Tearing Down the Attempted Takeover Takedowns

February 11, 2021 | Assaf Monsa

Misleading claims about the counter-drone space continue to proliferate, particularly regarding radio frequency (RF)-based, takeover technology. There are a few reasons for these claims:

  1. The counter-small, unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) market is relatively new, awareness of new technology is still nascent and market education is in its early stages.
  2. Due to the nature of the business, it is difficult and often impossible to provide knowledge about full capabilities and field experience into the public domain.
  3. Some vendors obfuscate the concept when they hint at “takeover” capabilities that are questionable, harming perception of this approach.
  4. The benefits of takeover technology are so significant and obvious – the full control it offers system operators; its ability to preserve operational and environmental continuity; and the fact that it can differentiate between friendly and hostile drones, permitting the authorized drones to continue working – that legacy technology providers feel pressured to try to take down takeover’s momentum.

Let’s look at a few of these common assertions and how they relate to D-Fend Solutions’ experience in the field:

Drone Threat Coverage

It’s been suggested that takeover systems cover and confront only a small portion of the drone threat.

But D-Fend Solutions already covers approximately 90 percent of the drone market and we keep expanding our coverage and improving our solution for better operational performance.

Additionally, D-Fend prioritizes drone threats and concentrates on the small, unmanned aerial systems (sUASs) most likely to cause significant harm. We employ drone risk analysis, assessment and prioritization that factor in drone prevalence, payload capacity and flight range. We benefit from a wide variety of customers across different sectors and geographies, which has yielded field-tested knowledge to hone this analysis.

If it were somehow possible to measure coverage of the actual threat, meaning the truly dangerous drones that actually threaten organizations across sectors, our coverage level would be even higher than 90 percent.

Band-Aid on a Bullet Wound?

Another claim is that it takes too long for takeover vendors to address and confront new drone technology.

Touting traditional technologies’ speed to market is like bragging about rushing to put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.

Traditional counter-drone technologies are limited as the core component of a C-sUAS. When it comes to detection, radars can generate false positives and acoustic solutions may be ineffective in noisy environments.

Jamming-based solutions for mitigation can affect other radio communications, which could pose a problem for nearby broadcasts, or security personnel. And they do not provide full control, as drone operators can regain access to the drone when the jamming ends. Kinetic solutions can cause collateral damage and become ineffective when the drone is flying near its top speed, while optical solutions are ineffective without clear line-of-sight and are sensitive to weather conditions.

Takeover technology does require significant efforts and resources to develop and maintain, but the payoff is that it is significantly more effective and comprehensive, and safe. And we are constantly getting faster at confronting new drone frequencies and protocols.

The good news is that D-Fend Solutions has pioneered its leading takeover technology and it is already here.

Investment

The price point of takeover technologies is also occasionally discussed.

This reminds me of the famous adage, “You get what you pay for.”

The investment in D-Fend Solutions’ takeover technology has resulted in a comprehensive solution that can handle actual threats, permit authorized drones that underpin the modern economy and security efforts to keep functioning and offer unparalleled control to system operators, without disrupting their environments.

Traditional C-sUAS systems may claim to be cheaper if you compare single systems to each other. However, these traditional technologies are unable to provide any of the aforementioned benefits. And because traditional counter-drone solutions provide limited coverage, organizations usually must assemble a suite of products that are not pre-integrated, which makes the overall package less cost-efficient than an effective takeover system on a price-performance basis for the same coverage area. Such suites are also often less user-friendly and intuitive than a holistic, end-to-end solution.

No technology is perfect, but counter-drone takeover technology is poised to take over leadership of the space, regardless of some of the claims floating around.

Assaf Monsa is the Chief Technology Officer at D-Fend Solutions. He has more than 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, technology and business executive. Prior to co-founding D-Fend Solutions over four years ago, Assaf managed large, international, multi-disciplinary teams at organizations across business verticals.

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