‘Homeland Security’ is a term for “the concerted national effort to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards where a nation’s interests, aspirations, and ways of life can thrive to the national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the country, reduce the vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage from attacks that do occur.” Homeland Security encompasses several dimensions and relates to safeguarding the internal environment of the country from disruptive activities that can potentially lead to disorder, loss of citizen’s lives and destruction to public and private property.
Homeland Security consists of all activities aimed at preparing for, protecting against and managing the consequences of attacks in various sectors and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been playing a very crucial role in this, already in USA and UK territories. Drones could determinedly be envisaged as a godsend for the ‘Homeland Security’ and ‘Surveillance’ purposes, with this belief Engenious Aerospace Ltd designs highly advanced UAVsviz “Sparrow-S” and “Filin-UAV”renders profound perceivable services alluding security and surveillance purposes. Engenioushas inevitably expressed a great deal of interest in using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to survey the country’s international land border, remote, potential and vulnerable regions.
There are two different types of UAVs: Drones and Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs). Both Drones and RPVs are pilotless, but drones are programmed for autonomous flight. RPVs are actively flown—remotely—by a ground control operator. UAVs are defined as a Powered Aerial Vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry lethal or nonlethal payloads. 2011 saw the increasing use of drones by law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) for law and order activities, in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The year also saw the first steps being taken, by private organizations and groups, in the use of drones for reconnaissance and information-gathering purposes. This brief examines the implications of the use of UAVs, by LEAs and private parties, on Homeland Security. Engenious deals with advanced UAVs which can render exceptional surveillance and services for homeland security purpose functions including intelligence, civil defense, law enforcement, counterterrorism measures, domestic crisis management, emergency response, border control, transport security and countering CBRN threats.
One of the main advantages of a UAV, in functions such as surveillance and reconnaissance, is that it manages to collect information covertly or from a safe distance; invaluable benefits when trying to track a suspect or when trying to control a mob. The nature of the information collected will depend on the sensor payload of the drone, and this flexibility can be leveraged to utilize a drone for anything from video surveillance (day or night), to eavesdropping, to trace detection.
The main pros of using the UAV technology could be summarized as follows:
- UAVs could fill a gap in current border surveillance by improving coverage along remote sections of the country’s international borders
- Electro-Optical (EO) sensors (cameras) can identify an object the size of a milk carton from an altitude of 60,000 feet.
- UAVs provide precise and real-time imagery to a ground control operator, who would then disseminate that information so that informed decisions regarding the deployment of border patrol agents can be made quickly.
- Engenious UAVs have flight endurance of more than 8 hours without having to refuel, compared with a helicopter’s average flight time of just over 2 hours. The ability of UAVs to loiter for prolonged periods of time has important operational advantages over manned aircraft. The longer flight times of UAVs means that sustained coverage over a previously exposed area may improve border security.
- The range of UAVs is a significant asset when compared to border agents on patrol or stationary surveillance equipment. Engenious UAVs has a maximum range of 700 km and in case of border intrusion attempts to transit through dense woods or mountainous terrain, UAVs would have a greater chance of tracking the violator with thermal detection sensors than the stationary video equipment which is often used on the borders.
- Also, UAV accidents do not risk the lives of pilots, as do the helicopters that currently patrol country’s borders.
In the Engenious perspective ‘Homeland Security’ is the primary region where the UAV technology is of high need to be employed.
The complete system, including ground support equipment, is integrated on two all-terrain 1.5 t trucks.The system deployment time in launching site is less than 40 min, the UAV turn-around time is less than 20 min.Automatic flight control is provided by pre-programming up to 150 waypoints changeable during mission. Ground operator can set the control mode en-route.