This post is a quick recap of Global Drone Security Network (GDSN) #3.
We are honoured to host presentation from Gabriel Bendheim from D-Fend. If you haven't watched his talk "Cyber Counter-Drone Concepts for Control & Continuity in Challenging Environments" please visit our YouTube channel.
Cyber Counter-Drone Concepts for Control & Continuity in Challenging Environments
Hello, everybody. Pleasure to meet you. My name is Gabriel from defend. And I'm here to talk about cyber Counter Drone concepts for control and continuity in challenging environments. We have defense solutions, we provide our Counter Drone solutions, aimed specifically for the sensitive environments to provide complete situational awareness and control over the drone threats. A little bit about our product and about who we are and where we are dispersed around the world. We are a global company, with global offices worldwide. At the moment, we're providing our solution to a wide range of various customers from various domains and various defense sectors, whether in the sector of defense, Homeland Security, private enterprises, and we protect large scale events, and sensitive airspace is worldwide. And this is where I want to really put an emphasis on because you had various speakers yesterday, and you will have more speakers today talk about drone technology, where drones are going and how their technologies is advancing and the amount of different applications that drones are being used in today. So I don't need to talk too much about that. But we know that the drones are everywhere, and that their technology is advancing to a degree where they could be used to pose as a risk, whether by terrorists or criminal activities. So drones used maliciously, or just drones used carelessly by careless users that can cause harm in various domains. And what I want to put an emphasis on today, are the challenging environments or the sensitive environments and air spaces, where if these drones pose as a risk, it is a lot more complex to counter that threat. Firstly, to provide the situational awareness for the operators using Counter Drone solutions, and secondly, and more importantly, how do we neutralize that risk? And not only how do we neutralize it, but how can we neutralize it while maintaining operational continuity, or maintaining safety in the environment where of what we wish to protect. And that leads me to the next slide where I'm going to talk about the ideal Counter UAS solution for challenging environments as I think it may be. And that is a full spectrum Counter UAS solution that does everything as an end to end system from detecting the rogue drone in the environment, tracking its movements, classifying it's make and model, providing you with extra situational awareness as to perhaps pilots position or takeoff location of that drone, painting a full picture for the Counter UAS system operator. And moreover, if that operator sees that drone or those drones in plural poses a risk to the operational environments, or to the environment of which we wish to protect, we have the ability to safely take control over that drone. Disconnect the rogue UAS or the rogue drone from its original pilot, and move it over and land it safely at a predefined safe zone of the Counter UAS solutions or system operators choice. And that's very important. And that's the ideal Counter UAS solution in D-Fend's mind, is in terms of cyber takeover, we're not only providing the accurate location of that drone, or if you may look at the screen where as we're painting, a dome of protection over an environment, we see the drones' movements, and we have the ability to fully take control over that drone while using cyber takeover technology. And we can do that safely and the immediate benefits of that, is that though as that solution is surgical, it is non-jamming, so I'm doing that without interfering with the operational environment. I'm not using any kinetic solution. So I'm not sending anything physical out into the air. And I'm not dependent on line of sight and that in my mind is the ideal Counter UAS solution for challenging environments because not only can we paint a full picture and have that situational awareness provided, but we also have the ability to neutralize the threat, mitigate the risk by taking full control over the rogue drone and landing it safely, all while maintaining operational continuity by not jamming, not sending any kinetic solutions into the air and not being dependent on line of sight.
