Technology Trends in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and Counter UAS: A Five Year Outlook

November, 2017
IDA document: P-8823
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
G. James Herrera, Jason A. Dechant, E.K. Green See more authors
The air domain has become increasingly complex in recent years because of the proliferation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In particular, the growing demand for small UAS (under 55 lbs.) by personal enthusiasts and commercial applications has caused rapid expansion of the commercial small UAS markets. With new producers vying for market shares, competition is fostering rapidly decreasing prices, and new innovative technological features intended to garner a comparative advantage. The spread of small UAS for non-governmental applications brings the danger of accidental or even nefarious use of UAS for criminal or terrorist operations. As the sectors specific agency (SSA) for a majority of critical infrastructure sectors, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for understanding trends in small UAS development. To assist DHS with understanding these technology trends, the Office of Infrastructure Protection Sector Outreach and Programs Division asked the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) to conduct an assessment of the trends small UAS technology development over the next five years to reduce it. This paper documents the results of the assessment and provides indications of sUAS technology development.