As the quarter-century mark in the 21st Century nears, new aviation-related equipment has come to the forefront, both to help us and to haunt us. (Coutu, 2020) This is particularly the case with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These vehicles have grown in popularity and accessible to everyone. Of different shapes and sizes, they are widely available for purchase at relatively low prices. They have moved from the backyard recreation status to important tools for the military, intelligence agencies, and corporate organizations. New practical applications such as military equipment and weaponry are announced on a regular basis – globally. (Coutu, 2020) Every country seems to be announcing steps forward in this burgeoning field.
In our successful 2nd edition of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Cyber Domain: Protecting USA’s Advanced Air Assets (Nichols, et al., 2019), the authors addressed three factors influencing UAS phenomena. First, unmanned aircraft technology has seen an economic explosion in production, sales, testing, specialized designs, and friendly / hostile usages of deployed UAS / UAVs / Drones. There is a huge global growing market and entrepreneurs know it. Small UAS companies have been reproducing like rabbits. Only the FAA has been a stumbling block trying to balance UAS safe integration into the National Airspace against hundreds of thousands of new recreational and commercial operators testing their meddle in the skies. FAA’s best efforts surround its decision to register UAS and provide a process for Part 107 Certification. (Nichols, et al., 2019) Certification brings sanity and education into a chaotic public market in the US.
Second, hostile use of UAS is on the forefront of DoD defense and offensive planners. They are especially concerned with SWARM behavior. Movies like “Angel has Fallen,” where drones in a SWARM use facial recognition technology to kill USSS agents protecting POTUS, have built the lore of UAS and brought the problem forefront to DHS. The author presented at several international C-UAS conferences which were attended by commercial, educational and military organizations for the purpose of hardening USA air assets against hostile drone activities. These were serious conversations and workshops – many of them – behind closed doors and interacting with military brass. (Nichols, et al., 2019)
Third, UAS technology was exploding. Everyday our team reads / discusses new UAS developments in navigation, weapons, surveillance, data transfer, fuel cells, stealth, weight distribution, tactics, GPS / GNSS elements, SCADA protections, privacy invasions, terrorist uses, specialized software, and security protocols. (Nichols, et al., 2019) Our team has followed / tracked joint ventures between military and corporate entities and specialized labs to build UAS countermeasures. The number of professional C-UAS conferences around the world are significant. This is a growing field like INFOSEC was a predictable offshoot to cybercrime.
As authors, we felt compelled to address at least the edge of some of the new C-UAS developments. It was clear that we would be lucky if we could cover a few of – the more interesting and priority technology updates – all in the UNCLASSIFIED and OPEN sphere.
Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Technologies and Operations is the companion textbook to our 2nd edition. The civilian market is interesting and entrepreneurial, but the military and intelligence markets are of concern because the US does NOT lead the pack in C-UAS technologies. China does. China continues to execute its UAS proliferation along the New Silk Road Sea / Land routes (NSRL). It has maintained a 7% growth in military spending each year to support its buildup. (Nichols, et al., 2019) [Chapter 21]. They continue to innovate and have recently improved a solution for UAS flight endurance issues with the development of advanced hydrogen fuel cell. (Nichols, et al., 2019) Reed and Trubetskoy presented a terrifying map of countries in the Middle East with armed drones and their manufacturing origin. Guess who? China. (A.B. Tabriski & Justin, 2018, December)
Our C-UAS textbook has as its primary mission to educate and train resources who will enter the UAS / C-UAS field and trust it will act as a call to arms for military and DHS planners.
