The Fight Against Unmanned Aircraft Intrusions

The DARPA Mobile Force Protection (MFP) program seeks to develop an integrated system able to defeat a raid of self-guided small unmanned aircraft attacking a high-value convoy on the move.

The DARPA Mobile Force Protection (MFP) program seeks to develop an integrated system able to defeat a raid of self-guided small unmanned aircraft attacking a high-value convoy on the move.

December 5, 2017 | Source: Military & Aerospace Electronics, militaryaerospace.com, 20 November 2017, J.R. Wilson

One of the best examples of how rapidly advancing technologies can change security requirements is the rise of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Relatively unknown to all but a few in the military as recently as 1990, today they are central to militaries throughout the world; the general public can even buy them in grocery stores.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its counterparts around the globe have been struggling to define operational limitations on UAV flight parameters, especially around airports, where several apparently accidental incursions already have threatened safe commercial aircraft takeoffs and landings.

The U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, and military also are installing state-of-the-art sensors and quick-reaction defenses around the White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, and other federal facilities - domestic and overseas. The same applies to port perimeters, major rail heads, critical infrastructure, government buildings, and military bases.

"The FAA works closely with our law enforcement community partners to respond to and investigate UAS incidents and accidents," FAA officials say. "When the operator can be identified, the FAA and the appropriate law enforcement agency work together to investigate the event to determine if any administrative or criminal violations have occurred. FAA works closely with our federal law enforcement, security, and defense partners to share information regarding the risks of possible malicious uses of UAS and consults with them regularly on opportunities to address those risks through regulatory actions and other mitigation measures.