Issue 20 Counter-UAS Newsletter

Counter-UAS News from Around the World

Avionics: Drones to Get New AI Algorithms Under Project Maven

“Project Maven, also known as the algorithmic warfare cross-functional team, which stood up this past April, is a Defense unit dedicated to AI innovation, as the department works to broaden its knowledge base with new capabilities and free up its analysts from menial tasks. Shanahan, who serves as the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence’s director for Defense Intelligence (warfighter support), leads the team’s effort to develop AI capabilities for the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems and the wide-area motion imagery sensor.”


Omaha World Herald: Offutt’s security squadron warns that it can take down drones flying near the base

“The base’s security squadron warned recently that it has expanded its defenses against drones and can stop any that venture within its boundaries or airspace. While not going into specifics about capabilities, a press release from the base said it now has “a number of unique defense systems” to protect against drones.”


Warrior: Army Video Report: Stryker Live-Fire Attacks & Destroys Drones

“A number of emerging short-range-air-defense armed vehicle platforms destroyed enemy drone targets during a recent Army demonstration at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. – as part of an accelerated Army effort to better arm mobile ground combat vehicles with close-in air defense technology.”


Janes: Pakistan says it downed Indian surveillance UAV

“The Pakistani military announced on 27 October that it had shot down what it claimed was an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that entered Pakistani airspace across the line of control (LOC) in the disputed northern region of Kashmir.”   Image from Twitter


Unmanned Aerial: Port of Long Beach Requires $100 UAS Permit

“The Port of Long Beach, Calif., is now requiring unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators to get a separate permit from the port’s security division before they take off or land in the Harbor District. According to a press release from the Port of Long Beach, the new rules, which went into effect on Oct. 26, mandate that in order for UAS pilots to receive the permit, they must show proof of insurance, provide registration information and takeoff and landing plans, and obtain permission from occupants of any port facilities to be overflown.”


UAS Vision: Sensofusion Launches AIRFENCE 5.0

“Sensofusion has launched AIRFENCE 5.0, the next evolution of a technology that makes environments safer. The newest platform boasts pioneering functionalities that advance what is possible with current detection, tracking and countermeasure technology.”


Euro News: Drone loses control injuring six in Japan

“A drone at Ogaki Park in Gifu Prefecture on Saturday (November 4) spun out of control, injuring six people. The 89 cm by 50 cm machine was scattering sweets onto a crowd as part of a robotics showcase when the incident occurred, according to the Japan Times. Those hit by the drone suffered minor injuries, such as scratches to their foreheads and shoulders. Police were investigating the incident.”    Ed.: Link shows video of the crash


Scientific American: Here’s How Drones Do (and Don’t) Threaten Passenger Aircraft

“One warm evening this fall a pair of U.S. Army UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters cruised low over New York City’s Staten Island, providing security for the United Nations General Assembly’s annual meeting in nearby Manhattan. Just after sunset a shoe box–size airborne object collided with one of the choppers, damaging its main rotor blade, window frame and transmission system. Inspection at a nearby airfield revealed evidence of something that had never happened before—a civilian drone had plowed into a crewed craft in U.S. airspace. That sent the Army, the National Transportation Safety Board and other government agencies scrambling to investigate how and why this had happened.”


Air & Space: Should Localities Decide on Drone Policy? Not Everyone Thinks So

“The program puts such a heavy emphasis on local government involvement that drone operators seem secondary. In fact, FAA documents make clear that local governments participating in the pilot program will be the ones responsible for communications with the FAA. Localities during these tests will be able to “request reasonable time, place and manner limitations” on drone flight operations. A footnote says they may also prohibit “flight during specific morning and evening rush hours” or permit flight only “during specified hours” such as daylight. They also will have the authority to mandate equipment, establish flight speeds, designate takeoff and landing zones, and prohibit flight over certain areas in their jurisdiction. “


Inside Defense: Navy FY-18 supplemental includes $37M in counter-UAS funding

“The Navy disclosed today its fiscal year 2018 supplemental request includes $37.2 million in wartime funding for three counter-unmanned aerial system projects. The bulk of the request, or $29.7 million, would fund the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare project. JCREW enhanced performance is required to compete with the evolving C-UAS threat, the service writes in an updated budget justification requirements book.”


