R&D and energy companies teaming on drone research to protect infrastructure, security concerns

SYRACUSE, New York. Not-for-profit research and development company SRC, Inc. is partnering with Xcel Energy to deploy state-of-the-art unmanned aerial system (UAS) detection technology to protect critical infrastructure.

Under the partnership, SRC and Xcel Energy will collect actionable data on the low-altitude airspace used by drones or UASs that may be applicable not only for a critical energy center, but also for an airport, railway, inland waterway, sporting arena, or state capital. The data will be shared with federal, state, and local security partners.

SRC and Xcel Energy will strive to define the magnitude of the problem posed by small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) and will invest in research and development to identify the best solutions for different aerial environments. SRC is involved in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) BSNF Pathfinder and Drone Detection Pathfinder programs, NUAIR's Secure Autonomous Flight Environment (U-SAFE) project, and ’s UAS Traffic Management (UTM) program.

SRC will install its Gryphon Skylight system, which the company says uses multiple ground-based to detect targets in the airspace to provide intelligent situational awareness for integration and security. Xcel Energy will use this data to develop use cases in security and beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations () for U.S. utilities.

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