The next slide is going to go a little bit into detail about the specific capabilities or the necessary capabilities for control and safety across the rogue drone incident lifecycle. So if the previous slide was just painting that picture in a macro point of view, this slide, we're going to dive a little bit deeper into each specific part of the lifecycle or each specific aspect in terms of the capabilities that are relevant in order to provide a full Counter UAS solution. And the first thing that a Counter UAS solution, working off of RF cyber is going to need to do is to detect the risk and to provide the system operator with an alert. Now, though, this is an educated audience, it's going to be pretty easy to explain how it works. Lots of times when I'm talking to different customers, we have to really go into the basics of things. But in terms of UAS operation, or drone operation, there's a ground control station and there's a drone. And usually they have a unique communication line between them. RF detection and cyber technology solutions will detect the RF between the drone and the remote control, and it's going to provide the operator with an alert telling the operator, "Hey, is a drone communication in your operational environment." Moreover, through that dedicated line of communication between an RC and its drone, lots of information is being sent in both ways. The ground control station is what's telling the drone to fly up, fly down, fly left, fly right. And the UAS or drone is sending lots of information back to its remote controller. RF cyber technology utilizes that line of communication and extracts crucial information from that line of communication, we focus on extracting the information our RF cyber technology can focus on extracting the information that's relevant, such as the live GPS location of the drone. So not only are we detecting that there's drone technology in the vicinity, and providing the operator with an alert. These technologies have the ability to extract the live GPS location that the drone is sending to its remote control, decodes the information and displays it for the system operator on the user interface. That way we're detecting the drone communication, providing the operator with with an alert, and also receiving the live GPS location of that drone tracking its movements live, and GPS accuracy. In addition, now that we have that now that we know that there's a drone out there, and we know its exact live position, and the distance from perhaps what we defined as the area of protection, it's important to also gain more and more information about that UAS in order to provide situational awareness as to what the system operator is dealing with. Information such as the identity of that drone. Not only are we providing, or can, RF cyber solutions provide you with the make and model of a specific drone, say not only that it's this type of communication operating on so and so frequency. But we're also letting the system operator know, hey, there's a phantom four Pro, or Mavic two enterprise or Parrot ANAFI in your environment, or a do it yourself drone model that's out there. RF cyber technology also has the ability to provide its own unique identification to each drone. And in that case, say you have 10 of the same drones out in your vicinity or out in your operational environment that have the same make and model. RF cyber technology has the ability to provide its own unique identifier to each drone. That way, although you have say, 10 of the same drones in your environment, you're able to distinguish between each one, which enables the RF cyber technology operator to perhaps authorize a specific drone. Right? we can create a list say of authorized drones and unauthorized drones, although they're from, or have the same make and model. This is very important for many different operational domains and security, as well as private enterprises say an airport that has their own security drones or own drones that are used, that they're using for maintenance. And the RF cyber technology operator would want to categorize or classify those drones as authorized. Whereas any other drone although they're from the same make and model which hasn't been authorized, will be mitigated or neutralized upon entering the predefined protected area or just manually neutralized and mitigated by the system operator.
In addition to then providing the operator with detection of the rogue drone, as well as its live location, as well as the making model, and perhaps also classify it as an authorized or unauthorized drone. RF cyber technology provides system operators with crucial information such as the takeoff position of the drone, and in some cases, also the RC position, the live remote control position. So say a rogue drone pilot would take off from a specific location and then make his or her way to a different environment. Perhaps to hide away from the original home point, RF cyber technology can provide both of those locations to the Counter UAS operator. Thus painting a full situational awareness picture for the operator of detecting the rogue drone or rogue drones providing the operator with their live location, classifying the make and model of those drones in the environment and providing information such as the takeoff position, as well as the remote control location. And then the system operator can decide what he or she wants to do with the environment. If they see that these drones or these rogue drones pose as a risk as a threat to the operational environment, RF cyber technology can then move over to the other part of the neutralization or drone mitigation. Again, all in the same end to end solution, one sensor provides you with that full scale or full spectrum of capabilities, we can then move over to mitigate or neutralize the risk. And as you can see on your screen, it's important to provide multiple scalable options for drone or threat mitigation. Okay, you can begin with with just an option to disconnect the drone pilot. So we see that drone in the environment, we see that it poses as a risk or we see the multiple drones in the environment, see that all of them pose as a risk, we can then proceed to mitigate. And when a system operator of RF cyber technology would select to neutralize a drone in the environment, the system sends a surgical command signal to a specific drone to