Teledyne Flir protects critical infrastructure from drones in Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

From the outset the end-user’s minimum requirement was to obtain 100% accurate classification at 500 metres.

Teledyne Flir has successfully completed an installation of a long-range drone detection system for a critical infrastructure site in Sweden. A smart slew-to-cue system, combining radar, thermal imaging and visual sensors, helps make sure no unmanned aircraft system goes undetected.

The system includes the Flir Ranger R8SS-3D radar, which can detect objects within a three-kilometre range and track up to 500 drone targets simultaneously, while effectively filtering bird detections. The R8SS-3D provides complete hemispherical detection and is able to monitor the coverage area four times per second, run 24/7, and detect all ground and aerial threats in virtually any climate, day and night.

Radar detections are continuously tracked with the Flir Ranger HDC MR, a high-definition mid-range surveillance system which uses thermal imaging technology to detect threats, even in conditions where visibility is poor, at night or in degraded weather conditions, such as fog, rain and clouds. Everything the system picks up is monitored through Flir’s Cameleon software platform. This software enables operators to control the surveillance system and share all detector information with other agencies.

Maximum detection requirements

From the project onset the end-user’s minimum requirement was to obtain 100% accurate classification at 500 metres. Teledyne Flir was able to far exceed this requirement thanks to thorough tuning and calibration, and to the system’s superior optics and high-performance radar capability.

Teledyne Flir also ensures that the system can operate with maximum uptime, not considered a luxury for a critical infrastructure where 24/7 situational awareness is always needed. The system makes use of an uncooled thermal sensor, which requires minimal maintenance leading to practically zero downtime. On the other hand, a cooled camera would require periodic replacement of the cooling elements.

“This system is an ideal configuration for any critical infrastructure site that wants to keep its airspace free from threats and that needs 24/7 decision-making support,” says Eklund. “The system we installed in Sweden could also be used as a reliable, mid-range drone detection system for airports, refineries, nuclear plants, utilities and more.”

Effective drone detection and monitoring has become increasingly important, especially for critical infrastructures and sites, such as power plants, utility centres and airports. However, effective and accurate drone detection is challenging. In contrast to land-based monitoring and detection, aerial detection has a much wider, dome shaped area to cover, with no real reference points. In addition, today’s drones are fast and small, and they can demonstrate erratic flying behavior. Visual detection systems have an additional challenge, in that they need to detect objects in variable sky and weather conditions.

This project – completed early 2022 – was also made possible by Teledyne Flir’s longtime distributor and integration partner CCTV-Systems AB, a company which has been in the video surveillance systems business since 1982. Just like Teledyne Flir, CCTV-Systems AB has vast experience in providing threat detection systems for industrial and security sectors all over the world.


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