The US FAA receives more than 100 reports each month from pilots and others who spot what appear to be unmanned aircraft (UAV) flying too close to an airport or airplane.

Now the FAA has commissioned the Pathfinder Programme to evaluate technologies for detection and identification of unauthorized UAV or drone flights near airports. As part of this programme, the FAA has selected AUDS (anti UAV defense system) from Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics and Enterprise Control Systems.

AUDS can detect a drone 10 km away using Ku band scanning radar, track it using precision infrared and daylight cameras and specialist video tracking software before disrupting the flight using an inhibitor to block the radio signals that control it. This detect-track-disrupt-defeat process is very quick and typically takes less than 15s.

Although the system looks like a triple mini cannon on a turret, no shots are fired at the UAV or drone. Too bad! The three barrels probably contain directional antennas of the helix or Yagi type.