disconnect from its original remote control. And then the scalable options of mitigation would be just to fend off the drone just to remain in that disconnecting phase. Again, I'm reminding that it's surgical and it's non jamming, I'm communicating specifically to the rogue drone, we can disconnect it from its pilot, and then the drone is going to conduct its failsafe mechanisms, whether it would return home or hover and land in place. An additional option to the scalable capabilities of drone mitigation and neutralization would be to force the drone to go back to its original home point and land at home. Thus, the pilot is not going to regain control when the drone comes closer to his or her vicinity. Rather, the drone is just going to go back to its original takeoff position and land safely, again, keeping a protected environment under control. And last but not least, the RF cyber technology operator can move over to fully take control over that drone. So we're not just going to disconnect it from its original pilot, and we're not going to leave it by sending it back home. Rather, the RF cyber technology operator can moreover reprogram that drone with new waypoints to land at a predefined safe location of his or her choosing. And that's the full capabilities set of RF cyber technology from detecting the Rogue drone ,providing the live GPS location of that drone, classifying it's making model, having the ability to classify it as an authorized or unauthorized drone, being provided awareness as to where the drone came from, where its pilot is, and having the ability to safely mitigate the risk and neutralize the threat either by sending it back to its original home location, or by reprogramming it. So fly waypoints to a newly safe predefined safe landing zone of the system operators choosing.
Thus, providing with full operational safety in the operational environment and maintaining complete control over the drone. I'm going to move over and discuss traditional technologies and how those traditional technologies although operated very, very well may struggle and have shortcomings when operated in challenging or in sensitive environments. And those original technologies are traditional technologies that are used in the realm of detection or technologies such as radars, optical solutions, RF direction finders and acoustic solutions in some cases. Now we love those technologies. They're traditional. We're used to them and we know that they work However, they work well in some environments. But when talking about sensitive environments or challenging environments, whether it's dense urban environments or environments with obstructions, we know that they have their limitations. Okay, traditional technologies such as radars, or acoustic solutions suffer from false positives, or RF refractions in some cases, whereas it has the problem with distinguishing between the different flying objects in the vicinity. And if caused with RF reflection, the radars are going to provide the system operator with many alerts, although not all from the same specific drone that's out there in the vicinity. Moreover, traditional detection technologies such as optical solutions would have problems working in areas which are non line of sight, or would have problems with bad weather in specific locations. So we know that those traditional technologies, however great they may be in some environments, dealing in more challenging environments, such as urban areas, or dense urban environments would have trouble detecting the rogue drone, either by false positives or just trouble handling the non line of sight in the environment. The next category would be traditional technologies in the realm of mitigation. These traditional technologies can be technology such as RF control jamming, and RF and GPS jamming, In addition, traditional technologies for mitigation would be would be those of kinetic solutions. They can be net throwers, they could be drones that go and catch drones, or that ram into other drones. And they can be high energy devices, laser, and microwave devices that burn the drones while in midair. And again, those technologies are great. And they work. However, in some environments, or in sensitive environments, or challenging environments say, I don't know if you're an airport and you want to protect your airspace, or if you're at a mega event in a stadium or a mega sporting event. Using these traditional mitigation technologies could pose as a bigger risk than the drone itself that's in the vicinity. Since traditional radio control and GPS jamming are going to cause signal disruption. Now we know that that's very effective in terms of disconnecting the drone from its pilot, thus, the drone is going to conduct its failsafe, which also can be a risk at times. We know that in sensitive and challenging environments, we can't always conduct these jamming solutions, right. In addition, kinetic solutions would be great for catching a drone, but it has the risk of causing collateral damage. If I'm shooting down a drone, I got to make sure that that drone is going to land safely, or else it's just scary to not know what's going to happen with that drone if it falls down on a crowd of people. Or if it's going to fall in an area or drop in an area it's going to it's going to cause more damage than we aim to prevent. And that was a little bit about traditional technologies. And however great they may be, it's just to show that they have their own shortcomings when operating Counter UAS solutions in urban environments and sensitive environments and operationally challenging environments. That's why sensitive environments requires the next generation approach or the RF cyber approach in terms of drone takeover, where in the detection realm of the situation, the outcome is going to be fast and accurate detection by utilizing the RF channel. We're going to detect that RF communication by extracting crucial information and specific information validating that that RF signal that has been detected is that of a drone. We're creating fast and accurate detection with no false positives. In addition, by depending on on the RF communication link, you're not dependent on line of sight, however helpful that line of sight may be. It's not completely dependent as those of optical solutions where we would actually need the line of sight with the UAS.