Step up the U.S. defense game (spending) or teach your children to learn Chinese. If you have been asleep at the wheel for a while, you might want to look into WeChat, a super social media app designed by Tencent, a Chinese tech company. You can do everything on your phone. Everything. It has 850 million users. The Chinese government uses it to keep an eye on all its citizens, censor public posts , chats and banned words, alert police to potential riot conditions or just unacceptable group gatherings. It is used to create a “social credit score” to impose restrictions on those citizens that have breached some “trust.” (Deutsche Welle, 2017) Trust is defined by the Chinese government. What’s the connection? China uses surveillance drones to augment this people control strategy for not only its own citizens but those they have military or economic agreements with along the NSRL from the South China Seas, Asia, Europe, and Africa [the newest testing playground for UAS / C-UAS technologies for several nations.] (Nichols, et al., 2019)
Here is the condensed outline of topics in our sister textbook:
SECTION 1: Counter-UAS (C-UAS) Operations as a Concept
Chapter 1: The Role of Information Technologies (Automated decisions, Artificial Intelligence (Weak and Strong), Communications, Networking, Remote Sensing)]
Chapter 2: Understanding C-UAS Purpose and Process
Chapter 3: Developing a C-UAS Strategy, Goals, Options, Target Analysis, Process Selection, Operational Metrics, Approaches to Countering UAS Activities (First Principles)
Chapter 4: Planning for Resiliency and Robustness Expecting pushback, When Secrecy is Needed, How to Shield Operations
SECTION 2: C-UAS Technologies and Processes
Chapter 5: Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Chapter 6: C-UAS Evolving Methods of Interdiction
Chapter 7: UAS Area / Airspace Denial
Chapter 8: Emerging Interdiction Technologies
Chapter 9: Non- Kinetic: Military Avionics, EW, CW, DE, SCADA Defenses
SECTION 3: Counter C-UAS
Chapter 10:When the Other Side Fights Back – Cyberwarfare, Direct Energy Weapons, Acoustics, Integrating C-UAS into Planning
Chapter 11: Thinking Like the Enemy: Seams in the Zone
SECTION 4: Legal and Administrative Issues
Chapter 12: C-UAS Regulation, Legislation & Litigation from A Global Perspective
SECTION 1 Enumerates the concepts of Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems. It is concerned with the role of information technology, the Strategy, Goals, Options, Target Analysis, Process Selection, Operational Metrics, and Approaches to Countering UAS Activities.
SECTION 2 looks at the C-UAS technologies and processes. To wit: Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Evolving Methods of Interdiction; UAS Area / Airspace Denial; Emerging Interdiction Technologies; and Non- Kinetic: Military Avionics, EW, CW, DE, SCADA Defenses.
SECTION 3 broaches the sensitive subject of Counter C-UAS and current research into Cyberwarfare, Direct Energy Weapons, Acoustic / IFF defenses; Integrating C-UAS into Planning and Thinking Like the Enemy.
SECTION 4 puts our work into a global legal framework: C-UAS Regulation, Legislation & Litigations.
We trust our newest book will enrich our students’ and reader’s understanding of the purview of this wonderful technology we call C-UAS.
Randall K Nichols
Professor of Practice
Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems –
Cybersecurity Certificate Program
Managing Editor / Author
Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus &
Professor Emeritus – Cybersecurity, Utica College
Illi nunquam cedunt.
“We Never Yield”
A.B. Tabriski & Justin, B. (2018, December). Armed Drones in the Middle East Proliferation and Norms in the Region. Westminister, UK: Royal United Services Institute.
Coutu, P. (2020). Global Megatrends and Aviation – The Path to Future-Wise Organizations. Quebec: ASI Institute.
Deutsche Welle. (2017, March 31). Hello, Big Brother: How China controls its citizens through social media. Retrieved from amp.dw.com: amp.dw.com /science
FAA. (2020, January 29). FAA Aerospace Forecast FY 2018-2038. Retrieved from faa.gov: www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation/aerospace_forecasts/media/FY2018-2038_faa_aerospace_forecast.pdf
Nichols, R. K. (2008). Cyber Counterintelligence & Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) Needs – Talking Points; Utica College, Chair Cybersecurity. Utica New York: Private Memo to R. Bruce McBride. Retrieved September 5, 2008
Nichols, R., Ryan, J., Mumm, H., Lonstein, W., Carter, C., & & Hood, J. (2019). Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Cyber Domain: Protecting USA’s Advanced Air Assets, 2nd Edition. Manhattan, KS: New Prairie Press.
US-CERT. (2015, August 27). Computer Forensics. Retrieved from US-CERT: https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/forensics.pdf
 Also known as “Drones” and in our textbook, the more general term is UAS, for unmanned aircraft system. The term C-UAS refers to the counter -UAS, for countermeasures applied to protect against maleficent use.
 By late 2018, the FAA had issued over 73,000 Remote Pilot Certifications. (FAA, 2020) This shows how attractive and useful in the civilian sector this type of vehicle is and why it is so popular. Practical civilian applications include package delivery, law enforcement, surveying, electrical line repair, crop dusting, home / business security, construction supervision, mountain rescue, surveillance, and many more. (Coutu, 2020)
 Amazon sells a fine beginner’s course in Mandarin Chinese. Entitled: Living Language Mandarin Chinese, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, Chinese character guide, and free online learning Audio CD – Unabridged, October 18, 2011 See: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Language-Mandarin-Chinese-Complete/dp/0307478610/ref=sr_1_5?crid=3ATY71J5226P1&keywords=mandarin+chinese+for+beginners&qid=1580320321&sprefix=Mandarin+%2Caps%2C176&sr=8-5