Kelvin Hughes launches new drone de­tec­tion radar


Kelvin Hughes said it would be launch­ing its new drone de­tec­tion sys­tem at the Home Of­fice Se­cu­rity & Polic­ing ex­hi­bi­tion. The SMS-D is the first in­te­grated, medium-range, radar-based sur­veil­lance sys­tem de­signed for the de­tec­tion and track­ing of small ae­rial tar­gets.

Whether used ma­li­ciously or just ir­re­spon­si­bly, drones rep­re­sent a new threat to se­cu­rity. The SMS-D tracks the real-time po­si­tion of these ae­rial tar­gets, in­clud­ing those that could be used to at­tack in­fra­struc­ture, ve­hi­cles or in­di­vid­u­als as well as those that may be used for hos­tile ob­ser­va­tion or smug­gling. Based on the com­pany’s solid­state SharpEye X-Band radar trans­ceiver tech­nol­ogy, the sys­tem is able to de­tect drones up to 1.5 km away.

Highly cost-ef­fec­tive, the SMS-D pro­vides con­tin­u­ously up­dated bear­ing, dis­tance, alti­tude and ve­loc­ity data. The lat­est ad­di­tion to the Kelvin Hughes SMS (Sin­gle Mast So­lu­tion) range, it iden­ti­fies tar­gets au­to­mat­i­cally through its video track­ing sys­tem, en­sur­ing that any re­me­dial or de­fen­sive ac­tion can be im­ple­mented with­out de­lay.

The SMS is de­signed to ac­com­mo­date a com­bi­na­tion of radar, op­ti­cal and ther­mal imag­ing de­vices in or­der to pro­vide 3600 sur­veil­lance of any site perime­ter or bor­der as well as pro­vid­ing early de­tec­tion of any drones or other UAVs. The SMS can be fixed to a per­ma­nent struc­ture or mounted on a ve­hi­cle to fur­ther ex­tend the en­ve­lope of de­tec­tion.

Jonathan Field, Se­cu­rity Sys­tems and Sen­sors Direc­tor for Kelvin Hughes, com­mented: “We’re very much look­ing for­ward to the of­fi­cial launch of the SMS-D. The first of its kind, the sys­tem is a fully in­te­grated pack­age of radar and elec­tro-op­tic sen­sors and soft­ware pro­vid­ing a so­phis­ti­cated yet highly cost-ef­fec­tive re­sponse to the in­creas­ing threat of drone in­cur­sion. And it’s yet an­other ex­am­ple of our long-proven record of world-lead­ing in­no­va­tion.”

Not all air­craft at the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Air­show at Avalon ac­tu­ally have pi­lots — just ask the team at the Navy Un­manned Air­craft Sys­tems Unit. The unit is tasked with test­ing two dif­fer­ent un­manned air­craft types — the ScanEa­gle (fixed-wing) and the Schiebel Cam­copter S-100 (ro­tary­wing) for the Royal Aus­tralian Navy.

Lt Com­man­der Matt Hyam is the En­gi­neer­ing Man­ager in charge of the main­te­nance and en­gi­neer­ing of both un­manned air­craft sys­tems. Most of the staff at the unit are avi­a­tion tech­ni­cians, spe­cial­is­ing in avion­ics or air­frames.

“We only have a very small team here at Avalon this year be­cause a lot of our tech­ni­cians are cur­rently un­der­go­ing world-class train­ing with Schiebel in Vi­enna, Aus­tria, for two months,” Lt Com­man­der Hyam said.

“The ScanEa­gle is a fixed-wing, un­manned air­craft fo­cused on pro­vid­ing com­man­ders with a vi­tal in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance ca­pa­bil­ity, pro­vid­ing a more com­plete bat­tle pic­ture,” Chief Petty Of­fi­cer Hust­wit said.

“At sea, the ScanEa­gle op­er­ates well be­yond the range of a war­ship’s or­ganic sen­sors, pro­vid­ing a vi­tal eye in the sky.” The ScanEa­gle has been on tri­als by the Navy for about 18 months, with first of class tri­als con­ducted in HMA ships Choules and New­cas­tle.

This is the first time the Navy has dis­played the Schiebel Cam­copter S-100, which looks like a mini he­li­copter, so it is draw­ing the big­gest crowd. “The main ad­van­tage of the Schiebel is its ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, which saves on the deck space that would be re­quired for a launcher,” he said.

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