Sahil Dass, Co-Founder, Usnatek talks about new initiatives his organization has undertaken in the UAVs domain this year, new products that are expected to be launched, security challenges he foresees due to increased usage of drones, role played by technologies such as UAVs in enhancing security of an organization and his views on the recent changes in policy related to UAVs by DGCA.
Interviewed by Adeesh Sharma
What new initiatives has your organization undertaken in the UAVs domain this year? What new products are expected to be launched?
Headquartered in New Delhi, Usnatek is a drone airspace security consultancy and integration company. Understanding the relative lack of technical maturity of the Counter Drone market presents additional challenges along with the cost and legal approvals to use countermeasures, Usnatek reinforces the importance of selecting solutions in a structured and considered manner.
We believe that while there exist some essential fundamental principles to counter drone technologies, their application needs to be flexible and responsive depending upon what is being protected.
Already having developed a thorough understanding of the potential purposes of such systems, the environment in which they will operate and the likely requirement allows us to move swiftly and provide the most cost-effective solution.
What kind of security challenges do you foresee due to increased usage of drones?
Drones are increasingly flying in sensitive airspace. Drones can potentially cause harm in areas such as airports, refineries, nuclear power plants, large crowded events, secure buildings and homes of high profile individuals, international borders, jails and many more. This problem is likely to increase, given the rapid proliferation of drones, especially once drone regulations are notified. As thousands of drones enter the airspace for commerce, monitoring, recreation, and other applications, a cost-effective detection and countermeasure system is needed.
What role can technologies such as UAVs play in enhancing security of an organization?
The solution based on UAVs needs to address four main challenges:
- The challenge of threat variance - Threat can be physical, surveillance or cyber.
- Physical payload: Explosive, chemicals, radioactive material etc.
- Surveillance payload: Cameras, infrared, etc.
- Cyber: Sniffing devices, jammers, etc.
Passive and active countermeasures can be integrated into the solution, depending on needs and capabilities. Together with detection from sensors, they secure the airspace security around your facility.
- Passive countermeasures protect your facility by leading people to safety, blocking sensitive areas from view, locking (cell) doors and gates, shutting down parts of the IT infrastructure, and searching for dropped objects.
- Active measures such as jammers, EMP etc may require legal approvals, Net drones, and counter drones to catch rogue drones require high skill and have proven to be less effective.
What are your views on the recent changes in policy related to UAVs as announced by DGCA?
UIN and digital sky platforms should be integrated to allow tracking of UAV traffic and for the Anti-UAV systems to differentiate between authorised and unauthorised drones.