360 Vision Technology’s Tony Holloway sings the praises of Predator PTZ’s role in the future of drone detection.
Security Journal UK (SJUK): What are the applications for drone detection?
Tony Holloway (TH): Drone technology or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) has changed our world; from ‘big kid’ toys, aerial light shows for entertainment, commercial aerial surveying to defence and remote ordnance delivery. The applications are endless and the demand to detect the presence of airborne devices also grows.
The highest-level threats lead to the need to deploy counter measures, from the highly sophisticated physical capture/takedown solutions to the lesser physically invasive RF jamming solutions.
Detection solutions fall into three main technologies of Radio Frequency, Radar, and Optical/Visual/Thermal. The latter is always a prerequisite in providing positive identification of the UAV, supported by a video analytical engine so an informed decision on the next cause of action/counter measure and be taken. High end defence solutions naturally use all these technologies to provide rapid detection and response capabilities.
SJUK: What other drone applications need tracking solutions?
(TH): The commercial application for autonomised delivery of urgent packages from medicine to time critical logistics is a new market. UK airspace is controlled by strict CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) legislation. The need to be ‘eyes on’ for any airborne craft presents a challenge to the autonomous drone solution. However, the potential applications demand an initiative solution.
It requires airspace monitoring around the UAV plus the wider space for the detection of other UAV to ensure safe passage and eyes always on piloting. Even for the fully autonomised solution the ability to monitor the known UAV plus identify other potential threats/incursions from third party UAV into the local airspace is a prerequisite.
SJUK: What technology is used and/or being developed?
(TH): Cost-effective commercially available multi-technology sensing solutions are required and need to be equipped with more than a single PTZ head or short range panoramic fixed field of view solution. Video Analytical Engines can be used to determine the nature of unknown aerial targets (birds, airplanes, UAVs etc) automatically acquiring a target from a ‘spot’ of the horizon to utilising extensive optical zoom capabilities to zoom in several kilometres to classify the nature of the target.
When deploying multiple camera heads, reducing the volume of infrastructure is desired, however multi heads in the same location can obstruction to one another’s field of view. Although this can be minimised through careful planning, this doesn’t solve the need to provide uninterrupted eyes on monitoring through 360 degrees.
SJUK: What is 360 Vision Technology bringing to this sector?
(TH): Twenty years of positioning system design and manufacturing experience in the UK, combined with a flexibility to adapt our positioning technology solutions, enabled a formfactor to be created to provide the required 360 degree continues unobstructed tracking capability. Combining our high-performance optics, efficient video encoding and precise positioning devices with our partners analytical technologies delivers an extremely cost effective solution. Not to mention the super low power requirement, attacked detect positioning technology, local service centre and 5 star customer support service.
SJUK: So why is the Form Factor for the camera head so important?
(TH): The double head principle from 360 Vision Technology provides a form factor that eliminates this blocking issue by stacking the cameras, utilising the side mount configuration for the lower cameras.
The format enables both cameras to have 360 degrees uninterrupted surveying capability including the full tilt range to vertical but also to aid effective window wiper functionality.
The continual tracking of a remotely operated drone, plus monitoring of the local airspace provides an effectively solution to the hybrid surveillance opportunities that could be deployed utilising both ground mounted and airborne facility surveillance.
SJUK: Automated Hybrid Site Surveillance Solutions for and in the air space, is this a reality or prediction?
(TH): The need to provide cost-effective, low environmentally impactful solutions, whilst increasing the capability of remote site surveillance is with us now. Quick drone response to security needs for site surveillance is a very compelling argument.
Our uniquely crafted Predator PTZ hardware along with our technology partners makes this a reality.