Using RF cyber technology, line of sight may help for gaining more range, but you're not dependent on that line of sight for detecting the Rogue drone in your environment. And in the realm of mitigation, the RF cyber is going to keep a safe environment by safely disconnecting the specific drone from its specific remote controller pilot, and then having the ability to reprogram that drone with new waypoints to a new safe landing zone. Thus, the original drone pilots going to be disconnected from the UAS. That UAS has been successfully reprogrammed and safely flying a predefined safe route to a safe landing zone, thus providing sensitive airspace protection while maintaining that operational continuity. We know that in cyber takeover, while ensuring that operational continuity, we know that that's key for continuing in the realm of communications, transportation, commerce, everyday life, we need to provide that safety. A) that situational awareness of what's happening in our operational deployment environment, and B) providing with that safety to maintain operations while neutralizing the drone threat surgically and safely, how important that is for maintaining operations across all domains, whether it's the defense sector that needs to maintain their operational continuity by maintaining their communications or not disrupting their communications. Moreover, an airport domains are critical infrastructures where again, they cannot disrupt signal communications, GPS communications in the environment, or just commercial everyday life, where neutralizing the threat in traditional manners is going to be a problem if it's not done safely and surgically, while maintaining control over the threat in all steps of the process. And that's the first part of the presentation that talks about the solution of cyber RF takeover in terms of that full spectrum, end to end operational solution for detection, tracking classification, providing crucial information such as takeoff position and RC location, while enabling in the same sensor and in the same solution to neutralize and mitigate the threat surgically and safely, whether for a single drone, or for multiple drones in the operational deployment environment. Now, let's talk a little bit about all the different types of drones that are out there, right. And the biggest limitation that an RF cyber takeover solution is going to have is, of course, it's library of drones. So we know that there's all different types of drones that are being flown out there, whether it's the commercial high endurance drones, those drones that can fly, long ranges, maintain great communication between the ground control station and that of the drone, high video quality, can fly long distances, and the larger of those UAS can also carry substantial payloads. There's a whole other sector of the Do It Yourself drone market, of having that flight controller, pairing it with telemetry radio models, and building it on your own frame that you constructed from scratch. That's a whole other domain of UAS that are out there. In addition, they are the smaller, more consumer based Wi-Fi drones, some of them with great extended Wi-Fi capabilities. And we're seeing more and more of those drones come out to date. And some of those smaller, I would say low endurance drones that are used for different cases and different measurements, sometimes, but all of them are out there. And all of those drones can be used to cause risk. And they could be a threat in the different operational domains in the different sectors. RF cyber technology has a limitation of library based solutions. That's why it's crucial for vendors of such technologies to focus on which of those technologies they want to implement and how they can
provide a robust library with the crucial UAS that are out there in the market. And it's important to constantly research and analyze the drone market see what drones that are out there, which drones are used for malicious attempts, and statistically seeing which ones are out there and which ones have been used, in addition to see which of the best selling drones are out there to see the different shifts and trends out in the market in order to implement an upgrade the RF cyber library with the most crucial drones that are out there, and that we know today that there's commonly supported drones that are very relatively easy to implement into an RF cyber technologies supported drones library. But I would say customers out there need to take into consideration that if they're searching for that RF cyber technology, they have to search for an RF cyber technology that also deals with the major threats, the high endurance drones that are out there in the market the do it yourself drones that are out there in the market, the ones that can fly long distances, the ones that can carry heavy payloads and that the ones that are most likely to be used in malicious activities are the ones that if used carelessly, would cause the most amount of damage. Because RF Cyber, although perfect in many domains, if you have a drone flying out, there could be 10 feet away from the sensor. But if it's not implemented in the drones library, the system is going to be completely blind to the fact that there's a drone being flown out there. And that's why unique differentiators and vendors that are providing these RF cyber solutions are differentiating in their libraries as to supporting the capabilities that we mentioned before of detecting the drone locating its exact position, classifying the drone make and model, having the ability to uniquely tag a drone as an authorized or unauthorized drone, providing information as its takeoff position or RC location. In addition to providing the ability to safely mitigate neutralize and threat by disconnecting the pilot and reprogramming that drone to fly safe routes are predefined safe landing zone. And it's crucial to differentiate between the different drones that are out there on the market, and to select an RF cyber solution with the biggest amount of drones that are relevant for each customer out there in terms of the threat environment that they are facing.
