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Defeating UAVs Through Novel HPEM Effectors

MARKUS GRASWALD, RAPHAEL GUTSER, FLORIAN GRABNER, BENEDIKT MEYER, CHRISTIAN WINTER, ANDREA OELERICH

Abstract


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are sophisticated, autonomous, low-cost systems that may become a threat when supplemented with energetic charges or improvised explosive devices (IED) as deadly payloads. While single UAVs may be defeated through air defense systems or new laser effectors, a swarm of them may, however, saturate such systems, especially when they fly coordinated attack patterns. Another encouraging concept generates either omni-directional, near-distance or directed, far-distance electromagnetic effects consisting of an explosively driven flux compression generator (FCG), an electrical opening switch, and the subsequent shaping of the electrical pulse into a high frequency (HF) radio signal transmitted by an antenna. This enables a promising compact design approach for integration into mobile effectors such as missiles or shoulder-launched munitions defeating swarms of UAVs as well as other electronic systems, devices, and components. FCG prototypes, a test setup and diagnostics including a Rogowski probe for current measurements were developed for proof-of-principle trials with iutput currents measured of several hundreds of kA. This complies to a current amplification factor of approx. 30 also predicted through a system simulation. In other subcomponent tests, a continuous and a pulsed microwave generator were used for generating radio signals transmitted by a horn antenna. The effectiveness of the emitted signal is eventually evaluated against commercially available UAVs like a Phantom 4. These vulnerability tests were performed at an anechoic chamber with parameters varied including antenna distance and direction to the target as well as pulse and idle times of the interference signal. These experimental results were also used for verifying simulation models created with LTspice.


DOI
10.12783/ballistics2019/33241

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