Digital Battlespace

Singapore Airshow 2020: Orion first to join the ‘bandwagon’

13th February 2020 - 11:00 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Singapore

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TRD debuted the Orion-H+ at Singapore Airshow 2020, as the latest addition to its range of lightweight C-UAS systems.

Orion-H+ has been in development since last year, with one key improvement being the expansion of the handheld weapon to six bands, compared with three on the original Orion-H.

The Orion-H+ covers the 433MHz, 915MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz RF bands, plus global navigation satellite system (GNSS) frequencies L1 and L2. Bands can be selected individually, or can all be jammed simultaneously. The same six bands are already covered by the equivalent Orion-10 manpack.

Sam Ong, MD of TRD, claimed that Orion-H+ is the first handheld UAS jammer in the world to cover these six bands. The expansion has become necessary because UAVs are now using a broader range of frequencies.

The system has a full digital display and improved controls, and can interoperate with a command network. This means, for example, that a central controller an specify a particular jammer within the network to operate using a set frequency and/or direction.

Otherwise the performance of the Orion-H+, which weighs less than 6kg, is the same as before. Its 22.2V lithium-polymer battery life is 1h and effective range is 1km. It can work against intruding UAS in a sector 30°-35° in front of the jammer. Jamming causes the aircraft to automatically land or return home, an effect that should occur within 20s.

Another new product from TRD is a jammer payload for rotary-wing UAS. This offers a directional capability and TRD has already tested it multiple times. The payload can work successfully within about 100m of an intruder UAS.

Singapore-based TRD claims significant sales success for its lightweight C-UAS systems. It has also been collaborating with Chinese drone giant DJI since 2019 to incorporate the latter’s AeroScope detection system into the Orion-I. The advantage of this cooperation is that more information on a UAV’s location and identity can be obtained by the agency doing the jamming.

In future, TRD will extend such an AeroSpace capability to non-DJI UAS.

Ong also noted the growing use of 'DIY' UAS controlled by mobile phones and 4G networks. Presently there are no regulations governing their use, but C-UAS systems will need to operate in the 4G and 5G bands in future to be able to counter them.

In addition, TRD is working on the maxim that its handheld C-UAS systems must cover non-ISM bands. the company aims to develop an advanced defeat system to counter nano-swarming UAS using non-ISM frequencies.

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