After a drone was spotted over PM’s residence, attention on counter-drone systems - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 3 July 2023

After a drone was spotted over PM’s residence, attention on counter-drone systems

Grene Robotics has built an entire counter-drone system called Indrajaal. The company claims that Indrajaal can detect, identify, track, target, and destroy a hostile drone system



By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 4th July 23


With drones increasingly found to be violating high-security areas, the discovery of one over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence on Monday morning has set the alarm bells ringing.


Executives from companies that are developing counter-drone security systems say the security breech could have been avoided had the PM’s residence – designated a No Fly Zone – deployed a capable system for drone detection.


“As a growing nation, we have been noticing increasing drone attacks, and the drone over PM Modi’s residence is a wake-up call. Today, the risk of not having the right drone security is much higher than anyone can anticipate. Anyways, what is the price to protect the life of a political leader?” wonderedKiran Raju, who heads counter drone systems maker, Grene Robotics.


Grene Robotics has built an entire counter-drone system called Indrajaal. The company claims that Indrajaal can detect, identify, track, target and destroy a hostile drone system. The company says it is working with the ministry of defence (MoD) to operationalise the Indrajaal.


Raju explains how Indrajaal functions: “When a drone is identified as a threat Indrajaal assesses the level of threat it poses to defended assets within the area.These assessments, algorithmic in nature, are supported by a rapid analysis tool that utilizes data generated by the system. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also be employed to assist with data crunching and reveal patterns."


“Indrajaal’s design principle leverages a combination of 12 unique technology layers powered by AI, cybersecurity, robotics, machine vision, and sensor fusion,” says the company.


“While the probe is being done, the question to ask is: How many cameras can face the sky, and even when an intrusion is observed, how can that be countered? Is there a fool-proof investigative process in place to detect, track, and disrupt the flight of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)?” explains Raju.


“It can integrate with all current weapons suites and infrastructure to cover a wide-area upto 4,000 square kilometers per system, eliminating the need to deploy multiple Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UASs),” states the firm.


Indrajaal defends against various low-radar cross-section threats, including medium-altitude long endurance” (MALE) and “high-altitude long endurance” (HALE) UAVs, loitering munition, smart bombs, rocket showers, nano and micro drones, swarm drones, and more.




Threats from drones


Unauthorized Surveillance Camera-equipped drones can be used for intrusive surveillance, capturing images and videos of VIPs in their homes without their consent or knowledge, compromising their privacy.


Security Vulnerabilities Malicious individuals or groups can use drones to gather intelligence about VIP homes, including security systems, entry points, and vulnerabilities. This information could be used for planning criminal activities or targeting the VIPs themselves.


Physical Threats  Drones can carry payloads such as explosives or weapons to pose a physical threat to VIPs and their homes.


Trespassing and Intrusion Drones can fly over private property, breaching boundaries, invading personal space and privacy.



Countering drone threats


Drone Detection Systems Advanced technologies such as radar, radio frequency detection, or visual recognition systems can help identify and track drones in protected areas.


Anti-Drone Measures Anti-drone systems such as signal jamming, directed energy weapons, or net-based interception, can neutralize or disable unauthorized drones and prevent them from approaching the protected area.


Legal Regulations Governments can enact or strengthen laws and regulations concerning drone usage near vulnerable properties. Regulations may include flight altitude restrictions, drone operation permits, and penalties for unauthorized surveillance.


Enhanced Security Measures VIP homes can detect/deter drones with physical security measures, such as high walls, anti-drone netting, or infrared sensors. Security personnel with expertise in drone detection and mitigation can be utilised.


Education and Awareness VIPs and their security teams should receive training on the risks associated with drones, including privacy invasion and security breaches. They should stay informed about the latest drone technologies and countermeasures.


Cooperation with Authorities VIPs can collaborate with local law enforcement and relevant government agencies to establish protocols for drone-related incidents, ensuring a coordinated response to potential threats.


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