Monitor Risk and Protect Your Airspace

Drone Defence & Detection

Drone Detection Systems, Drone Defence and Counter-UAS

Drone Defence, Detection and Protection

Know The Risk And Counter A Drone Strike

Terrorism, invasion of privacy, attacks on critical infrastructure, and widespread disruption - in the wrong hands, drones can cause chaos.

Drone defence enables you to secure and protect your airspace against hostile UAS, helping you determine the threat in real-time to take necessary action. Providing data-driven decision-making, counter-UAS solutions minimise false positives.

heliguy™ is an experienced drone security specialist. Our layered solution, centering on DJI AeroScope, has been installed at international airports, prisons, superyachts and major sporting events.

We offer life-time support and instant access to drone defence technicians, have developed custom solutions with mobile app interfaces, and enable software to be housed on private servers.

Utilising an industry-leading partnership network, we provide integrated counter-drone systems, combining multiple technologies to defend and mitigate a drone risk.

talk to our drone defence experts

5 Stages Of Drone Defence

#1

Detect

Alert issued when drone breaches a geofenced area or enters the airspace.

#2

Classify

Identify the drone's make and model, size, height and travel distance.

#3

Track

Monitor the drone's path and obtain the GPS locations of the aircraft and pilot.

#4

Respond

Locate pilot, seize property, or take alternative action, such as takedown.

#5

Learn

Via analytics - was it the same drone/pilot? Is a particular route being constantly targeted?

Drone Defence - Why You Need It

Protect your airspace

Drone defence has become an important asset for critical infrastructure, airports, prisons, superyachts and stadia, as well as for organisers of major events.

Use our tool below to view how drone defence works for different environments. Click on the image to find out more about that scenario.

Airports

There have been numerous incidents of drones causing disruption at airports. Think Gatwick in December 2018. Drone defence protects this sensitive airspace from UAS intrusions and reduces the risk of drones colliding with manned aviation.

Superyachts

Luxurious and lavish, superyachts frequently host celebrities and other VIPs. Counter-UAS is vital for protecting the privacy of these high-profile passengers, alerting them to a nearby drone which could be taking pictures or recording video. Drones can potentially carry hostile payloads, and there is a risk of an unmanned aircraft crashing on or near the yacht, causing significant damage.

Stadia and Arenas

A high-profile sporting event or open-air festival are attractive targets for malicious drone operators. Unmanned aircraft can be used to capture unauthorised footage, interrupt the game, and cause damage. They also present serious hazards for players and spectators.

Critical Infrastructure

The 2019 attack on oil-processing facilities in Saudi Arabia showed the carnage of a drone strike on critical infrastructure - causing huge damage and having a significant impact on global financial markets. Drones can also be deployed by activists who can fly around nuclear sites, oil installations, fracking sites and other critical infrastructure to cause damage, disruption and/or publicity.

Government/Defence

In highly-sensitive and politically-important area, drones can be used for terrorism and for spying. Ladden with bombs or other hostile payloads, drones can attack property and cause threats to life. They can also be deployed for reconnaissance missions, collecting sensitive and private information to prepare for an attack and obtain intelligence.

Prisons

Drones have become a useful and fairly anonymous tool for criminals to drop illicit substances or other contraband into prison grounds. Bring drone defence into action around the prison’s parameter to counter this illegal activity. Some systems also enable you to track the location of the pilot.

False Positives Cost Time And Money

Data Integrity - Don’t Cry Wolf™ about Drone Defence 🐺

Data integrity is crucial. Inaccurate information can hinder the creation of effective standard operating procedures and emergency response plans.

Reacting to a false alarm can also be expensive and labour intensive.

Then there’s the classic Cry Wolf™ scenario: Ignoring warnings due to the past experience of false alarms - only to suffer a drone attack when resources have not been deployed.

That’s why drone defence is key. Tools such as heat maps, real-time telemetry information and Remote ID provide a robust and trustworthy solution to reliably raise the alarm and counter a drone threat.

