As drones continue to grow in popularity, so too does the demand for counter-UAS technology. Police and other authorities want solutions that can neutralize a drone over an urban area without the use of projectiles or nets. The last thing anyone wants is a drone dropping down on people. A French manufacturer, Cerbair, believes its new counter-UAS system could be part of the solution.
There’s been no shortage of examples in the past couple of months. Drones have disrupted play at three Major League Baseball games. What’s believed to be a drone was spotted near Air Force One while the aircraft was descending near Washington. There were enough incidents that we wrote about the likely increase in demand for counter-UAS devices. Now, French company Cerbair has announced a new counter-UAS device. It was created, says the company, after repeated requests from police, armed forces, and industrial clients who were looking for an affordable solution.
The new device is called Chimera. Here’s a company-supplied photo:
How does it work?
The Chimera system works in three phases. First, it continuously scans the radio frequency spectrum, looking for activity on bandwidths that would indicate drone activity. Then, by manually positioning a directional antenna, the operator can hone in on the location of the drone and its pilot. Finally, once the target has been determined, the operator can trigger the weapon to fire an electromagnetic impulse that will disable the drone and force it to the ground. This can happen even while the drone is still Beyond Visual Line of Sight. The system also incorporates what Cerbair calls a “HYDRA” sensor module for detection.
That module was created in 2018, followed by another module for jamming. Then came integration into ruggedized, weather-resistant package.
Switching from the demonstrator to a marketable product took two years, during which components had to be adapted to the constraining military conditions: temperature gaps, vibrations, shocks… Thanks to MBDA improvement processes, our engineers were able to overcome certain technical milestones, like the effects of electromagnetic waves on humans.
Cerbair News Release
The company itself was created in 2015. One of the investors in the company is MBDA, one of the main missile manufacturers in Europe.