"Please Step Away From The Aircraft!"
Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business recently delivered to the
Air Force its first prototype Aircraft Self Protection Security
System (ASPSS). The systems uses near-object detection sensor
(NODS) technology to provide provides electronic perimeter security
for aircraft parked on the tarmac of an airfield or in a field
"This aircraft self protection security system warns of
potential close proximity threats to aircraft parked on the
ground," said Mark Russell, Raytheon IDS vice president of
The four-sensor version of ASPSS is a low-cost, portable system
the Air Force recently accepted after tests at Eglin Air Force
Base, Fla., under a $2.1 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract
administered by the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force
Base, Bedford, MA.
Raytheon also has developed a system -- the Vigilant Eagle
Airport Protection System -- that protects airplanes from
man-portable air defense systems threats during takeoffs and
The two systems are complementary: Vigilant Eagle provides
security for active aircraft, and ASPSS protects parked
The NODS technology consists of three components: a near object
detection sensor the size of a book, a communications module, and a
personal digital assistant (PDA)-like alarm and display device. The
near object detection sensor and communications module are mounted
on a tripod and placed around the parked aircraft. The PDA-like
display unit and another communication module, together known as an
annunciator, are carried by security personnel. Each near object
detection sensor covers approximately a 120-degree arc and is able
to detect the presence of people and vehicles out to 100 meters and
Four sensors can provide overlapping 360-degree coverage of a
single aircraft, and more sensors can be arranged to cover multiple
aircraft parked together.
According to Russell, Raytheon IDS will be delivering a
three-sensor solution to the Air Force in the near future and a
multiple aircraft version in late summer.
In addition to aircraft protection, the technology shows promise
for fence line, fixed facilities and commercial applications where
cleared zone security is a consideration, Russell said.