A catalogue of historical reports can then be compiled to use analytical learning to plan for and tackle/prevent future threats.

A layered solution is most effective for data integrity, utilising different sensors with different capabilities to identify a broader range of drones and cross-reference detection data and risk levels.


The incident at Gatwick Airport in December 2018 showed the disruption that can be caused by alleged drone sightings, which resulted in the closure of the runway for 33 hours and cost a total of £50m to the airport, airlines and insurers.

"It’s a pleasure to lead C-UAS here at Heliguy. We are at the forefront of counter-drone technology and we are ready to deploy equipment wherever needed."

Ruairi Hardman - Heliguy Counter-UAS Lead

Drone Defence in Numbers

In just 1 month our drone defence systems detected...

19,071

Drone Flights

Total number of drone flights detected across the UK from heliguy drone defence systems.

17.5%

Illegal Flights

3336 illegal flights reaching over 120m altitude, 17.5% of all detected flights.

12km

Average Distance

Average maximum detected range across each detected flight.

89.9m

Average Altitude

Average maximum altitude detected for each drone flight.

Layered Drone Defence

Multi-tiered Solution For A Comprehensive Drone Defence Strategy

A layered solution is the most comprehensive form of drone defence, with multiple technologies working together to plug the gaps and provide a more robust and complete defense strategy.

This system of systems is integrated via a middle-layer software with full automation and remote monitoring/alerts.

Drone defence is scalable, adding extra sensors and mitigation strategies in a phased and modular approach. A suggestion is outlined below:

  • Layer 1: RF drone detection, such as DJI AeroScope, which is 100% accurate but detects DJI drones only, accounting for over 80% of the market.
  • Layer 2: Additional RF sensors (such as Dedrone) to detect a wider array of drones, including non-DJI.
  • Layer 3: RF and radar to detect up to 99% of drones.
  • Layer 4: Counter-UAS Solutions, such as jammers, smart jammers, and/or drone gun.

Layers 2 to 4 are integrated via a middle-layer software. heliguy™ can offer an in-situ trial of layers 1 to 3 - available upon request.

The Heliguy Detect layered solution is scalable and flexible depending on the client’s needs. A network of partnerships with industry-leading Counter-UAS providers enables us to build an effective and tailored multi-tiered strategy.

Types of drone defence

An overview on how different technologies will help defend your airspace against rogue drones.

Having a reliable counter-drone solution arms you with the knowledge that you will be protected from an illegally-flown UAS and you will be able to react quickly to any potential threat.

Here is a look at some of the anti-drone techniques which exist to fight back against an attack.

Drone Detection Methods

RF

Heliguy Detect’s AeroScope solution, created by leading drone manufacturer DJI, is one tool for drone detection.

By intercepting the current communications link between a DJI drone and its remote controller, AeroScope is able to broadcast real-time identification information including UAV serial code, make and model, UAV position, speed, latitude and ground controller location.

This allows the operator to take mitigation action against the drone threat and at the same time dispatch law enforcement/security teams to apprehend the pilot.

Radar

Radar is another method of detecting and tracking drones.

Some advanced radar systems offer 360-degree coverage, fast-tracking and fully-automatic drone classification and flight-path monitoring.

Camera / Video

Cameras are another drone-detection technique, capturing the movement of UAVs, either using appearance-based, motion-based or hybrid methods.

The system has many commercial and defence applications, for example prisons, airports and places of interest, however, there are limitations.

Motion-based methods, for instance, can have difficulties distinguishing between drones and birds, while visual detection is dependent on the line of sight.

Acoustic

Acoustics fill a vital gap in proximity drone detection, as strict line-of-sight to target is not needed for positive tracking.

The drone can operate in urban canyons, cluttered areas, behind obstructions and in darkness or fog, out of range for radars and optics, but still within the earshot of an acoustic sensor.

