How the state intends to neutralize illegal drones

The illegal drone hunt has just entered its active phase. Over the next twelve months, a system will be tested to detect and neutralize small unmanned flying vehicles or even to “locate the remote pilot”. Designed under the aegis of CS Information Systems, this device is one of two winners selected from 24 candidates by the National Research Agency (ANR) in the context of a call for projects. Launched in December 2014 at the request of the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (Sgdsn), which reports to the Prime Minister, this competition was entitled “Protection of sensitive areas vis-à-vis aerial drones”. The other project, defended by three industrial partners and four public research laboratories under the coordination of Onera, the French center for aerospace research, aims to improve the radar detection of small flying objects.

Called Boréades, the system of CS – on which should be concentrated more than two thirds of the financing released by the ANR – presents itself as “a global solution drone jammer “. It is based on the experience of this company in the surveillance of sensitive areas in the military and civil areas. In liaison with two partner companies, CS has developed a know-how that allows it to detect a small UAV, including those 30 centimeters wide, roughly the size of the UAVs that were observed above Paris and nuclear power plants.

This goal is achieved by using an infrared panoramic detector that identifies an object in flight based on its thermal footprint. A drone releases, admittedly, little heat, but it is sufficient for the sensors of CS, which detect a temperature contrast between an object and the surrounding air, are able to identify it. A bit like a missile or an enemy plane. The detection is also based on a “cluster of cameras” or “UHD camera cluster” (ultra-high definition), already used for sea searches by CS from aerostats. The work that will now be undertaken aims to refine their observation capacity to integrate the morphology and aerial behavior of drones. The distance at which it is possible to detect a drone is inversely proportional to its size. Nevertheless, a small flying object could be spotted within a radius of about half a dozen kilometers. However, it is indicated in CS Information Systems that two tests to verify the effectiveness of Borréades have already been successfully conducted.