The CUAS Coalition is announcing our Coalition Directors & Research Team who have signed on to solve a very complex problem that affects the future of many people in the United States and abroad.
Globally, this is becoming an increasing problem with the advent of cheap equipment and easy to control platforms, drones are allowing a military-like control over the skies for anyone with very little training and at a millionth of the cost of a manned air force.
In the days before small consumer UAS the military established perimeters with equipment that knew if any aircraft were flying for several miles away. More advanced radar was invented and allowed us to see airplanes far into the distance well before it was approaching harms reach. Small backpack drones are now deployable anywhere and the air superiority is in the hands of those who pilot small UAS armed with munitions and those who can take them down which sometimes can be challenging. Aside from the technological disadvantages, we are solving problems for equipment that can easily be manipulated around the various communication links in an ever-progressing Electronic Warfare (EW) cat and mouse to regain control and air superiority, which is a new frontier, but the same old game. sUAS should be treated with respect in its infancy of consumer-based products. Drones are not new, however, the newer shrinkable technology from mass-produced phones has given rise to very cheap components for drones and their onboard sensor technology and put into the hands of the general public which is new.
There are many problems that are associated with what is described as a military environment, but even more cause for concern when operating in a civil environment. A few layers deeper and we can see that potential hackers from any area on the globe mixed with a political message and a will to cause harm can attempt to fly a hacked drone into an aircraft, over a crowd or into a prison and it would be hard to determine who hacked the aircraft or who had control. The message needs to be heard that our drones are not secure and we cannot continue to have aerial operations conducted on the homeland and our data sent back to a foreign government, we know this because there have already been close calls and they will only increase in time moving forward.
Civil defence is a type of defence almost like defending your home from intruders, now we have intruders from the skies. I am not talking your neighbourhood drone flyer or backyard RC person or even some nefarious stalkers using drones to take a peep, this problem is with foreign governments mapping civil assets, spying on people, their movements and manipulating crowds with data to create espionage for various purposes globally. This might all seem like fear mongering, cloak and dagger, but it is real and taking place right now in Europe with the refugee crisis and human trafficking.
Traffickers are using drones for surveillance to find the easier less guarded points of entry from the air to try to gain advantage of people’s misfortune. On our borders and in South America drones are being used for surveillance gathering against oppressed peoples. Drones are being hacked mid-flight and the data stolen to reveal defensive positions in war zones. People fear that drones will be armed with mortars and flown over a large event or a biological agent dispersed here on the homeland. ISIS has training manuals for distribution on how to make modifications to drones to serve much nastier purposes than just drone photography and backyard videos. We should be prepared for what is on the battlefield now the future of warfare and how ISIS’s will use sUAS against us on our homeland.
Drones should not be flown everywhere and our Directors are made up of individuals who love aviation first and foremost, but also love RC, drones, sUAS and RPV. While knowing the importance and balance of flying safely and also within the law, education can go a long ways and help guide first time flyers and those new to the community. We have a responsibility as those who know better to instill safety culture into the drone community and also the message of “if you see something, say something.”
What should be protected first? First and foremost are nuclear and prison sites for the various intellectual property and damage that could ensue from being compromised by an attack and their relative shielded safety from adjacent property owners. These properties are already off limits and should be considered a great place for testing out CUAS technologies on the homeland. A place you don’t have to worry about neighbors would be most prisons. There are large pathways in the prison complexes and no one should mind a drone if it did happen fall from the sky because no one is supposed to be there much like at a nuclear site. Electronic equipment like Department 13’s MESMER system can create electronic shields that simply tell the drone to fly home or not even allow a drone that is turned on to take off. This would seem like the most efficient technology to use from a starting point so at least there is some form of protection. By rolling out solutions smartly in a real world controlled environment like Nuclear and Prisons facilities that are monitored risk-based analysis can be conducted to find out what are the actual risks, what are the security gaps, what level of security vs risk is practical in the various environments.
The CUAS Coalition Directors were hand selected from the best in the nation for their perspective and abilities they bring to the table to solve the many problems we have discussed. As a group, we will not just find one magical solution nor just one type of equipment that will be able to defeat every drone. Each director’s unique talents and skills overlap to bring about a change in technology, tactics, integration and in the halls of Congress where they need to be informed intelligently on the problems we face, it is a tough road, but we were given the tools to accomplish the task ahead. We were formed to save lives and produce new forms of inexpensive technology that can be intelligently deployed with little to no skill and complete tasks and defensive missions autonomously. Each director has a decade or more of real experience with aviation, defence and UAS you will not find a director who is new to the problems associated with counter-terrorism and air superiority.
Please read each person’s bio and explore our research team, we found the very best and most respected individuals in their fields and through our collaboration to create change in this industry we shall remain in control of the technology and the skies. We also want to instill a message of openness with the media and hobbyist communities that we are here to protect their rights as well as send a message first that “education in lieu of enforcement” is a better plan because it starts with education first. Through better CUAS technologies and education we can be less concerned with drones being flown by people who did not understand the law and deal primarily with those who are a threat and out to create harm.
Coalition list of Directors:
Director of Finance – Matthew Whitman
Director of Forensics – David Kovar
Director of Members – Patrick Egan
Director of Operations – Tony Davila
Director of Research – Ryan Wallace
Director of Safety – Archie Stafford
Director of Standards – Richard Lusk
Director of Tactics – Brandon Sasnett
Director of Technologies – Jeff Parisse
CUAS Coalition List of Directors: https://www.cuascoalition.org/directors
CUAS Coalition List of Research Team: https://www.cuascoalition.org/research-team
If you are interested in joining the CUAS Coalition, please fill out our contact form on our website. By joining like-minded individuals concerned with national security we can make a difference and prevent future violence and harm by guiding this new technology safely and intelligently. Stay tuned for our roadmap announcement of how we plan to change regulation surrounding CUAS equipment.