Executive Summary

When a person intrudes on a property, a security team may first locate and then apprehend the trespasser. With drones, this response becomes three-dimensional. Technology can alert security to the presence of an intruding drone, and technology can eliminate the intrusion.

With smart airspace security in place, security providers can look be-yond the immediate yet illegal instinct to eliminate the threat by force and instead turn to existing standard operating procedures (SOP’s) to advance their response protocols before, during, and after a drone incursion.

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PART I

There is a Drone in my Air space!

Now What?

Smart drone detection technology automatically alerts security providers when an unauthorized drone en- ters protected airspace. Sensors capture information about the aerial intruders, including the type of drone, flightpath, and location.

But how should security teams react when an unauthorized drone enters protected airspace?

For organizations beginning their airspace security program, key to the success of their counter-drone tech- nology is creating proactive response protocols in the event of a drone incursion.

Stage 1: Before the incursion

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    Scope out the  local landscape:

    Identify likely take-off locations, hangs no-fly-zone signs, and/or install cameras to deter potential pilots.

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    Practice, train, and educate your security team:

    Airspace security programs should begin under ideal, “blue sky” conditions. Security teams can connect and understand how to use Dedrone software, assign roles in the event of an incursion, and conduct training and response exercises.

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    Engage local law enforcement:

    Determine the criteria Provide local law enforcement the information they require to approach and apprehend an unauthorized drone pilot in the event of an emergency airspace intrusion. Consider tabletop exercises with all first responder stakeholders.

Stage 2: During the incursion

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    Respond to automated alerts:

    Alarms are triggered as soonas the approach of a drone is detected. Dedrone alerts are triggered in the Dedrone software platform, DedroneTracker, and can be sent through SMS, v, e-mail, network (TCP/IP), SNMP, or smartphone push notification. Dedrone also works with external alerting systems for security teams to manage a coorinated and timely response to drone incursions.

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    Monitor “reach in time” to the protected area:

    DedroneTracker provides information on “reach in time” – the duration of time and distance until the drone reaches a critical point of interest, such as an airport runway, a data center cooling unit, or correctional facility’s recreation yard.

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    Deploy security team to follow drone, and approach or apprehend pilot:

    Dedrone’s detection sensors, deliver flightpath information and localization of the drone, providing security teams evidence needed to locate a pilot.

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    Protect assets with passive countermeasures:

    Depending on the assets being protected, all organizations can deploy passive countermeasures, including lowering blinds to prevent aerial espionage, monitoring WiFi networks for intrusions, leading people away from open or exposed areas, or halting operations until the drone threat has been resolved.

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    Alert local law enforcement:

    Local law enforcement can deploy additional resources to help apprehend drone pilots. In the event of damage to your property, insurance providers may require statements before you can recoup damages. Law enforcement statements may also help with any future prosecution or litigation for destruction of property or losses sustained due to operational disruptions.

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Dedrone UI available across computer, tablet and phone

Stage 3: After the incursion

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    Build threat profile based on historical analysis:

    Dedrone produces automated summaries of drone activity, providing information such as most frequent times and days drones appear and drone hotspots. Understanding flight patterns is the best form of prevention. An unauthorized drone may visit a protected site multiple times to survey the area and find security vulnerabilities. In Dedrone’s experience, we see 3-5 flights prior to a bad event. If a flight patterns are identified, security teams can appoint resources to prevent operational harm before it occurs.

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    Update security procedures according to the threat profile:

    It may be that drones are appearing during shift changes, shipping/receiving, or concurrent with significant events at the site, such as game days or executive meetings. Apply Dedrone data to make evidence-based decisions on how to expand security procedures throughout critical events.

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    Post “No-Fly-Zone” signage:

    Drone pilots that intrude on protect airspace may be unaware of any airspace restrictions – for those pilots who may be “clueless or careless,” local signage may help indicate that the area is protected by drone detection technology, and aerial trespassers will have additional knowledge of the risks they take when flying in your airspace.

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Sample Dedrone analytics: time heatmap

Prevent Losses with Results-Driven, Smart Airspace Security Programs

As technologists, we are consistently talking about product features. While having the most com- prehensive airspace security solutions is vital, the technology is only as good as the security teams who use them. A philosophy of develop, test & enhance is essential for security teams and must be considered adjacent to the technology investment.

The consequences of drone incursions can be costly, from operational downtime to physical prop- erty damage and even data breach. With early detection and in-depth data, security teams can protect operational continuity, prevent losses, and regain control of their airspace.

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Sample Dedrone analytics
PART II

Data-Driven SOPs

Airspace activity data must first be collected an analyzed in order to build a threat profile and to strategically implement SOPs. This data...RF sensors, cameras and radar. Sensor information is then analyzed from the AI/ML driven DedroneTracker. Analytics can be accessed via DedroneTracker or fed into Command and Control (C2) systems.

