There Is a Drone in My Airspace! Now What?

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There Is a Drone in My Airspace! Now What?


Executive Summary

When a person intrudes on a property, a security team may first locate and then apprehend the trespasser. With drones, this response becomes three-dimensional. Technology can alert security to the presence of an intruding drone, and technology can eliminate the intrusion. With smart airspace security in place, security providers can look beyond the immediate yet illegal instinct to eliminate the threat by force and instead turn to existing standard operating procedures (SOP’s) to advance their response protocols before, during, and after a drone incursion.

Stage 1: Before the Incursion

Before the incursion

Smart drone detection technology automatically alerts security providers when an unauthorized drone enters protected airspace. Sensors capture information about the aerial intruders, including the type of drone, flightpath, and location.But how should security teams react when an unauthorized drone enters protected airspace? For organizations beginning their airspace security program, key to the success of their counter-drone technology is creating proactive response protocols in the event of a drone incursion.

  • Scope out the local landscape: Identify likely take-off locations, hangs no-fly-zone signs, and/or install cameras to deter potential pilots.
  • Practice, train, and educate your security team: Airspace security programs should begin under ideal, “blue sky” conditions. Security teams can connect and understand how to use Dedrone software, assign roles in the event of an incursion, and conduct training and response exercises.
  • Engage local law enforcement: Determine the criteria Provide local law enforcement the information they require to approach and apprehend an unauthorized drone pilot in the event of an emergency airspace intrusion. Consider tabletop exercises with all first responder stakeholders.

Stage 2: During the Incursion

During the incursion

  • Respond to automated alerts: Alarms are triggered as soon as the approach of a drone is detected. Dedrone alerts are triggered in the Dedrone software platform, DedroneTracker.AI, and can be sent through SMS, v, e-mail, network (TCP/IP),SNMP, or smartphone push notification. Dedrone also works with external alerting systems for security teams to manage a coordinated and timely response to drone incursions.
  • Monitor “reach in time” to the protected area: DedroneTracker.AI provides information on “reach in time” – the duration of time and distance until the drone reaches a critical point of interest, such as an airport runway, a data center cooling unit, or correctional facility’s recreation yard.
  • Deploy security team to follow drone and approach or apprehend pilot: Dedrone’s detection sensors, deliver flightpath information and localization of the drone, providing security teams evidence needed to locate a pilot.
  • Protect assets with passive countermeasures: Depending on the assets being protected, all organizations can deploy passive countermeasures, including lowering blinds to prevent aerial espionage, monitoring WiFi networks for intrusions, leading people away from open or exposed areas, or halting operations until the drone threat has been resolved.
  • Alert local law enforcement: Local law enforcement can deploy additional resources to help apprehend drone pilots. In the event of damage to your property, insurance providers may require statements before you can recoup damages. Law enforcement statements may also help with any future prosecution or litigation for destruction of property or losses sustained due to operational disruptions.
Track drones on map and get alerts on mobile phones for timely response

Stage 3: After the Incursion

After the incursion

  • Build threat profile based on historical analysis: Dedrone produces automated summariesof drone activity, providing information such as most frequent times and days dronesappear and drone hotspots. Understanding flight patterns is the best form of prevention. Anunauthorized drone may visit a protected site multiple times to survey the area and find securityvulnerabilities. In Dedrone’s experience, we see 3-5 flights prior to a bad event. If a flight patternsare identified, security teams can appoint resources to prevent operational harm before it occurs.
  • Update security procedures according to the threat profile: It may be that drones are appearingduring shift changes, shipping/receiving, or concurrent with significant events at the site, such asgame days or executive meetings. Apply Dedrone data to make evidence-based decisions on howto expand security procedures throughout critical events.
  • Post “No-Fly-Zone” signage: Drone pilots that intrude on protect airspace may be unaware ofany airspace restrictions – for those pilots who may be “clueless or careless,” local signage mayhelp indicate that the area is protected by drone detection technology, and aerial trespassers willhave additional knowledge of the risks they take when flying in your airspace.
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Prevent Losses with Results-Driven, Smart Airspace Security Programs

As technologists, we are consistently talking about product features. While having the most comprehensive anti-drone solutions is vital, the technology is only as good as the security teams who use them. A philosophy of develop, test & enhance is essential for security teams and must be considered adjacent to the technology investment. The consequences of drone incursions can be costly, from operational downtime to physical property damage and even data breach. With early detection and in-depth data, security teams can protect operational continuity, prevent losses, and regain control of their airspace.

Data Driven SOPs

Data-Driven SOPs

Airspace activity data must first be collected an analyzed in order to build a threat profile and to strategically implement SOPs. This data....RF sensors, cameras and radar. Sensor information is then analyzed from the AI/ML driven DedroneTracker.AI. Analytics can be accessed via DedroneTracker.AI or fed into Command and Control (C2) systems.

Security teams need to know:

With smart airspace security data, security teams can then leverage information to develop data-driven SOPs for every stage of the drone incursion. Uncover Patterns in Drone Activity:

  • Quantify Your Drone Activity: How many drones are in my airspace? Confirm the existence and numbers of drones in your airspace to assess your level of vulnerability. What time of day and what days of the week do most drone incursions occur? Knowing this information will not only drive SOPs but may also point toward the identification of the bad actor.
  • Observe Unauthorized Drone Pilot Behavior: What time of day, and which days of the week, are drones appearing?This type of data enables security providers confirm whether there is a correlation of unauthorized drone activity with business operations. Unauthorized drone flights may occur during certain times of the day – such as under cover of darkness at night – during shift changes or during major business operations. For stadiums and arenas, drone activity may spike before, during, or after an event.
  • Confirm the Scope of the Drone Threat: What kinds of drones are being flown? Drones vary in their size, payload capacity, speed, battery life, and range– all variables which can help security providers understand the nature of the individual drone threat when it appears. Being able to identify multiple manufacturer drone types to know exactly what type of drone is being flown over your facility is key to assessing the overall threat and therefore the appropriate response.
  • Calculate Response Time: How close is the drone and how long until it reaches me? During an incursion, it is important to understand timing. Seconds count, making early warning and “reach in time” calculations crucial to the effectiveness of response teams.
  • Deploy Resources to Common Flight Zones: What are the most common areas for drone activity? Are the drones flying over sensitive areas? Drones provide a birds-eye view of a protected site, allowing the operator to locate vulnerabilities in security systems and exploit blind spots. Airspace security data confirms the areas in need of additional protection from drone threats. Security leaders can post signage, darken windows and/or add extra security patrols to likely launch areas.
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Start today by assessing the true nature of drone activity over your site. With early detection and in depth data, security teams can protect operational continuity, prevent losses, and regain control of their airspace. As more drone regulations go into effect, supporting the productive use of drones in our society the increasing the use and number of drones in our airspace, law enforcement will play a larger role. In February 2021, a drone pilot was caught flying in restricted airspace over the Super Bowl and was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with violating national defense airspace. If convicted, the drone pilot will face a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison.

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