AST Digital Magazine July/August 2016 - Page 18

Volume 6 are possible and must be planned for. As always, the first step in any response is identification of the issue. SkyTracker provides UAS detection and identification at drone speed: in real time, without reliance on humans, 24×7 and in any weather. The system operates using a network of sensors, which can be emplaced or mobile, to discover and identify drones within its range. SkyTracker is an extensible system, and is currently in use protecting areas ranging from several hundred square meters to over 40 square kilometers (15 square miles). SkyTracker is a radio frequency (RF)-based system, which allows it to conclusively identify drones based on their unique signals emissions. False detects of birds and trees—which do not emit RF communications—don’t occur, and SkyTracker recognizes the smallest of drones. The system can also be extended to discover other potential threats, providing enhanced situational awareness of the electromagnetic spectrum in the area. CACI’s SkyTracker detection and engagement system defends against UAS threats – Stops UAS Threats to Valuable Assets and National Airspace Most importantly, SkyTracker’s RF-based approach allows for detection—and conclusive identification—of a drone’s operator, supporting chain-ofcustody determinations for the drone and providing evidence for prosecution of the pilot if necessary. The same technology allows for differentiation between lawfully operated drones and potential threats, allowing approved drones to fly while flagging unknown systems for response. July-Aug 2016 Edition One of the largest challenges facing the drone market is the evolution of appropriate regulations for the use of unmanned aerial systems. The Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Justice, and other agencies are weighing complex issues that involve privacy, safety, and right to fly—all important issues that will have a lasting impact on the market. There are many questions about what actions—if any— can be legally taken against trespassing drones, and who is authorized to take those actions. When regulations are complete, SkyTracker will be ready. The system includes a variety of focused techniques to respond to specific threats in such a way that legitimate drones can still operate. These capabilities can be implemented by security staff monitoring the SkyTracker system, if the appropriate authorities are in place. SkyTracker operates in a passive mode, detecting signals of drones and other devices within range of its sensors. The system has been tested by the FAA as part of their Pathfinder Program, which found that SkyTracker does not interfere with normal flight operations at commercial airports. Other installations have included urban environments, where SkyTracker’s proprietary method for identifying and cataloguing signals in the area allows it to outperform its competitors by significant margins. Technology will continue to improve, and remotelyoperated systems will continue to drop in cost while increasin g in capability. Like cell phones and computers, they will change our lives, bringing new opportunities as well as new challenges. Twenty years ago, for example, it was impossible to know that a single-person car accident happened on a country road until someone else passed by. Today, EMTs can be dispatched to save the victim’s life based solely on the car’s autonomous mobile technology. Drones have the same potential to shape our future—will you be ready? 18