In addition, it's important to mention that with RF cyber technology, what's relevant today may change tomorrow and may not be relevant tomorrow. And that's why it's crucial to continuously provide updates and upgrades to the system. With the new and emerging threats that are out there, we see that new drones are coming to the market every day. And it's crucial that those drone technologies be implemented into the supported drones library as soon as possible. And that's why it's important for Counter UAS RF cyber technology vendor to continuously research the market, analyze the market, anticipate the new emerging threats, and proactively build the solution to meet the next generation threat or the threat that's yet to come. In addition, it's important to have the RF cyber technology enabled to integrate with external control systems, we know that the drone threat is increasing and the regulations in the world of utilizing UAS and the environment, whether it's with line of sight or BVLOS, or beyond visual line of sight, we know that UAS traffic management systems are being deployed are being implemented to us today. In addition, such technologies that drone pilots may be required to use, such as providing their drone with a UUID. So that these, UAS traffic management systems could have a good situational awareness of the environment. It doesn't provide that full hermetic solution in terms of drones that will not be registered or listed. So it's important to have the RF cyber technology enabled to integrate with these control systems or these global control systems, or international control systems in order to provide that full situational awareness of both those registered drones, as well as the drones or UAS that are not registered, or what we can call them rogue drones in the environment, thus providing those UTM systems with full situational awareness of what's happening in the environment. In addition, RF cyber technology as perfect as it may be, and why we think or I think it's the ideal technology for challenging and sensitive environments, it's not perfect, and it needs to have the ability to be integrated and implemented into multi-layered defense technologies as well. So to have the ability to combine this RF cyber technology solution with additional technologies, in order to provide that hermetic solution is crucial. That leads me to the final slide of cyber takeover core concepts to ensure operational continuity and safety in an operational deployment environment would be that a full control, the system operator would need to have the ability to provide full control over the operational deployment environment. And the best way to provide that control is to not only detect and provide situational awareness about what's happening in terms of the drones flying in the operational deployment environment, but also have the ability to safely take control over that drone and land it. And that's why the next category would be providing that safety of a safe landing zones or multiple safe landing zones, in order for us to have that control as to where the drone is going to make its way after it has been neutralized. In addition, it's crucial to focus on the drone market, and to I would say, research and analyze and implement the correct drone technologies as soon as possible and to anticipate the upcoming threats in order to implement it into the supported drone library of the RF cyber technologies and solutions. And always look to the future, see what the new developing technologies that are out there, anticipate the threat, implement the ability to counter those threats in order to continually provide that operational continuity while providing safety in all the different domains and vectors that are out there. That's it for my presentation in my slides. I hope I didn't go over time. And I would love to hear any questions that you have about the presentation, about RF cyber technology, about operational continuity, or just anything that's on your mind for that matter.