Anti-drone networks

July 13, 2021

Customer/ Location: undisclosed


Disruption from rogue drones is forcing many airport authorities to adopt anti-drone solutions to protect their airways. Traditional radar systems resolve, meaning they can’t see everything at once and miss data when looking away. Anti-drone systems are used to detect or intercept unwanted unmanned aerial vehicles. The key technologies used to create an anti-drone network include:

  • Radars for detection capabilities;
  • Cameras for visibility;
  • Direction finders and sensors to measure the direction a received transmitter was transmitted;
  • Jammers are signal blocking devices that transmit synchronized radio waves on the same frequency as the UAV.

Increasingly, anti-drone technologies are deployed to protect areas like airports, critical infrastructure, large public spaces and military installations, with users turning to ATDI to build and optimise their anti-drone networks. 


Creating an anti-drone network requires high-resolution datasets; specifically, a Digital terrain model (2m resolution), Clutter map (2m resolution), buildings layer (2D view), satellite images, and a 3D building layer. These datasets provide an accurate visualisation of the coverage area and allow the network planner to identify optimal positions for cameras, direction finders and jamming equipment.


The engineer defines a vector using polygons or points on the map to identify the required area. Then potential Direction finding (DF) locations are placed in the polygon, based on target parameters like potential flight height, the frequency used, ERIP and range (from DF). The dominant DF is identified for every position along with backup sites, should one site go down. Using HTZ, the engineer can create a simultaneous coverage analysis that analyses the performance of those potential sites based on redundancy and triangulation accuracy.

Similarly, cameras provide eyes in the sky and need to be located at optimal locations to provide maximum visibility. HTZ features an intervisibility map function that allows users to search for the best camera location based on clearance heights and the potential target. 

Identifying and optimising the best location for DF, cameras, radars and jammers is critical to the success of an anti-drone network. In HTZ, users can optimise by target area, location sampling, target height (drone) and sensor height (above buildings). The tool recommends ideal locations based on a traffic light scheme that depicts the best locations by excellence in confidence. 

Understanding the impact of 3D reflections for buildings and the clutter layer will allow engineers to model the strength of echoes and mitigate the risk of black or not-spots in coverage.

The software features a host of useful functions, including:

  • Batch predictions for a range of elevation levels at different heights;
  • Jamming range which applies a traffic light system to show jamming confidence and safe areas;
  • Identified heights for minimum jammable elevation;
  • Radar modelling to ensure maximum coverage is achieved using radar simulation functions and analysis for single elevation;
  • The ability to spot a new radar and its potential to cause radar to radar interference;
  • The ability to coordinate radar to radar interference using activated (wanted) and de-activated (unwanted) sites;
  • The ability to view activated and de-activated sites on the map;
  • Real-time LOS analysis for a jammer to RF-DF, as well as interference analysis;
  • Location optimisation and site to site interference mitigation;
  • Reception analysis at different flight heights by pre-computing reception in a 3D environment for different elevations.


The outputs from these calculations can be exported from HTZ for publication on a secure web server, called HTZ WebView, including analysis of RD-RF coverages, radar ranges, jamming ranges, camera ranges. The web browser is tablet compatible and allows multiple sites to be managed.

For full details of our anti-drone capabilities, contact your local office.

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