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Home » AI/ICT » An interview with Mr Asry, international expert in anti-drone solutions:
An interview with Mr Asry, international expert in anti-drone solutions:

An interview with Mr Asry, international expert in anti-drone solutions:

We thank so much Mr. Marouane Asry to take few moments for this interview despite his busy schedule.

Mr.Marouane Asry

Question 1: Drones are nowadays widely used in all countries either for positive purposes or inappropriately for negative purposes. In this regard, and considering your international experience, how does a country draw up an action plan to fight against drones for negative use (drug trafficking, unauthorized photography, etc.)?

Answer: Every year, the number of drones is constantly increasing at a breakneck pace every year globally. This is mainly due to the significant market development of the drone industry in its various classification and usage. Drones have become a necessary tool or technical means in many fields, especially those active in security and defense, in various service industries, or even for amateur use. Thus, security and defense services worldwide are facing a spectacular increase in the number of drones proportionally to the increase in associated risks.

Of course, we note that the United States, China and certain European countries are working very hard to formulate new regulations, standards and policies, as well as the acquisition of advanced supervision systems to ensure the proper conduct and appropriate use of these drones.

Question 2: As part of this anti-drone fight against negative use, destroying drones could possibly cause damage to the public. Shouldn’t we consider other solutions such as those based on panoramic thermal cameras capable of identifying a drone remotely? Or those consisting in jamming the communications between the drone and its pilot in the event that they are not encrypted, or even hacking the drone to take control of it.

Answer: We must first understand that anti-drone systems have two important segments, detection (scanning, capture, classification etc.) and action (jamming, physical attack, spoofing, etc …). Drones become more technologically advanced, smarter, faster, therefore more difficult to detect using traditional methods (conventional radar), which are insufficient for many possible scenarios, such as for example the false alarm caused by several types of parasites. This is why combining several solutions simultaneously will always have more impact than believing that one solution could fits all. For example, in terms of scanning and detection, the thermal camera equipped with artificial intelligence for object detection and classification may be a good idea, except that it will cover a very limited distance, not to mention other configuration challenges. However, at the level of action against a drone, some large companies use software jamming techniques for certain classes of drone in order to avoid possible collateral damage, instead of targeting the physical layer and radio frequencies which may affect security and public safety or the ecosystem of surveillance and radar control of airports for example. However, the limitations of this technique remain visibly constraining, given the diversity of advanced technologies used by drone manufacturers, as well as techniques and methods used by system hacking experts to easily bypass Soft-Jamming based anti-drones.

Question 3: Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly integrated into new drones. How should we prepare for this development aimed at implementing a more effective anti-drone policy with AI?

Answer: AI has a highly significant impact in the development of anti-drones. In addition to detection based on many classification methods to differentiate between a drone and other flying objects, AI adds much higher accuracy with fewer false positives (false alarms). The same at the level of jamming, AI brings great added value and helps enormously to perform precise jamming in order to direct a selective attack so as not to disturb other neighboring technologies (i.e. the ecosystem of an airport).
 
Question 4: On the level of human resources side with regard to this area of ​​security, shouldn’t we also consider new profiles in relation to the fight against drones. For example, for airports, there are already anti-drone defense technologies based on suitable radars. But the problems often mentioned are that the current security managers are not able to have a real overview in the event that non-halal drones enter these airports.

Answer: The security ecosystem in an airport is much too complicated, RADAR systems which monitor the sky “ASR”, others for the landing of planes such as ILS, etc…. Sometimes, the security services face very difficult decisions, beyond what one can imagine, and therefore the course of action must vary from one situation to another, and with respect to several parameters, so as not to jeopardize public safety. Personally, I believe that training and continuous updating are more relevant than bringing new professional profiles. Morocco has never lacked high-skilled human resources who have protected our skies either before the introduction of new automated and reinforced systems or after. The know-how already exists and the transfer of technology and experience between generations have always taken place, because one cannot just ignore relevant experience acquired after long years of continuous practical learning. Hence, the development experts of these advanced systems all over the world have been always advised by the head of security, downstream and upstream, up to the “Fine-Tuning” of the new deliverable. Therefore, we can come up with ideas, but all the parameters change in the field. We must obviously adapt solid training models, capitalize on heritage of acquired know-how (classic or new), and get aware of the best practices of the standards and protocols used. Thus, it is of great added value to have a clear picture of new policies as well as to exchange expertise with countries that have been able to adopt robust and effective models to fight bad intention drones.

Question 5: Can you give some proven solutions for anti-drones around the world?

Answer: Many excellent solutions exist for the detection of drones, and others to counter them “anti-drone”, in a framework that partially enters the ecosystem of electronic warfare. In our experience, the United States, France, China and Israel have very strong solutions and suppliers for these technologies. As mentioned, there is no one size fits all; I can’t name companies of course, but some suppliers in these countries have technologies that are far too advanced.

Question 6: Some countries use trained eagles for the destruction of harmful drones. What do you think of this approach?

Answer: Yes, it could be effective against micro drones (relatively small) when the eagle is well trained. Indeed, this method has proven effective before and with given scenarios and classes of drones. Today, the drone is also considered an intelligent artificial bird with a fused set of sensors so as not to be an easy prey to hunt. It can also sometimes cause serious accidents and injuries to the eagle. Knowing that it is very difficult to catch some fixed-wing and high-speed drones using a real flying bird.

(*) : Profile

Mr. Asry is an Automation engineer by education, and expert in electronic systems engineering and security by experience, with a cumulative of more than 8 years of experience and innovation in various fields of applied technology in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Smart-Cities security, as well as applied R&D in defense sector technologies. During this period, he was committed to develop and integrate several systems based on IOT, artificial intelligence, RADAR, LIDAR, sensor fusion, advanced image processing, applied video analysis in surveillance, road safety and defense technologies.

Company

Co-founder of the startup TOXINEL, a new creation in Morocco which aims to develop security solutions based on IOT, IA, fusion of various sensors applied in the field of public security. The company also offers solution architecture services, as well as IT development in SAAS or PAAS and other services related to digital migration, in particular the infrastructure of information and communication systems.

Last Experience:
Electronic engineer, security expert and research and development specialist at the Abu Dhabi Police Strategic Innovation Center for 4 years. Technical project manager and main developer of several security systems based on IOT, LIDAR, fusion of various sensors and Artificial Intelligence applied in smart cities as well as the development of several digital platforms.
In addition to projects that fall within the framework of Abu Dhabi Safe-City and Border Security, Mr. Asry has worked as an assessor and analyst in information technology and security of digital infrastructures and internal digital platforms in the across technical departments, and as a senior advisor to the executive office of the Abu Dhabi Police Chief Command, responsible for cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligence solutions.
This stay in the United Arab Emirates has been marked by several distinctions, including being twice honored with the prestigious medal of excellence from the Abu Dhabi Police, and three times awarded with the award of honor and merit, among other awards.

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