DARPA launches Aerial Dragnet
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched the Aerial Dragnet programme to map small UAS in urban terrain, it was announced on 13 September.
The programme is looking for innovative technologies to provide wide-area surveillance of all UAS operating below 1,000ft in a large city. While the programme aims to protect soldiers operating in urban settings overseas, the system could ultimately find civilian application to help protect US metropolitan areas from UAS-enabled terrorist threats DARPA said.
Aerial Dragnet seeks to develop systems adapted to the fundamental physics of small UAS in urban environments that could enable non-line-of-sight (NLOS) tracking and identification of a wide range of slow, low-flying threats.
The surveillance nodes should use sensor technologies to look over and between buildings and maintain UAS tracks even when the craft disappear from sight around corners or behind objects. The programme will combine low cost sensor hardware with software-defined signal processing hosted on existing UAS platforms.
Jeff Krolik, DARPA programme manager, said: ‘Commercial websites currently exist that display in real time the tracks of relatively high and fast aircraft—from small general aviation planes to large airliners—all overlaid on geographical maps as they fly around the country and the world. We want a similar capability for identifying and tracking slower, low-flying unmanned aerial systems, particularly in urban environments.’
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
Leonardo showcases new AWHero developments at SeaFuture 2023
At SeaFuture 2023 in La Spezia, Italy, Leonardo showcased new AWHero rotary-wing UAS (RWUAS) developments, touting its maritime operations capabilities.
Third order for German 2-in-1 drone for Ukraine
On 31 May, Quantum Systems announced that the Ukrainian MoD had ordered 300 additional Vector drones under a third order that the German government is funding.
US Army moves forward on future tactical UAS without AeroVironment
AeroVironment has been dropped from the hunt to provide the US Army with a Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS), leaving Griffon Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada and Textron Systems in the running.
Navantia, SAES and Perseo to jointly develop line of uncrewed underwater vehicles
At FEINDEF in Madrid, Navantia, SAES and Perseo announced an intention to develop a line of uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs).