Lycan Counter UAS
The Lycan CUAS (Counter Unmanned Aerial System) allows friendly troops to find, watch, track and counter small drones that may be watching or attacking them. It does this using radars, cameras, and sensors that can sense the control signals from those drones, along with a jammer to block the drone’s operator from using it.
Lycan comes mounted on a tower that’s on a trailer, so it can be easily moved. The system is easy to use, and uses software that can communicate with other C2 platforms if needed. Lycan is ready for use right now and needs no development, but other sensors or systems can be added to it if needed.
The Lycan CUAS system is responsive this requirement by detecting, tracking, assessing, and mitigating Class I and II unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that adversaries are currently using to surveil, target and attack military or commercial installations.
The Lycan counter-UAS system (Figures 1), employs a multi-layered approach to detect small (Class I and II) UAS, assess with long-range optics, and optically track and mitigate through active frequency jamming. The system can also detect and track many commercially-available small UAS using an integrated RF detection system, and covers an area up to 10 km in diameter. It is effective against multiple, simultaneous fixed and rotary-wing UAS threat targets.
Target Detection: Detection of UAS targets is done with both long and short-range 3D multi-mission radars with a 2 Hz update rate. Long range detection is handled by an S-band radar, while short targets are tracked with an X-band radar. The system can detect small drones (such as the DJI IV Phantom and similar small UAS) out to 5 km range in good conditions. The system uses an artificial intelligence engine and heuristics to prioritize targets in order to reduce clutter targets such as birds, and is equipped with long-range thermal and visual imagers for target assessment. These imagers also provide an optical target tracking capability.
Overlapping the radar is Lycan’s RF detection device, which detects RF control signals from the target. This allows operators to see both radar and RF detections at the same location, further validating a real threat. The RF detection sensor combined with a similar radar track provide the operator high confidence of a real threat. If the conditions are not ideal for optical tracking the radar/RF sensors can continue to track and keep the camera on target. This provides added capability for threat detection and mitigation even when conditions are not perfect. The system is dual-use, with the radar and camera system also being effective against ground targets such as humans and vehicles.
Target Assessment: The optics package utilizes a medium wavelength infrared (MWIR) cooled thermal camera with a 40-825 mm continuous zoom lens and a 15-500 mm visual camera (Figure 2). The camera has optical tracking for hands-free-target tracking. The radar generates a UAS position allowing the camera to slew to cue to the UAS. The operator then engages the optical tracking using the longrange MWIR thermal camera, which has been successfully tested out beyond 4 km.
Mitigation: Lycan can mitigate threats using a directional tri-band RF jammer, which disrupts WiFi and GPS frequencies and can be customized to target specific frequency ranges according to user requirements. The jammer is bore sighted to the optics (Figure 2) and is mounted on the system’s pan & tilt positioner.
Ease of integration: Lycan comes with its own C2 system (Figure 3), which can be integrated with other C2 systems as well as additional sensors and effectors as required to meet changing threats and leverage new technologies that can further enhance the overall system.
Scalability: Multiple Lycan systems can be emplaced and operated standalone in a given location or networked together to provide counter-UAS capabilities across vast areas.
Ability to Evolve: Lycan already provides for multiple sensor and effector options to meet users’ specific, unique needs. As threats change and new sensor and effector technologies emerge, Lycan’s modular architecture enables replacement of system components as well as for the addition of entirely new capabilities. The addition of other subsystems, such as a kinetic weapon mounted on a remote weapons station, is currently being evaluated.