R&S®ARDRONIS meets the C-UAS challenge

Reliable drone control uplink signal detection and disrupting capabilities for authorized users, even under challenging signal scenarios. Drones are increasingly becoming a real and growing danger, with off-the-shelf unmanned aerial systems (UAS) rarely out of the headlines these days and drone incidents an almost weekly occurrence. The EU Commission recently gave out a warning about the potential use of drones to carry out terrorist attacks. Not only critical national infrastructure is in danger; commercial facilities, such as arenas and stadiums, are also vulnerable to a wide array of threats, not to forget invasion of privacy, smuggling and industrial espionage. Regardless of the UAS operator’s intention, drones pose a serious security risk. To counter rapidly developing UAS threats, accurate classification of the type of drone detected is critical to the subsequent decision-making process. To this end, Götz Mayser, Director C-UAS, Rohde & Schwarz, informs about R&S®ARDRONIS providing reliable drone control uplink signal detection and disrupting capabilities, even under challenging signal scenarios.

Götz Mayser, Director C-UAS at Rohde & Schwarz

"Over the past several years, commercially available and easy-to-use drones have become available for anyone and the tool of choice for anyone with sinister plans."

Götz Mayser, Director C-UAS at Rohde & Schwarz

How do you assess the current state of the C-UAS market and the future UAS threat environment?

Over the past several years, commercially available and easy-to-use drones have become available for anyone and the tool of choice for anyone with sinister plans. There is increasing concern about the intended or unintended misuse of drones, ranging from invasion of privacy over covert delivery of drugs and weapons, to the endangerment of public figures and terrorist attacks. With the proliferation of small rotary-wing UAS that are easily available, the age of the UAS-threat has become a reality and defending against it will require considerable effort and resources from both industry and the military. C-UAS technologies are becoming the go-to technology for homeland security, law enforcement agencies, private security and other government entities, with an abundance of systems available, yet very few up to Rohde & Schwarz' excellence.

What does Rohde & Schwarz have to offer in this area?

Rohde & Schwarz’ R&S®ARDRONIS radio-monitoring solution detects and identifies a drone's control uplink signal at a very early point (it can take the bearings of the remote controller even before the drone takes off) and can help bring an offending unmanned aircraft to a halt. R&S®ARDRONIS monitors remote control uplink and drone downlink signals (typically in the 433 MHz, 2.4and 5.8 GHz frequency bands) and can detect and locate those at an approx. range of 1.5 km under average (urban, highly congested frequency bands) and 5-7 km under optimal conditions. The system maintains an extensive library of drone control signal profiles in order to detect and classify these types of signals. Thanks to powerful automatic online hopper analysis capabilities, R&S®ARDRONIS analyses technical radio parameters such as hop length, symbol rate and modulation type, then classifies the transmission system used. With this classification result R&S®ARDRONIS can force the drone to fail safe by disrupting the uplink control signal with a smart, adaptive, low power jamming countermeasure.

With its partners ESG and Diehl Defence, Rohde & Schwarz furthermore offers a mission-proven modular multi sensor drone detection and defense system called GUARDION including the R&S®ARDRONIS sensors and countermeasures. Already tried and tested in various major political events and in operation with many customers worldwide, GUARDION provides secure detection and defense against drones in stationary, mobile or deployable configurations, adapted to the individual requirements of customers and situations.

GUARDION was designed as an open system, adaptable to new threats from evolving drone technologies. Therefore, GUARDION cooperation is constantly monitoring the market for suitable sensor and countermeasure components, which fulfil our strict requirements of usability, readiness and performance.

How will Rohde & Schwarz further this development in the future?

As a reliable, comprehensive automated monitoring system, R&S®ARDRONIS permits data recording, including Wifi video footage transmitted to operators. Everything the system intercepts can be archived, from individual detection results to entire RF scenarios. The ever growing user-friendly drone profile archive lists all types of common drone uplink signals with their critical parameters. The operator can black- and whitelist certain drone profiles. Additional he/she can train in new drone signal types on his/her own. The list of drone profiles is growing for the benefit of the customer. We are furthermore working on new features that allow interconnection of distributed multiple sensors, as well as improved jamming capabilities.

Where do you see the C-UAS market in the next decade?

Governments are looking to develop new defensive capabilities that draw upon autonomous decision-making mechanisms and networked sensing systems capable of detecting, tracking, identifying and defeating hostile drones over complex and varied environments. Homeland security, law enforcement agencies, private security and other government entities will put their trust into more multi-effector solutions and countermeasure that include control link jamming, GPS jamming, sensor blinding or disruption of electronics.

The development of the GUARDION product, together with the C-UAS efforts taking place around the world indicates that UAVs are causing increased concern as reconnaissance and weaponized assets both on and off the battlefield. Their use will almost certainly continue to increase in the future, if only for the asymmetric advantage they offer as a comparatively low-cost, yet high impact, asset. In this respect, recent experiences in Israel and Syria in the military sphere, and Great Britain, Germany and Singapore-only to mention a few- in the civilian domain, may be dress rehearsals for the intensification of the dangerous uses of UAVs in the future.

Systems for countering drones

Automatic Radio Controlled Drone


The R&S®ARDRONIS automatic radio-controlled drone identification solution is a comprehensive solution with specialized capabilities for detecting, identifying, classifying, direction finding, recording and disrupting the remote control link to a drone.It is part of GUARDION.The solution is optimized for countering the threats arising from radio-controlled (RC) drones. Through successful trials, deployments with key customers, involvement in protecting various important and public events as well as VIP persons, R&S®ARDRONIS has proven to be an effective technical approach.

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Security Drone


The Drone Defence System GUARDION combines customer specific, scalable solutions to the problem of detecting and defending against commercially available drones thus protecting the customer from the dangers emanating from their unauthorized use.GUARDION is a cooperation of ESG, Rohde & Schwarz and Diehl Defence, benefiting from their proven expertise in the fields of radar, radio detection and electro-magnetic countermeasures as well as sophisticated Command & Control Systems.

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