Xpeller: HENSOLDT’s Modular Answer to Drone Incursions

Photo © HESOLDT: Xpeller Car – Xpeller mobile solution for quick and nomadic deployment02.09.2020 North America
Xpeller: HENSOLDT’s Modular Answer to Drone Incursions

Xpeller: HENSOLDT’s Modular Answer to Drone Incursions

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Today’s availability of cheap drones is accompanied by a continuous increase in their harmful misuse against governmental and private infrastructure.

HENSOLDT’s Xpeller family offers a modular and scalable solution that can be tailored to match individual customer requirements.

The modular Xpeller Counter UAV solution combines various types of sensors to detect and identify drones. With different mitigation measures to choose from, it also offers the means for protection against small drones in any situation.

It can easily be configured to individual needs, whether for security or military applications. The Xpeller workflow towards countering the UAV threat is based on a fused multi sensor/effector layer and the four step workflow of detect, identify, control and act.

Xpeller configurations are based on HENSOLDT’S standard off-the-shelf equipment for all-weather conditions and an intuitive, multi-sensor command & control software (C2).

The widespread availability of cheap drones together with the ease of their use will come at the cost of the similar ease of misuse of them by multiple actors. Criminals will undoubtedly pose the highest risk in terms of intended harm. This can be from trafficking of drugs or otherwise prohibited items over borders or into prisons, espionage against civil or military installations up to planned terrorist attacks with lethal payloads. In addition the so called clueless and careless drone operators will have a noticeable effect on the misuse of airspace banned to UAV having at best only a financial impact due to the disruption caused by them.

Detecting those drones is challenging enough – the projection of 2.2 million legal delivery drones used in 2025 does raise the bare of capabilities required even higher to distinguish between rightful and harmful operators.

To answer this challenge HENSOLDT relies on its vast experience both in the aviation sector as well as in the design, development and production of high tech sensor.

Taken into account the variety of drones available, the Xpeller system not only relies on a single detection technology but combines up to 4 different spectrums for detection and identification. These are Radar, Radio-Frequency Detection, Daylight Cameras and Thermal sensors. All of them are operated via a single Command and control system for ease of operation. Their input is combined and fused to minimize both false positives and false negative alarms thus minimizing the workload posed to an operator.

While fully operational as a stand-alone solution, Xpeller, via its C2 system, can take additional input from third party systems (such as ATC or UTM systems) as well as output into those. A decision to be made based on the overarching operational concept.

In terms of mitigation, Xpeller focuses on widely practicable so called Soft Kill solutions, namely Jamming and a Catching drone. These have the following advantages.

Minimized Collateral damage – As we avoid the in air destruction of the target, the threat of unwanted harm to personal or infrastructure through associated debris is avoided.

Increased possibilities for threat investigation – especially through our catching drone, it is possible to bring the intruding drone to a dedicated landing site for further analysis in a safe surrounding. In that way not only the immediate threat can be evaluated but conclusions on the malicious operators can be drawn.

Despite those in-house solutions, HENSOLDT also has the possibility to integrate hard-kill counter-measures - as often required for military operations.

The availability of different sensor types offers the flexibility in terms of selecting the most suitable sensors (e.g. while radar provides maximum range capabilities, its use might be denied due to legal restrictions). In addition, there are variants in each category, which makes the tailoring even more efficient as it adds flexibility also in range, weight and mobility.

All of the above can be freely combined via HENSOLDT’s C2 to best match the local requirements of the dedicated site. As such HENSOLDT can protect a local single day event with a mobile setup but also install a permanent long range capability at a critical national infrastructure.

Given that all parts of the Xpeller system are based on HENSOLDT’s portfolio also adds additional flexibility when it comes to individual customer requirements. 


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