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Sample Dedrone analytics: time heatmap

Security teams need to know:

With smart airspace security data, security teams can then leverage informa- tion to develop data-driven SOPs for every stage of the drone incursion.

Uncover Patterns in Drone Activity:

  • Quantify Your Drone Activity

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    How many drones are in my airspace?

    Confirm the existence and numbers of drones in your airspace to assess your level of vulnerability. What time of day and what days of the week do most drone incursions occur? Knowing this information will not only drive SOPs but may also point toward the identification of the bad actor.

  • Observe Unauthorized Drone Pilot Behavior

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    What time of day, and which days of the week, are drones appearing?

    This type of data enables security providers confirm whether there is a correlation of unauthorized drone activity with business operations. Unauthorized drone flights may occur during certain times of the day – such as under cover of darkness at night – during shift changes or during major business operations. For stadiums and arenas, drone activity may spike before, during, or after an event.

  • Confirm the Scope of the Drone Threat

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    What kinds of drones are being flown?

    Drones vary in their size, payload capacity, speed, battery life, and range – all variables which can help security providers understand the nature of the individual drone threat when it appears. Being able to identify multiple manufacturer drone types to know exactly what type of drone is being flown over your facility is key to assessing the overall threat and therefore the appropriate response.

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Sample Dedrone analytics

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Sample Dedrone analytics

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Sample Dedrone analytics

  • Calculate Response Time

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    How close is the drone and how long until it reaches me?

    During an incursion, it is important to understand timing. Seconds count, making early warning and “reach in time” calculations crucial to the effectiveness of response teams.

  • Deploy Resources to Common Flight Zones

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    What are the most common areas for drone activity?

    Are the drones flying over sensitive areas? Drones provide a birds-eye view of a protected site, allowing the operator to locate vulnerabili- ties in security systems and exploit blind spots. Airspace security data confirms the areas in need of additional protection from drone threats. Security leaders can post signage, darken windows and/or add extra security patrols to likely launch areas.

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Drones can threaten public safety

PART III

There’s A Drone at My Stadium – Now What?

Applying Smart Airspace Security Intelligence & Insights to Stadium Security Standard Operating Procedures

Spectators are excited to be back in arenas and stadiums, following a historic international shutdown of in-person, live events. As stadium and venue security managers continue to adapt to new health and safety protocols stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, another rising security concern remains persistent and escalating – the risk of drones.

Today is the best day to begin analyzing your stadium airspace security and building your drone standard operating procedures (SOP’s). Drones can be used to surveil practice and games, infringe on broadcasting rights, threaten fans and players, and cause careless interruptions to operations and delaying game play. Stadium managers do not want to be caught off guard when a drone intentionally or unintentionally flies from a tailgate to the field, under cover of night.

The process to begin an airspace risk assessment is simple and in line with common physical and cybersecurity practices that are already established and proven effective.

Stage 1: Before the Drone Incursion

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    Install a Drone Detection System and Conduct a Vulnerability Assessment:

    With a smart airspace security strategy in place, you can easily determine the scope of your vulnerability to drones. Specifically, you will learn the most common times of day, or days of the week, and which types of drones are in protected airspace. Discover common takeoff points and flight paths, identify concerning flight patterns and classify the most common types of drones near your venue.

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    Apply Insights & Intelligence into Security Protocols:

    Once initial insights and intelligence are established, apply this information to determine if your security teams need to change or add certain patrol areas, cooperate with local law enforcement, or even just set up signage as a deterrent. Use the time before gameday to prepare, predict and prevent nefarious drone flights, rehearse response protocols, track down suspicious pilots, and ensure that you capture drone pilots in a timely manner on game day.

Stage 2: During the Drone Incursion

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    Deploy Security to Apprehend Drone Pilot:

    Whether there is an active game, or practice in session, response time matters. Apply DedroneTracker’s built-in predictive analytics, insights, and intelligence to find pilots and stop the flight.

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    Mitigate the Threat with Active Countermeasures:

    For U.S. Department of Homeland Security Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1-2 events, such as the NFL Super Bowl, federal agency security teams may be authorized to deploy counter-drone technologies, such as DedroneDefender, to halt the drone flight. For events managed at the state or local level, threat mitigation will depend on passive, countermeasures including active patrol at likely take-off areas, clear signage, collaboration with local law enforcement, and quick security team respo9nse times to track down the pilot.

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    Halt Gameplay, Move Spectators:

    In the event a drone appears during active gameplay, it may be prudent to halt operations until the drone pilot is apprehended.

Stage 3: After the Drone Incursion

Preakness Stakes Shares Experience Protecting Against Drone Threats

Preakness Stakes 146, held in May 2021, featured a new airspace security program at Pimlico Race Course, which was powered by Dedrone. As a result of installing Dedrone, Pimlico security team and local law enforcement developed and launched response protocols in the event of drone incursions.

