Heathrow Airport gets 5km-range Holographic Drone Detection

To improve security against these threats London Heathrow Airport recently deployed a holographic radar system developed by Aveillant, a UK company acquired by Thales SA in 2017, aimed at preventing drones from entering its airspace and interrupting operations.
This one-of-a-kind Counter Drone system works by detecting and tracking drones in surrounding airspace and alerting airports of unauthorized drone use quickly and efficiently.

This new and innovative system also works to locate the drone pilots themselves and can be utilized to identify their location. This technology has been specifically designed for Heathrow Airport by Operational Solutions Ltd and comprises a variety of leading counter drone technologies, including systems from Aveillant.

This is the same detection system that is already in use at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport. Radar technology has been with us for over seventy years, yet many of the fundamental elements of radar design have changed little over that time. In addition to target location and track, very fine Doppler resolution allows target movement to be measured. Holographic radar essentially digitizes the entire volume of airspace it sees, a fundamental advance on any form of scanning radar.

Introducing this new drone detection technology follows several reports of drones at airports around London, including Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport. In December 2018, Gatwick airport was closed for more than 24 hours around the busy holiday travel season when there were multiple drone sightings near the runway.

“The safety and security of our passengers and colleagues is our number one priority,” explained Jonathan Coen,” Director of Security for Heathrow Airport Ltd. “That is why we’re investing in this new cutting-edge technology which will enhance our capabilities in the detection and deterrence of drones in and around our airfield.” “We’re delighted to have this unique system keeping our skies safe and helping passengers and cargo to get to their destinations on time.”