The Threat of Drones at Sporting Events Leads to New Entries in the Drone Detection Technology Space

Jan 18, 2019

It is only a matter of time before an individual with nefarious intent flies a drone into an open-air stadium and inflicts harm, or at least causes a panic leading to injury.
Waiting for this to happen, or hoping it won’t happen is risky business.
The other option is to take proactive steps.
One company, Black Sage Technology (Black Sage), is hoping the owners and managers of such events will choose the “other option.”
The Boise-based company went above the radar last month when it announced it was bringing a solution previously being used by the military to the sports industry.
“Keeping patrons safe and free of distraction is a priority for venues hosting sporting events, concerts, and festivals,” notes the company, which describes itself as “a defense technology integrator.” Black Sage goes on to note that it has “provided its Counter-UAS detection and identification system for multiple NCAA football games in Boise, Idaho. The company aided local law enforcement and stadium security, as well as multiple three-letter agencies in providing the highest quality security possible.”
Black Sage ( sets up its Counter-UAS system on top of the facility, where it can provide:
Early detection of drones, allowing law enforcement to take action before a drone is airborne
AI classification to reduce false alarms
Operator location to assist law enforcement in apprehension
Forensic data storage to ensure successful prosecution
“Stadiums and other open-air venues are particularly vulnerable to the growing risks posed by consumer drones. Federal law currently restricts the use of drones in the vicinity of major league and NCAA sporting events,” said Dirk Manley, the company’s senior sales manager.
“UAS operations are prohibited within a three-mile radius of the stadium or venue from one hour prior to one hour after an event, known as a Temporary Flight Restriction. Stadium operators and law enforcement have few options to enforce the restrictions, which is why we have been hearing from the operators. They want a layered Counter-UAS system to fill the security gap.”
As for how the Black Sage system works, Wired Magazine profiled the company a year ago and described its mantra — Detect, Identify, and Defeat — as follows:
“Black Sage’s (3D) radar detects a target and collects data like speed and altitude. The software factors in time to calculate acceleration, Radar Cross Section, velocity, and hundreds of other data points.
An algorithm, ‘trained’ to distinguish between drones and birds, runs the data and determines that the target is a drone.
EO/IR – Electro-Optical/Infrared camera is engaged to track the drone.
With proper approval, The frequency jammers blast radio waves at the drone, blocking the control signal and paralyzing the aircraft.
The drone returns home, settles to the ground, or drifts in the air.”


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