Conclusion after Interpol's major antidrone exerciseThe hunt for the silver bullet against drone attacks continuesThere is still no silver bullet or solution to the problem of unwanted drones, Interpol's report shows after a large-scale exercise at Gardermoen last autumn.
– We tested various suppliers who had equipment to detect and stop drones. We saw how the equipment worked. It turned out that there is no silver bullet – there is no system that takes care of everything, says police inspector Per Øyvind Haugen at the Norwegian Police Directorate.
A unique exercise in 2021 with Interpol, Avinor, UAS Norway and the Norwegian police gathered 170 participants from different countries. 14 antidrone systems were testet over three days.
The report is now ready. Read what it says about the various systems and technologies that were tested at Gardermoen in September 2021.
– Those who do not want to be seen…
Haugen sits in the sun outside Kongshavn upper secondary school, and feels the heat of the sun after a three-day drone conference with Interpol. Per Øyvind Haugen is responsible for the implementation of drones and countermeasures against drones in the Norwegian Police Directorate (POD).
Six drones and 14 anti-systems were tested during the exercise. They were subjected to a passive test, an active test, a multisensor test and the fourth was a jam test.
All but one of the fourteen systems managed to jam the drone. One system was disqualified because it also jammed GPS signals.
DJI Mini, Parrot Anafi, DJI Mavic 2 Air, DJI Phantom 3/4, DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise and DJI Matrice 210.
The drones were tested against the following systems:
Norwegian Ixi from Dark Matter Norway AS.
Dedrone and H. P. Marketing & Consulting from Germany.
D-Fend from D-Fend Solutions, Israel.
Fortem from Drone Protection Solutions AS, Norway.
Hensloldt and Rohde & Schwarz fra Frequentis AG, Tyskland
Flir from Heatsec AS, Norway.
Sensofusion from Sensofusion Oy, Finland
Droneshield & Squarehead Technologies, Norway
Stanley from Stanley Security Norge AS, Norway
Steel Rock from Steel Rock Technologies, UK
Saab from Saab AB, Sweden,
Weibel from Weibel Scientific, Denmark
Together with the Indian drone commander Madan Oberei at Interpol, he has just explained about the special report, which will soon be read by authorities around the world.
The report is trying to find a way to prevent lunatics from sending in drones to destroy civil aviation, or others who both intentionally and unintentionally flying in areas that are not allowed. For example, near critical infrastructure, or areas that have so-called no-fly zones, either permanent – or ad-hoc in connection with events.
– The commercial drones can often be detected, and dealt with. But those who want to avoid problems and not be seen, it is difficult to find systems that handle, says Haugen.
When asked if it is not just about using military defense systems, the answer is currently short: The systems the police will use must often work in urban areas, and then you face other challenges that civil society must deal with. Yes, many of the systems that exist today are scaled-down defense systems, but they are often used in areas outside populated areas, Haugen sighs.
It may seem strange to some: At Interpol’s three – day conference in Oslo, there was a high focus from police officers on telling what a fantastic tool drones can be for hunting criminals. Israeli drones are so quiet that they can barely be heard dropping CS gas over protesters. Some American drones emit sounds like automatic weapons to intimidate.
At the same conference, there is a close opposite discussion, it deals with drones as a threat. And for many, it is just as important to discuss: Where to discover and stop drones that should not be there? In particular, the problem has been defined as a challenge for airports, but over the past year the problem has also become topical in Europe and Sweden, where drones have been observed more often in the vicinity of critical socially critical infrastructure.
From 19 to 21 December 2018, hundreds of flights were canceled at Gatwick Airport in London, following reports of drone sightings near the runway. 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights were affected in the biggest disturbance at Gatwick since the volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 2010.
Countermeasure against unwanted drones is often referred to as CUAS – Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The term denotes solutions for detecting, tracking and ultimately interfering with and destroying unmanned aerial vehicles.
