Assessing Future Threats from Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

April, 2019
IDA document: D-10557
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Research Insights , Documents
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
Jason DeChant, G. James Herrera See more authors
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for protecting and enhancing the resilience of much of the Nation’s critical infrastructure. Although developments are evolving rapidly across all domains, the air domain has become increasingly complex in recent years given the proliferation of the unmanned aircraft system (UAS). In particular, consumer demand and benefits from commercial and private interests for the small UAS (sUAS)—weighing less than 55 pounds (lbs.) and operating at no more than 400 feet above ground—have caused expansion of both sUAS and counter-UAS markets. With new producers vying for market shares, competition is fostering rapidly decreasing prices and innovative technological features intended to garner a comparative advantage.