CBS Sacramento: Drones Dropping Drugs, Contraband Into NorCal Prisons

“Drones are becoming a growing concern among jail guards in Northern California. That’s because people may try to use them to smuggle in drugs. Right now there’s no law banning drones flying over prisons, but Santa Clara County is worried about them making drug deliveries at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. Jail guards figured drones have been delivering contraband at the sprawling 62-acre complex for some time but they did not have proof until now. A month ago a small drone crashed inside the jail perimeter. Investigators said they found a package of meth on board.”


Dayton Daily News: Drones dropping drugs into prisons; Ohio fights back.

“Ohio prison authorities are considering the use of anti-drone technology to keep small remote-controlled aircraft from being used to deliver drugs and other contraband to inmates. The plan follows several incidents in recent years where someone attempted to break through prison security using a drone. The traditional method to smuggle contraband into prisons “approaching our perimeter and propelling the package of contraband over the fence into an area inside the prison where the recipient is expecting it to be so they can retrieve it,” said Ed Voorhies, Managing Director of Operations, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.


You Tube: Battelle DroneDefender® C-UAS Device on WHIO TV-7 Dayton


ABC: Homeland Security bulletin warns of weaponized drones and threat to aviation

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an updated terror bulletin on Thursday highlighting the threat of weaponized drones, chemical attacks and the continued targeting of commercial aircraft. “We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts,” reads the bulletin.”


Reuters: Israel says downed Syrian spy drone over Golan Heights

“Israel shot down a Syrian spy drone over the Golan Heights on Saturday, the Israeli military said. The drone was downed with a Patriot interceptor missile over the Golan demilitarized zone that has separated Israeli and Syrian forces since the ceasefire deal that followed their 1973 war.”


Oregon Business: Who you gonna call? Dronebusters

“In a fourth-floor office overlooking the Pearl District, Jake Sullivan mimed shooting down a drone with a Super Soaker-sized radio frequency jamming gun. He calls the device the “Dronebuster.” Sullivan kept his finger off the trigger. Squeezing it would jam local Wi-Fi and radio signals protected by FCC regulations. Sullivan’s two-year-old company, Radio Hill Technologies, supplies the military and federal agents with Dronebusters. The device forces drones to stop and hover. A more powerful setting overwhelms the drone’s GPS signal, making it land or crash.”


The Daily Telegraph: Broken drone, smokes and a mobile phone found on prison roof at Goulburn jail

“SAFEGUARDS to stop drones breaching prisons will be ramped up after a broken remote-control device, a mobile phone and two packets of tobacco were found on a roof at the country’s toughest jail. Authorities are investigating after the apparent attempt to smuggle contraband into Goulburn jail using a flying carrier went wrong.”


Yeni Safak: Turkish army shoots down bomb-laden PKK drone

“The Turkish Armed Forces on Saturday shot down a bomb-laden drone belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization, as part of an ongoing counterterrorism operation launched in the Tendürek Mountain located in Turkey’s eastern province of Ağrı.”


UAS Vision: SteelRock C-UAV Technology at 2017 Dubai Airshow

“SteelRock UAV is introducing its NightFighter UAV technology to the Middle Eastern market this week at the 2017 Dubai Airshow. Exhibiting at the UK Department for International Trade Defence and Security Organization’s showcase (Stand 856C), the company is demonstrating its portfolio of multi-platform UAVs. SteelRock UAV is looking for partners in the region to help market the company’s technology.”


The Mercury News: Editorial: County should fast-track drone restriction policy

“The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors can’t move too fast on a policy restricting drone activity in the airspace above county jails. Give Supervisors Mike Wasserman and Cindy Chavez credit for pushing county staff to research local drone restrictions and address the growing threat the new technology poses at correctional facilities. The only question is, why stop there?”


Bloomberg: Congress Poised to Restore Drone Registration Tossed by Court

“The government’s registration system for owners of civilian drones would be restored in a defense policy bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators. The measure boosting aviation regulators’ ability to regulate the burgeoning world of small unmanned vehicles was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, a bipartisan compromise that is likely to be passed by both chambers.”


Popular Science: These ‘two yahoos from the middle of Ohio’ designed the ultimate drone buster

“Insurgents have been using armed drones to attack U.S. troops worldwide, so my co-inventor Alex Morrow and I built the DroneDefender to help protect them. It freezes enemy drones in place by disrupting radio- and satellite-control ­frequencies, but those airwaves are protected by the FC­C, so we couldn’t just use the system—even on our own property.”

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