Using hundreds of interconnected microphone elements, acoustic sensor units are able to establish a bearing and elevation to the target in real time using advanced digital-signal processing.

Thermal

Thermal imaging can be used to detect drones. Tests have shown that, by using a thermal camera, it is possible to detect and, with sufficient database, even identify foreign UAV.

The main heat source comes from the drone’s batteries. Some investigations have shown that the maximum range of detection is shorter than expected.

Drone Defence Methods

Jammers

Jammers are designed to disrupt a drone by blasting electromagnetic noise at radio frequencies that drones operate and transmit video at, and at a power level high enough to drown out any effective communication between the drone and its pilot.

This is known as RF-jamming and this method does not interfere with manned aircraft, cell phones, public broadcasts, or other dedicated radio bands.

When a drone is hit with a jammer’s signal, the drone usually returns back to its origin point (unless GPS is also jammed), giving the jammer user the option to track the drone back to the pilot.

Sometimes the drones might even perform a vertical descent and land on the spot intact. Landing on the spot is also the general response from drones when both RF and GPS are jammed at the same time.

Jammers can be effective against drones over several kilometres away.

While jammers are generally restricted for use in many countries except by the military, police, and first responders depending on the laws, non-GPS jammers are legal in a number of countries.

It is important to look into the laws and regulations of the country and state that you are in to determine whether the use of a drone jammer is legal before operating one.

Guns

Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to stop a drone threat is to shoot them down. This isn't always a popular option though.

Numerous companies have produced hand-held or shoulder-mounted devices that can be used to fire nets at rogue drones, trapping them and preventing the blades from rotating, causing them to fall from the sky.

But such net-capture guns are more useful if used in conjunction with other detection technologies.

Laser

Lasers are another way of fighting back against a drone attack. Both the US and China have experimented with technology that can shoot down a device within seconds of locating it.

One method comprises a high-energy beam that locates and disables small drones from several miles away. This technology apparently uses infrared cameras that can work in low-visibility conditions, such as fog.

During 2018, China demonstrated a laser gun called the Silent Hunter, which can intercept drones with 'high accuracy'.

Eagles

A more natural solution has been developed in The Netherlands - with police using trained eagles to bring down hostile drones.

The birds do this by latching on to the propellers with their talons, instantly disabling them.

Trainers say that the eagles see the UAVs as prey, so are not interested in attacking anything else when released. However, there have been issues, with reports that the eagles wouldn’t always do what they were trained to do.

Our Drone Defense Solutions

Industry-leading Drone Defence And C-UAS Technology

AeroScope

DJI AeroScope is a purpose-built drone detection solution. It is a passive RF system which reliably tracks real-time telemetry data from all DJI drones (around 80% of the market) within its range. It provides the following information:

  • Drone Serial Number
  • Make & Model
  • Precise Aircraft Location, including altitude
  • Aircraft Speed
  • Aircraft Direction
  • Home Position
  • Pilot Position (if pilot is using a GPS device).

DJI AeroScope - which can be used with an on-premise local server for enhanced data security - comes in mobile and stationary formats and the most powerful system can identify drones within a 50km range.

Users can generate detailed logs of every flight detected, including statistical reports and heat maps, and the larger solutions can be accessed remotely for off-site monitoring.

DJI AeroScope has been endorsed by the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.

Learn more about DJI AeroScope

"We were really impressed with DJI AeroScope.

It was easy to use and gave real-time information allowing the team the capability to respond in a timely manner, on one occasion so quickly the drone never took off and was subsequently turned off, but getting that high-visibility police presence made whoever was responsible think twice "

PC Alan Hincks - Northamptonshire Joint Operations Team


How Does DJI AeroScope Work?

DJI AeroScope – which acts as an electronic license plate – is a passive advanced-warning system which can remotely identify airborne drones. By using AeroScope, law enforcement, aviation and other authorised agencies can manage their airspace, keep track of a drone's whereabouts and take action against a rogue UAV threat.