Dedrone’s automated alerts provided actionable intelligence, including drone and pilot location, to Pimlico security. Dedrone’s solution, including integrated cameras, visually identified multiple pilots, providing Pimlico security the necessary intelligence to track aerial trespassers down and halt unauthorized flights. Pimlico’s partnership with Dedrone allowed them to implement and execute a successful drone response program resulting in zero drone disruptions on race day.

Read more about Preakness Stakes’ Smart Airspace Security Program

Prepare, Predict and Prevent Drone Incursions at Your Stadium

Drone disruptions at stadiums are not new, but more people realize how easy it is to cause damage and harm to a stadium, how impactful these drone events are to operational continuity, and a team or stadium’s reputation. Drones may appear as a part of a broader exploitation plan – check out the site before entering it to identify vulnerabilities, or even spy on practice games to gain the competitive advantage. As more facilities re-open after the COVID shutdowns and return to normal operations, onlookers will want to take the view into their own hands, just like the drone pilots who shut down Major League Baseball Games in 2020.

Start your smart airspace security program today with Dedrone, and begin to test, rehearse, and enhance your existing standard operating procedures for drone intrusions.

Meet Dedrone at NCS4 Annual Conference this November in Phoenix!

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Contraband drops endanger prisons

Part IV

There’s a Drone in My Correctional Facility – Now What?

Correctional facilities around the world face a persistent threat: drone-based contraband infiltrating their secured walls. As more facilities adopt airspace security technologies, not only are they taking an active approach to counter the drone threat, but also apply airspace security intelligence and insights into their standard security operating procedures.

Among the top threats presented by drones are contraband delivery, and hostile surveillance. Contraband entering a facility, including drugs, weapons, and cell phones, can easily snowball into larger issues. Bad actors may survey a corrections facility to observe staff or inmate movements, or aid in escapes. Today, over 50 correctional facilities around the world integrate Dedrone’s smart airspace security insights and intelligence to protect their response protocols and protect operational continuity.

Watch Replay

Watch the on-demand replay of Dedrone's latest webinar, "Drones & Prisons: Airspace Security Best Practices for Correction Facilities"

Standard Operating Procedures for Corrections’ Drone Airspace Breaches

Prison security teams can act today to ensure safe operations against drones. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) at prisons are advancing with new information from drone detection systems, and offers a plan of action for corrections security leaders to add Dedrone software, DedroneTracker, insights and intelligence into their SOPs.

Stage 1: Before the Drone Incursion

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    Confirm airspace restrictions in your area, and identify local resources to respond in the event of an emergency:

    In the event of a hostile drone incursion, first check with cooperating law enforcement, and local aviation authorities, what information they need, and when to call them for support in apprehending drone pilots.

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    Maintain detection technology:

    Detect drones before they enter the facility or critical operation areas. Early warning allows for teams to observe the drone alert and determine whether it poses a threat.

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    Trigger real-time alerts to staff automatically:

    In the event a drone breaches critical airspace, real-time alerts can be sent to staff with specific information to patrol certain parts of a facility.

Stage 2: During the Incursion

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    Protect operations:

    Move inmates indoors or to protected areas, shut down windows

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    Notify local police:

    Close cooperation with local law enforcement can support operations outside the facility.

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    Track the drone and the pilot:

    Using DedroneTracker flightpath tools, corrections security teams can direct and deploy a response team in the direction of the drone, to either retrieve contraband that has been dropped, or locate the pilot to apprehend them and halt the flight.

Stage 3: After the Incursion

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    Capture and record forensic evidence:

    Whether the drone is visiting your facility for the first time or has made multiple visits, DedroneTracker shares historical data for you to use should you need to investigate a pilot or hand over evidence to law enforcement for further prosecution.

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    Educate local community:

    Reduce the “careless and clueless” drone flights that could disrupt prison operations.

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    Make strategic decisions and investments based on real data:

    Dedrone offers a scalable solution that fits your threat profile, the scope of your drone problem, and stays within your budget.

Ultimately, the only drone that matters is the one that a corrections security team does not want in their airspace. Corrections teams can protect their airspace today by assessing the true nature of drone activity over their operations. With early detection and in-depth data, corrections facility teams can protect operational continuity, prevent contraband deliveries, and maintain control of their airspace.

CONCLUSION

Start today by assessing the true nature of drone activity over your site. With early detection and in- depth data, security teams can protect operational continuity, prevent losses, and regain control of their airspace.

As more drone regulations go into effect, supporting the productive use of drones in our society the increasing the use and number of drones in our airspace, law enforcement will play a larger role. In Feb- ruary 2021, a drone pilot was caught flying in restricted airspace over the Super Bowl and was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with violating national defense airspace. If convicted, the drone pilot will face a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison.

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