Utilities Drone Detection

Utilities Risks

Utilities Drone Detection

An October ’21 Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Counterterrorism Center revealed a DJI Mavic 2 carrying a copper wire attached by nylon cords targeted a power substation in Pennsylvania July ’20.

The agencies concluded the pilot’s goal was to disrupt operations and cause structural damage and warned similar attacks on power infrastructure are likely to follow.

Small commercial drones offer nefarious actors a low barrier to entry to cause significant damage and hobbyists a bird’s eye view of just about anything they want to see and film.

Key Threats

Service Disruption/Shutdown

IP Theft/Cyber Attack

  • Raspberry Pi or smart phone attached to drone interrupts communications or aids in cyber attack

Weaponized/Modified Drone

  • Drone drops chemical, biological, or explosive material
  • Drone with copper wire attached takes out substation

Unauthorized Surveillance

  • Nefarious actor gathers intel/plans future attack
  • Hobbyist pilot inadvertently posts video of secure areas

Structural Damage/Injury

  • Hobbyist loses control of drone and causes structural damage or injury/death to facility personnel

The Solution

Locate the Drone and Pilot, Before Drone Takes Flight

AeroDefense’s utilities drone detection system, AirWarden™, detects drones and pilots simultaneously, often before the drone takes off. This includes DJI, non-DJI, and even homemade drones likely to be used by nefarious actors.

Detect and disrupt nefarious actors during their pre-operational test flights in order to prevent future attacks.

Alert the Appropriate Personnel

Automatically alert security teams, facility HQ, local and regional Law Enforcement staff when a drone enters your detection alert zone via email, text or audible/visual command center User Interface.

AirWarden can share information between deployments as well.

Dynamically Extend Detection Range with Mobile Sensors

When an AirWarden sensor in a vehicle or marine vessel nears a fixed AirWarden network or network of AirWarden temporary/portable sensors, the mobile sensor can automatically connect to the network.

This enables security teams or local law enforcement to respond to incursions using AirWarden equipped response vehicles to extend a fixed or temporary system’s detection range and track the offending pilot and drone with enhanced accuracy.

Read more about our deployment options.

Trigger Camera Review Upon Detection

AirWarden’s user interface can be displayed within an I-frame of a 3rd party system. When AirWarden detects a drone signal, the system can also pass estimated GPS location coordinates to camera infrastructure to automatically point the camera in the vicinity of the detection for visual confirmation.

AeroDefense offers an optional camera integration to serve as a secondary sensor to validate drone detections made by AirWarden RF-based drone detection.

Proven in High RF Environments

The system was developed in urban New Jersey and has been thoroughly tested in high radio frequency (RF) environments such as Times Square and Lower Manhattan as well as MetLife Stadium where the system has been commercially deployed since 2018.

Does Not Interfere with Critical Equipment

The AirWarden system passively scans for Radio Frequency (RF) drone signals using spectrum sensing, so it won’t interfere with any of your existing systems.