Airports have installed systems to stop incoming drones, but it is well known that the effect is mediocre for many. The problem is to find systems that are both effective and do not give too many so-called false positives – that is, that they give results, or an alarm that there are drones that are in the area when in fact they are not.
It costs dearly for airports to shut down every time they receive such an alarm. At the same time, it has also proved to be demanding for several airports to man such systems if one is to ensure optimal security of the airport. It all turns out to be a demanding exercise for those who choose to go for a procurement.
Since 2019, Singapore
This is the background for the work The international police agency Interpol launched its previous expert conference in Singapore in 2019. After two years of planning, the world’s largest live exercise was launched at Gardermoen, without stopping the airport, to map various systems that could work. against drones. More than 2000 movements were performed at the airport at the same time as the tests were performed and at the same time as drone flying was performed around the airport. It has never happened before in the world at a civilian airport.
Dronemagasinet has already written several reports about the exercise, which was unique in its kind:
Presented to 300 participants
On Wednesday, the report from the exercise was presented to 300 participants at Interpol’s expert conference on drones in Oslo, and Interpol’s drone chief Madan Oberoi was proud:
“Firstly, because it will help member countries understand how such tests can be carried out, and how they can be able to evaluate these anti-UAS systems,” Oberoi said in this report in Dronemagasinet.
The 61 tests assessed four areas: Passive detection systems, radars, multisensor systems and countermeasures.
To evaluate, the logs from the various CUAS systems, logs from the drones as well as notes and recordings from observers were used.
Together with metadata, a video was made that gave a visual presentation with relevant calculations from the drone. Thus, one could see in real time what the drone did and what the C-UAS system identified.
By using countermeasures, the goal was to provide enough information to determine whether parts or the entire airport had to be closed.
Easier to find the common
In the test, only off-the-shelf drones were used.
The probability of detecting drones produced by the most popular manufacturers in the world was, as expected, higher than the probability of detecting drones produced by other less popular companies, the report states:
“This is because all C-UAS systems that use radio frequency (RF) -based detection have the most popular drone signatures in their libraries. The test results may have been different if specially built or modified commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) drones were used, “it says.
Decision makers must also find out if they want mobile or desktop systems. You should probably consider having both types.
Many drone countermeasures can be dangerous. They can cause donors to fall or fly away. Jamming systems can disrupt legitimate communication links, and thus simply disrupt existing communications. Even kinetic countermeasures that shoot a small net equipped with a parachute to bring the captured drone to the ground can be risky if the parachute is not deployed correctly or if the interception takes place at a low level. Therefore, the National Communications Authority (NKOM) was also in place during the entire exercise to monitor and monitor that frequencies.
Countermeasure systems generally use a wide range of different frequency bands. These frequency bands are often shared by various other communication systems and are also used commercially, leading to an increased risk of interference.
To avoid problems with other communication through interference, only the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies were allowed to be disturbed. Disruptions with the global positioning systems GPS, Glonass and Galileo led to disqualification.
No common standard
The report states that there are no international standards for the design, evaluation and use of C-UAS systems at airports.
«… Although suppliers of C-UAS systems tend to market their products as suitable for any use or application, the reality is that there is a big difference in both requirements and challenges for the different use cases of C-UAS systems. », The report states.
The tests were carried out under different scenarios, but all were based on the assumption that the drone to be stopped had no evil intentions, but created dangerous situations through illegal and irrational flying.
The systems had to deal with both single drones and drones that came in pairs, and drones that came in quick succession.
Since it is assumed that enemy drones would escape, the police conducted a preliminary investigation in July 2021 with Avinor and the National Security Authority to reflect a current threat picture.
Through the use of a number of drone detection systems, 32 unauthorized drones were detected by a total of 125 illegal flights within the 5-km no-fly zone at Gardermoen.
During the three-day test period, the suppliers’ systems were to perform various exercises. Their names were coded and thus anonymized.
They were subjected to a passive test, an active test, a multisensor test and the fourth was a jam test. All but one of the fourteen systems managed to jam the drone. One system was disqualified because it also jammed GPS signals.