AeroScope's underlying technology and advantage is that it uses the existing communications link between the drone and its remote controller to quickly collect information about the drone, such as:

  • Drone Serial Number
  • Make and Model
  • Precise Drone Location
  • Drone Speed
  • Drone Direction
  • Home Position
  • Pilot Position (if pilot is using a GPS enabled device)

Authorised users such as airports and police departments can see this information displayed on a computer map for every drone within the multi-mile range of AeroScope’s antennae.

This telemetry information is broadcast directly from the drone to the AeroScope receiver, allowing authorities to identify and track those drones, and take action if any of them raise concerns.

o AeroScope is a Remote ID system which detects the current DJI radio types, including:

  • Lightbridge
  • Lightbridge 2
  • OcuSync
  • OcuSync 2
  • OcuSync 3
  • Wi-Fi

Due to the rich information that is collected by AeroScope, if legal proceedings were to commence after an illegal flight, AeroScope can generate a detailed log of every flight detected by the system, which can be exported and saved to be part of the investigative file and report.

AeroScope comes in a number of different forms - either portable or the permanent G8 or G16 systems.

As an added advantage, DJI AeroScope strikes a reasonable balance between the authorities’ need to identify drones that raise concerns and drone pilots’ right to fly without pervasive surveillance.

DJI AeroScope Configuration Options

AeroScope Portable

The portable unit can detect drones within a 5km radius.

It is ideal for short-term, temporary deployment.

The easy-to-deploy system is self-contained in an IP-54 rated hard case, operating Android OS on a CrystalSky controller.

The portable unit operates on either mains power, or intelligent, hot-swappable batteries.

External antennas can be optionally deployed.

The portability and convenience of the mobile unit makes it ideal for tactical situations where stationary units are unavailable.

AeroScope "G8"

The G8 system can detect drones within a 30km radius.

It offers the widest variety of deployment options.

The G8 incorporates a four-panel array of high gain directional antennas which detects across the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequency range and provides 360-degree coverage.

The system includes a weather resistant radio system that can endure harsh conditions.

The system is equally applicable for both permanent installations and temporary ones.

It can be installed on buildings, towers, or mounted on mobile command posts.

AeroScope "G16" Fixed Installation

The G16 system can detect drones within a 50km radius.

It offers the most expansive coverage thanks to its large antenna array and multiple radio units.

AeroScope's G16 configuration incorporates separate 2.4 and 5.8 GHz antenna elements. For 360-degree coverage, the G16 includes a 32 element antenna array and four radio units.

The G16 is suited to be installed on a building or tower for long-term use.

This system is ideal for permanent installations for clients seeking extended coverage areas and early warning, including airports, sea ports, military and nuclear facilities, prisons, and stadiums.

Real-time Drone Monitoring

DJI AeroScope allows you to view a summary of a drone flight in real-time, showing the flight position of the aircraft, its height, speed, and pilot location.

This gives you precise, actionable data, which can be used to make an informed decision about protection your airspace.

Statistical Reporting

The Statistical Report page shows an overview and an analysis of the detection data. This provides information about the number of flights detected, flight altitudes and detection distance.

Users can also delve into historical flights, searching by keywords such as flight number and device ID, and viewing flight-path records.

Heat Map Drone Flight Analysis

DJI AeroScope heat maps display the detection frequency and location distribution in the areas surrounding your asset or facility.

This lets you analyse the hotspot areas and take necessary action.

Advanced Drone Monitoring

Advanced Monitoring makes it easy for users to set up specific monitor rules, such as time and date ranges, customised monitoring areas, and choose warning alert methods.

You can also choose different options to monitor a drone's behaviour in your airspace. Want to know when a drone is too close for comfort?

Then select Monitoring Subject Appear in the Target Range, and a system warning will be triggered as soon as the monitored object appears in the planned monitor range.

The G8 and G16 systems send out email notifications, as well as on-screen visual and sound alerts. This means that AeroScope can be operated remotely and ensures that users do not need to sit behind a desk, waiting for a detection.

