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Opportunity to join anti-drone consortia

UK H2020 Consortia seeks UK Academics and SME’s involved in identification, detection and mitigation of drones.

Reponses required before 29th March 2016 to: cast@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Website: www.gov.uk/home-office

The rapid development of drone technology has provided the general public with an unprecedented level of access to the capability of monitoring and accessing areas previously inaccessible to them. This allows easy and regular incursion into locations which may once have been considered to be secured by the use of physical measures. The technology now offers effective prosecution of missions by unskilled operators combined with live streaming of high definition video to the internet. Understanding of this capability has been held back by the assumption that operating drones is ‘hard to do’ and this naivety has led to security and response measures being outdated and ineffective. There is ample publicly reported evidence of unmanned aircraft and drones being researched and deployed by criminal and terrorist groups worldwide over the last two decades.

The emergence of highly automated and technically capable COTS drones has rendered existing security measures obsolete. The ‘ready to fly’ nature of the systems combined with the low skill level needed to fly them potentially provides significant aerial capability to anyone sufficiently technical to plug in a battery charger.

As an international consortium of end users consisting of seven law enforcement agencies from seven European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Spain) with a requirement to identify, detect and mitigate against drones, we are seeking partners from both academia and industry to engage with to enable us to jointly find technical solution to deal with this threat.

We are aiming to address this in line with the H2020 framework hence the very short deadline.

The Horizon 2020 programme is a European funded research programme that covers a wide range of topics determined by the commission to be of societal importance to the citizens of Europe. The programme will run from 2014 through to 2020 and has an overall budget of 80bn Euro. This programme is the successor to the recent FP7 research programme. Within the programme, there is a section that deals with ‘Secure Societies ‘, which is aimed at improving the security of Europe through innovative research. The relevant topics (within the scope of this theme) is Fighting Crime and Terrorism which expresses a demand for “technologies for prevention, investigation, and mitigation in the context of fight against crime and terrorism” (SEC-12-FCT-2016-2017), and in subtopic 2 more specifically the “detection and neutralization of rogue/suspicious light drone/UAV flying over restricted areas, and involving as beneficiaries, where appropriate, the operators of infrastructure.” 

H2020 operates as a collaborative programme which requires a minimum of three partners from EU member states. These partners are typically from academia and industry, but increasingly there is a demand for end user engagement as they are assessed on impact. This is a competitive process and there are no guarantees that all proposals will lead to a funded project. The timescales involved in H2020 follow an annual cycle and projects typically last for three years.

The seven law enforcement agencies had an initial meeting on the 1st March 2016 to discuss the requirements for any future system, a list of those requirements are shown below.

If this is something that you would interested in being an active member of can I please ask that you reply at your earliest convenience and by no later than the 29th March 2016 and include within your response in English what you feel you would be able to bring to the consortium. The consortium will then consider your application and immediately inform you.

Additional information:

List of requirements

 

Integration of Sensors and common interface

The system will be comprised of different sensor technologies whose outputs can be fed into a decision making tool to allow an operator or automated response to an alert. This alert may lead to an automated mitigation technique being deployed, either via a 'man in the loop' system or a decision made by an Artificial Intelligence decision making tool. The choice of whether the mitigation technique will be automated or following human interaction will be dependent on the situation in which the system is deployed. There should be a common interface to connect any component parts.

Reduce cognitive load

A major impact of the system shall be to reduce the decision making and interpretation needed by a LEA operator. The system should minimise any judgement issues.

Plug and play capability

The system should be designed so that any new sensors or mitigation technologies that are added can be easily incorporated into the decision making software and architecture of the system.

Scaleability

The system should be capable of expansion to cater for different installation locations or requirements. This may include the addition of multiple sensors of the same type or the inclusion on different types of sensor to reduce the chance of false alarms and increase the chances of detection.

Transportable

The system should be capable of being moved from one location to another.

Coping with latest UAV generation and future proofing

Any solution much be designed to allow for the detection of future generations of drone technology (e.g. collision avoidance and enhanced navigation techniques). It must also (as far as possible) be able to cater for the development or introduction of new detection or mitigation technologies.

Payload classification

It would be desirable to be able to determine the payload of any drone detected (this is not mandatory)

UAV database/classification

The system should ideally be able to identify (for COTS) or classify (for DIY drones) all types of drones and their attributes (e.g. fixed wing, multi - rotor, manufacturer, weight, range etc)

Operational reliability

The system should be capable of running for extended period of time (weeks) without maintenance requirements.

Redundancy

There should be sufficient redundancy built into the system to allow for detection to take place should any individual detection sensors fail.

Multiple target ability

The system must be able to be capable of dealing with the detection of multiple drone attacks.

Public perception, health and safety, and data protection issues

The system should not raise any issues that would cause the general public to be alarmed or unnecessarily concerned regarding privacy, intrusion, or health and safety issues

Safe mitigation and/or intervention

Any mitigation or intervention technologies employed must result in the safe disablement of the drone. For example the drone should be diverted or landed in a way they would not endanger anyone from a possible malicious or dangerous payload.

Scaleable affordability

The cost of the system should reflect its capabilities. A system that can protect a city with one installation will have a higher tolerable price tag that one which only protects a small area and requires many installations.

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