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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