look like birds to help them fit better in the environment. Others are equipped with clips that allow them to climb down on the tree or bulge for better control, according to a reference document written in 2016 by the Defense Research and Development Agency (DRDC), a DND agency.

"Small drones are increasingly used for spyware / reconnaissance applications, they are small in size and difficult to detect," it said in a document called Countermeasures Against Violence Control.

"They can represent real and significant threats to military operations," the statement said.

This is a drone that looks like a female hawk, but it's not used for spying. It's to take the real bird from Edmonton International Airport. (John Robertson / CBC)

How the radar detection system works

To counter this threat, the DND has investigated how to better detect spy drones with DRDC, which explores several different technologies.

According to this document, one of the best solutions was to create a passive radar detection system using a TV signal.

The system works by monitoring constant TV signals in the air. When these signals hit an object, the system can detect them.

"Firstly, TV signals broadcast by the main TV channels are strong enough to detect unmanned aircraft, even very small," said the DRDC document.

TV signals broadcast by major TV channels are powerful enough to detect unmanned aircraft, even those very small.– A R & D document in Canada, a DND agency

"Since TV towers have been in the city landscape for a long time, people have become accustomed and accepted their presence."

Secondly, the TV signal is free: there are essentially no charges for eavesdropping the transmission of a TV signal.

"Third, TV signals are transmitted continuously 24/7, making it the ideal source for a radar monitoring application."

Researchers suggest that a TV transmitter at the Fortune camp in Ottawa could be used to monitor high-speed infrastructure in a radius of 17 kilometers. It could even pick up unmanned insect-size insect craft operating within five kilometers around the Ottawa International Airport.

In the commercial hobby market, unmanned battery operated batteries with a range exceeding 50 kilometers are already available, according to the DND Research and Development Agency. (Saravut Chamsaeng / Shutterstock)

Other ways to detect unmanned aircraft

But technology has its own flaws. Any radar system that can pick up small unmanned aircraft can also pick up birds that have similar radar signatures that could lead to false alarms.

However, the document suggests that this problem can soon be solved using artificial intelligence algorithms that can distinguish the bird from the drone by analyzing the different modes of movement.

There is no perfect solution. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages.– Charles Vidal, a researcher at the National Research Council

The army itself is not looking for better ways to detect drones. For three years, the National Research Council of Canada has been investigating the technology of drone detection.

He looked at a number of different ways to locate unmanned aircraft, including an advanced radar that is good at detecting small objects, an acoustic technology that can recognize sounds of unmanned aircraft and a radio frequency detection system that tracks radio signals that are exchanged between the drone and its operator.

Charles Vidal is a researcher at the National Research Council. (Noemie Moukanda / Radio-Canada)

Engineers also explored using thermal cameras to highlight the heat signature of a drone and advanced camera that can detect drones far away.

"There is no perfect solution, each one has its strengths and weaknesses," said Charles Vidal, a researcher at the National Research Council.

Lots of demand from other sectors

Vidal said there is a great demand for this type of technology from many different sectors.

Industrial sites such as oil refineries want to keep unmanned aircraft far from dangerous equipment. Even prisons and prisons want to find drones in order to prevent them from throwing smuggled into their institutions.

However, the airports contacted by CBC Nevs did not accept these new technologies, although the number of unmanned aircraft seen too close to the airport and aircraft in Canada more than tripled between 2014 and 2017 from 38 to 135. This year, from November 30 .

Toronto Pearson International Airport said in a statement earlier this month that it was not currently investigating the use of unmanned aircraft detection systems. The spokesman further said that the trunks today are not a "big problem" around the airport.

However, he will continue to monitor the activity of the drones near the airport and respond to them.

Vidal says companies running industrial sites are interested in ways to detect drones in order to keep them away from dangerous areas. (FS11 / Shutterstock)

Billi Bishop Toronto Citi Airport has a similar approach. It monitors the availability and use of devices for detecting drone activities near the airport, but has not yet used that technology.

In 2016, a plane on his way to Billy Bishop had a close call with drone aircraft and had to take the avoidance action to avoid it. Two stewards ended with minor injuries.

Under Canadian law, unmanned aircraft can not fly within 5.6 kilometers of the airport or 1.9 kilometers of helicopters. Aircraft jeopardy is a particularly serious offense that can carry fines of up to $ 25,000 or possible prison time.

In New Scotland, Halifax Stanfield, spokesman for Halifax International Airport, said he did not announce what kind of detection technology he has or does not have.

However, Vidal said that there are others who are ready to adopt new technologies for the detection of unmanned aircraft.

"Various organizations are already pilot projects in which to implement these solutions or for a short time for testing and evaluation," he said. "These systems are growing more and more."

Various organizations are already conducting pilot projects in which they will implement these solutions in a short time for testing and evaluation.– Charles Vidal

The DRDC document also recommends practical testing.

His authors wanted DRDC to begin a development project for the prototype detection system.

The DND did not say what kind of technology it adopted or could adopt to detect drone aircraft.

No one in the department would agree to an interview.

In a statement sent via e-mail, the ministry said it will continue investigating the threats that dronas represent and will continue to evaluate existing detection systems and countermeasures, including "potential physical, electromagnetic and other protection enhancements".

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