The Coast Guard plans to conduct a one-year pilot of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to help it develop operational processes and capabilities for detecting and defeating drones near certain facilities and assets.
For the upcoming evaluation, the Coast Guard will use a range of counter UAS technologies including radio frequency detection, radar imagery and electro-optic/infrared cameras in standalone and combined configurations to detect, track, identify and seize control of drones, the Coast Guard says in an Oct. 28 Privacy Impact Assessment released on Monday.
The document says the service will use technology provided by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, the Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center, and through DHS and other partner agencies.
The pilot will last through 2020.
Under the Preventing Emerging Threats Act, which was signed into law a year ago, DHS and the Department of Justice were given authorities to detect, track, identify and mitigate drone threats around “covered facilities or assets” in the U.S. Previously, only the Departments of Defense and Energy had those authorities related to some of their domestic assets and facilities.
In late October, DHS S&T, the Federal Aviation Administration and DoD issued a Request for Information seeking interested vendors for series of evaluations next spring of technologies for detecting, tracking, identifying and mitigating potential threats from small drones and other aircraft flying in the homeland (Defense Daily, Oct. 29).
The privacy assessment doesn’t mention the RFI, which was released the same day. Under the Air Domain Awareness and Protection in the National Airspace 2019-2020 Equipment Demonstration and Evaluation, DHS and the FAA will assess counter UAS systems at demonstration sites for mountainous, plains, maritime and urban regions and in airport environments.
The privacy assessment mentions that the Coast Guard recently deployed counter drone systems in support of the Secret Service, which is also part of DHS, during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City in September.
“That operation, in part, provided USCG an opportunity to test deploying C-UAS in an urban environment, with multiple components and agencies involved, and under the authorities provided to USCG by” the Preventing Emerging Technologies Act, the assessment says.
Once the pilot evaluation is completed, the Coast Guard’s counter UAS program “may become fully operational,” the assessment says.