AeroScope as part of an Unmanned Traffic Management System

National aviation regulators understand that Remote ID will be a key component of future Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems, which will simultaneously track drones and traditional aircraft in crowded airspace.

AeroScope played a key role in Operation Zenith, a recent large-scale test of UTM technology at Manchester Airport.

As an AeroScope specialist, Heliguy set up the system for the demonstration, which showed how AeroScope’s easy, accessible Remote ID information could be integrated into a UTM system, providing airspace managers with a full picture of drone and traditional aircraft movements in the skies.

As UTM systems move from the lab to the real world, AeroScope can be a key element in not only guarding against conflicts, but ensuring that all airspace users get fair and equitable access to the skies – unlocking the full potential for drones to help society.




Dedrone RF-360 Sensor

The Dedrone RF-360 can be used as a passive RF companion to DJI AeroScope.

It is a network-attached radio sensor, purpose-built for the detection, classification (i.e. identify the manufacturer and/or model), and localisation (geolocation) of drones and their remote controls.

With a coverage range of just over 3 miles in ideal conditions, it receives and analyses radio signals from drones in the airspace.

Working in conjunction with the DroneTracker Software, Dedrone RF-360 detects almost all commercial, hobby and home-made drones. This helps to determine threat levels of nearby drones to enable quick and data-driven decision-making.



Exploring data beyond AeroScope

heliguy™ can integrate data from AeroScope and other sensors into an airspace management platform to provide actionable insights on drones that are flying in your airspace.

The airspace management platform connects seamlessy with AeroScope and other C-UAS technologies to provide a comprehensive and layered solution.

The platform manages all sensor data and dispalys it in one easy-to-use interface.

If a drone enters your area, you can monitor real-time data about GPS location of drone and pilot, and information about the aircraft, such as make, model, altitude and speed.

It can also issue real-time alerts (via popup, email or text) for predefined scenarios, like a drone entereing an 'alert zone' area.

The system contains a robust flight history and playback feature, so you can access all past drone incidents.



SkyWall Drone Bazooka

SkyWall is a series of handheld and autonomous net-capture systems. This C-UAS solution enables you to deal with a rogue or malicious drone after detecting its location and threat level.

SkyWall Patrol is a handheld system that gives a mobile operator the ability to physically capture a drone in a specifically designed net.

SkyWall Auto is an automatic system that can be remotely operated to physically capture multiple drones rapidly at the press of a button.

SkyWall Auto Response is a vehicle mounted, autonomous drone capture system. It is discrete when not in use and allows large-area coverage.



Mobile App and Alert platform

heliguy™ can integrate an airspace monitoring mobile app into your drone defence solution.

It displays airborne drones on a map - along with the home and RC positions - with a simple and clean user-interface. It offers users simple yet very useful collaboration functions that enable acting on the aerial data.

The app can issue alerts when drones are detected in your airspace, via an audible siren or silent-mode phone vibration alerts.

CPNI-approved Drone Defence Solutions

Evaluated technology which provides reliable C-UAS protection

DJI AeroScope and Dedrone technology have been been endorsed and certified by the UK's Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

The CPNI counter-drone standard enables organisations deemed to be of critical national importance, including refineries, data centres, airports, and ports, to adopt drone detection technology with the assurance that it has been tested rigorously.

The standard evaluates mature and readily-available solutions, helping practitioners identify appropriate physical security equipment.

DJI AeroScope

DJI AeroScope was assessed successfully under the CPNI Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS) Detect, Track and Identify (DTI) Testing and Evaluation Standard.

During the CPNI assessment, AeroScope was found to be very simple to set up, learn and use with an intuitive interface. It responded to multiple UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) operating concurrently and the detection, tracking and identification performance was consistent.

Dedrone

Dedrone was awarded certification from the CPNI for its counter-drone technology platform, DedroneTracker.

