UK government awards C-UAV technology contracts
The UK government has awarded £2 million in funding to support 18 projects that will develop new technologies that are able to detect, disrupt and defeat the hostile and malicious use of drones.
Awarded under the UK Defence and Security Accelerator’s (DASA) Countering Drones competition that was launched earlier in 2019, this first phase of the programme is expected to until summer 2020.
Concepts included in the sponsored proposals are methods for detecting 4G- and 5G-controlled drones, applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence for sensors to automatically identify UAVs, and low risk methods of stopping drones through electronic defeat or intercept.
DASA is running the competition on behalf of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, part of the latter’s ongoing research programme into counter-UAV systems, and the work is also supported by the Department for Transport and NATO.
‘The threat from UAS has evolved rapidly and we are seeing the use of hostile improvised UAS threats in overseas theatres of operation,’ David Lugton, competition technical lead, said.
‘There is a similar problem in the UK with the malicious or accidental use of drones becoming a security challenge at events, affecting critical infrastructure and public establishments, including prisons and major UK airports.’
Plextek Defence Technology Solutions (DTS) announced that it has been awarded two contracts under the programme, which will result in it developing signal detection and jamming systems as well as miniature radar technologies that are required to counter these small unmanned aerial vehicles.
Plextek-DTS says that it will apply its experience in carrying out research into low size weight and power radio systems to the projects.
The first project will focus on the development of a signal detection and jamming capability that can detect and defeat hostile drones while also ensuring that non-hostile systems in the area are not impacted.
For the second project, Plextek-DTS will develop a miniature radar that can be integrated into airborne UAVs to detect, track and accurately target hostile drones.
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