UAVs at the White House: An Infrared Solution to Detect Potentially Dangerous Drones

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The latest security breach at the White House sheds light on the importance of security solutions that can detect UAVs before causing irreversible damage. HGH Infrared Systems in Cambridge, MA offers a panoramic high-resolution infrared thermal imaging camera that detects and tracks low heat and low speed flying UAVs.

In the latest string of White House security breaches, on Monday of this week, a “quadcopter” or 4-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle flew over and then crash-landed on the south grounds of the White House without triggering any security alarms (as reported by Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/26/us-usa-whitehouse-device-idUSKBN0KZ0UD20150126). In fact, the UAV managed to stealthily fly unnoticed by any system in place and wasn’t detected until a Secret Service agent spotted it before hurtling to the ground, prompting a lockdown before the area could be deemed safe.

This incident is an all too common occurrence lately with UAVs gaining strength in popularity and accessibility and they pose a number of unique challenges for security officials as they are undetected by radar due to their size and lack electronic transmitters which would determine their location. When traditional security measures such as these fail unconventional solutions previously used by the militarycan step up to the challenge.

The Spynel cameras from HGH Infrared Systems are specially equipped to detect these type of threats using high-resolution infrared thermal imaging technology that can pick up low heat deltas between ambient temperatures and the electric engine UAVs, as well as low speed flying objects. Spynel’s constantly moving, 360 degree camera head takes a panoramic image of an entire wide area and built- in advanced algorithms can automatically detect and track an unlimited number of air, land and maritime targets including large thermal engine UAVs up to 11 km away. Unlike radars, Spynel are also completely passive. Spynel systems have previously been deployed in Afghanistan for forward operating base protection and are mature Commercial off-the-shelf systems that were developed more than 10 years ago.

Security measures especially around our nation’s historic landmarks such as the White House, critical infrastructures like nuclear plants or high-traffic areas at airports and ports now need to consider more cutting edge solutions in order to detect highly challenging threats such as small UAVs early on before irreversible damage to structures or people is done.

About: Founded in 1982, HGH designs, develops, assembles and sells complete high end optronics systems for security, industrial and civil applications. HGH’s team of highly qualified engineers is comprised of experts in optics, software, mechanics and electronics and operates in the US, out of Boston, MA. HGH strives to provide advanced and innovative infrared equipment to protect their clients all around the world, while keeping the agility and dedication of a small and passionate team. Speed, flexibility, technical excellence and innovation constitute their core values. HGH has established itself as an international reference for infrared technology innovation through the development of multiple advanced thermal sensors, among which its award-winning real-time 360 degree thermal camera, the Spynel-C - 2008 Product of the Year from Photonics Tech Briefs, 2010 Innovation Prize from the EuroNaval Committee, 2011 Kummerman Award from the French Academy of Marine, 2012 GovSec Platinum Award, 2012 Govies Homeland Security Award, and 2014 Best Video Tracking/Wide Area/Long Range Surveillance from Government Security News’ Airport, Seaport, and Border Security Awards Program.

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KATIE SHEA