Drones and Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)


Securing national infrastructure against airborne intrusions

drone near nuclear power plant

Critical National Infrastructure including nuclear reactors, chemical facilities, water systems and airports need the highest level of security against all possible physical and electronic threats. Critical infrastructure, like many other sectors, has to deal with the new and emerging threat of commercial drones – or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These represent a number of different risks.

The most headline-grabbing risks tend to be those of physical and electronic attacks. For example, drones could carry explosives into a nuclear power plant or get close enough to internal systems to carry out a cyber attack, affecting the plant’s operation or exfiltrating sensitive data. Even with other physical and cyber security measures in place, these are real risks, but that’s not the full scale of the problem for those in charge of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP).

These aircraft can also be used to carry out reconnaissance for future attacks or to gather intelligence as part of industrial espionage operations.

As authorized drones are also now being used as a cost-saving way to carry out routine inspections of national infrastructure, there is also a risk that even a simple ‘publicity stunt’ with a drone could turn into a dangerous and costly collision.

Protection from the drone threat

Monitoring of the RF spectrum can be used to detect the RF control signals and video transmissions emanating from drones, such that both the aircraft and the person controlling it can be located using our 3D TDOA geolocation software.

A network of RFeye Nodes can be installed across a facility to autonomously monitor the spectrum 24/7 with alerts provided to security if a drone is about to enter secure airspace (or even providing advance warning of a drone which is still many miles away). Deploying such a monitoring network gives those tasked with protection of critical infrastructure peace of mind that a drone can be identified well before it is close enough to become a threat.  By locating the person operating the vehicle, it can also enable legal action to be taken against those responsible. In some cases, this can also lead to greater criminal intent being uncovered, such as plans to carry out a terror attack.

The system can be used standalone or (for System integrators) integrated as part of a multi-sensor solution alongside countermeasures.

Additional benefits of the solution

A deployed network of RFeye Nodes for drone detection can also be used for monitoring and geolocation of any other signals of interest. For example, channel assignments for any wireless communications and industrial automation systems in use at the plant can be optimized to minimize interference and congestion. RF Interference sources both internal and external to the facility can also be located.

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