DedroneTracker detects, identifies, and locates drones by using multi-sensor capability combining radio frequency, radar, and optical sensors.

As part of the CPNI assessment, Dedrone technology was evaluated to detect drones within a specific launch time and provide consistent and reliable tracking, timely alerts, and notifications, with DedroneTracker software showing reliable information on drone heights, speeds, and ranges.

Network Topology

Middle-layer Software, Real-time Alerts, SDK and UK Private Servers Heliguy UK

heliguy™ drone defence solutions offer a versatile network topology - effective for a strategy based on DJI AeroScope alone, or utilising AeroScope as part of a layered approach.

This topology enables different server options.

DJI AeroScope can feed into a public server or a private server (on-site or remote) and alert notifications via email can be set up.

Alternatively, it can feed into a private server with SDK (Software Development Kit), or a middle-layer software, to enable a multi-tiered approach and enhanced alert methods, such as via dedicated apps. This is an effective solution for accessing instant and team-wide notifications of a potential drone threat.

heliguy™: Your Drone Defence Partner

Build Your Strategy With Lifetime Support From A Drone Defence Expert

Drone security specialist heliguy™ has become a leading drone defence provider.

We have installed solutions to major UK airports, including Gatwick, and Bristol; the emergency services and military, including the MET Police and MOD; sporting events, such as the British Grand Prix and the Royal Box at Royal Ascot; and have partnered with BT as part of its C-UAS programme.

We are the only DJI AeroScope partner with the permission to supply globally and offer fixed and portable solutions, as well as rental units to allow for surge capability.

As a drone defence specialist, heliguy™ has been at the forefront of industry discussions about drone detection and drone defence and has been key in demonstrations to protect UK airspace.

Given our years in the UAV industry, experience in the C-UAS market and with our Cyber Security, ISO 9001 and CPD accreditations, heliguy™ is perfectly placed to provide consultancy, training and hardware to ensure your asset is protected.


Free Trials And Rental Options

heliguy™ offers trials of the DJI AeroScope portable station, as well as the G8 stationary solution (conditions apply).

Our try before you buy offer gives users the chance to see the system’s capabilities, compare it to alternative solutions, and have real and actionable data in your hands to identify how AeroScope would help in a real-world scenario.

We also provide clients with rental options on the portable and G8 units (conditions apply).

Lifetime Support

Our drone defence provision includes 24/7 support with a specialist team, consisting of technicians and dedicated account managers.

This blanket access to the heliguy™ ecosystem provides consistent IT support and delivery, and access to a range of servicing options, including:

  • Manned phone support
  • Monitored email support
  • Planned/emergency onsite assistance
  • Annual system health check
  • Ongoing support
  • Replacement parts

We also provide Service Level Agreements on AeroScope G8 and G16 stations to help ensure the smooth running of your equipment.

Pre-planning And Installation Assessments

As no installation is the same, heliguy™ carries out a full and thorough planning process to ensure your drone detection system is located in an optimal location.

Our strategy follows a multi-step process:

  • Pre-installation site visit to ensure best location. This includes analysis of the topography/surrounding infrastructure to ensure there will be no third-party interference/disruption.
  • Preconfigure unit(s) to the chosen site.
  • Installation of equipment.
  • On-demand support, should you need it, plus health monitoring of the system done throughout the year.
  • Yearly site visits to ensure the equipment is operating at peak performance.

API And SDK Access

heliguy™ can grant access to the API (application programming interface) and SDK (software development kit). This allows users to unleash the full power of drone detection, by integrating AeroScope with other systems and securing the AeroScope data on a private onsite or cloud server and really dig deep into the data.

Organisations can also take advantage of Beta access to SDK for free through heliguy™. This allows you to export AeroScope data to third-party situational awareness and common operating platforms.

The heliguy™ AeroScope servers are operated out of the USA and our technicians can integrate DJI AeroScope with mobile solutions.

Related Blog Posts

Read blog posts and related articles on the heliguy™ blog.