Critical infrastructure organisations are increasingly facing challenges presented by rogue aerial robots many of which have started to emerge in swarms in the recent times. What is worse is the fact that most of the existing counter-technologies lack the scalability to be able to tackle such an overwhelming number.
Since the functionality of these technologies mainly revolves around electromagnetic waves, we, at Bharat Aero, have been mapping the reaction of those waves when they are exposed to certain parts of aerial robots. Our research works are undertaken in simulated environments – on air crafts flying individually or in groups.
So far, several feats have been achieved in the world of counter-UAS. However, for organisations in the critical infrastructure sector, it takes a lot more effort than merely removing a few moving pieces in the air because of the swarms of aerial robots that they deal with.
Laser-based systems, given their affordability and accuracy, are often used to tackle the challenges posed by one or two rogue aerial robots. However, when it comes to taking down a swarm, their efficacy is limited. Since the key to destroying a swarm is to disable its control system, emissions of electromagnetic waves are considered to be the most effective solution.
The USA-developed THOR (Tactical High Power Operational Responder), is one of the most recent examples of counter-swarm electromagnetic technology. Instead of knocking down the aerial robot in a destructive manner, it disables its operation with a high-powered microwave, within a nanosecond. Without causing any external damage, the device can either temporarily impair the ability of the robot to communicate with others or cause its electronics to crash.
In addition to this, kinetic counter-technologies and ‘deceptive’ approach can also be adopted to take down swarms of rogue aerial robots. Since these robots are programmed to recognise patterns and behave accordingly, with camouflage and false signals, one can confuse and then neutralise them.
Like any other sector, even the air space has been met with all kinds of challenges, but a counter-solution has always been developed. With advancing aerial robot technology, we, at Bharat Aero, too have been ramping up our research efforts to help OEMs in developing effective tools.