The German Federal Minister of Transport awarded funding to the Frequentis Group on December 10, to develop a counter drone system for project FALKE.
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in controlled zones are an increasing threat to airport operations. Last year a high number of interferences were reported within the vicinity of German airports operated by air navigation service provider DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung).
Project FALKE focuses on intercepting small UAS that enter restricted airspace. FALKE will oversee the development of a deployable counter UAS system, proven in the airport environment. Alongside the Frequentis Group, other partners in the project consortium include the German Federal Police, DFS, Lufthansa, Hamburg Airport, the Hensoldt group, and the chair of electrical measurement of the Helmut-Schmidt University in Hamburg.
Using Hamburg Airport, the partners will develop and demonstrate a technical and organizational over-all concept to defend against illegally operating drones. By taking into consideration all areas of responsibility, FALKE will provide standardized and automated solutions to make the concept a blueprint for other airports.
FALKE aims to provide the missing link between all relevant stakeholders (airport, police, air traffic control, airlines), existing infrastructure (air situation, air traffic management, ground situation police), and new systems (UTM, drone detection) making it possible not only to detect drones, but also to distinguish cooperative from noncooperative drones.
Air traffic control will be supplied with safety alerts in relation to the current air situation. The ability to intercept drones that enter restricted airspace will make it possible to scale future technologies for drone detection and to optimize the cooperation and communication of stakeholders to guarantee a common understanding of the air situation.
Frequentis and Hensoldt will combine their competences to contribute their expertise. Frequentis Comsoft, together with the Frequentis Group, will provide mature components in the areas of UTM/ATM/drone detection, data fusion and exchange, shared situational awareness and ATM-grade surveillance data automation, cross-agency incident management, as well as operational requirement analysis. The Hensoldt group will provide sensor solutions and drone defense technology.