Brian Fentiman is Vice-President and CTO of Blueforce UAV Consulting, a Canadian based UAS / Counter UAS consulting and training company. Blueforce assists in building unique UAS and counter UAS programs for enterprises of any size. Brian recently retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after 34 years of service. He has spent the last 3 years building the sUAS and C-sUAS program for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia. He is a technical expert on UAS electronic countermeasures and holds a Diploma in Telecommunications. Brian maintains a Part 107 Airman’s Certificate, is a ground school instructor, and has developed several small UAS courses. He has provided support to tactical teams, forensic investigators, as well as Search and Rescue teams. Brian was the first certified Extended Visual Line of Sight check pilot in Canada and the first in Canada to deploy UAS countermeasures at a VIP venue. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show podcast, Brian talks about Blueforce Consulting and the use of counter measures for security and public safety purposes.
In This Episode
- Introduction. Brian Fentiman is Vice-President and CTO of Blueforce UAV Consulting, a Canadian based UAS / Counter UAS consulting and training company that creates unique UAS and counter UAS programs for enterprises of any size. Brian spent 34 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as a telecommunications technologist, and the last three years of that service he was the UAS and counter-UAS program coordinator for the province of British Columbia. The company is based in British Columbia, Canada.
- Blueforce UAV Consulting. Blueforce was formed in 2017 by Brian and Retired Staff Sergeant David Domini (also of the RCMP). Together, they assist companies with policy development, development of SOP’s, addressing regulatory issues and conducting ground school and UAS flight training. The firm also delivers custom solutions on counter-UAS applications. They’re typical client in involved in law enforcement seeking to use UAVs in security and emergency response situations. Increasingly these agencies are called upon to protect their operations from nefarious UAV pilots flying us, so they are looking at counter UAS solutions.
- Risk Assessment. Security agencies are very adept of evaluating risks and deploying effective mitigation measures. Drones are not much different than most of the threats that are already considered, except they come from the sky. This forces security officials to develop detection, training and mitigation measures for a much larger area and in a third dimension. Fortunately, security agencies have only been forced to deal with errant drones flying in restricted areas. However, based on what our military has experienced in the war zones, drones can be equipped to cause damage or create hysteria. This is why the interest and need for counter-UAS strategies has grown. Unfortunately, regulations have not kept pace with the counter-UAS industry, as many of the mitigation measures cannot be implemented without changes in several laws and regulations.
- InterDrone 2018. Brian will be speaking at InterDrone 2018 on the topic of “UAS Countermeasures for Security and Public Safety.” His session will provide an overview of the typical domestic threats and inform the availability, effectiveness, and legality of the various UAS detection and mitigation options available in the worldwide market. The course also takes a deeper dive into the various types of Radio Frequency (RF) Countermeasure tools available. Participants will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each of the C-UAS options, as well as learn about the various regulations that limit who can use certain types of UAS countermeasures legally. Attendees will also learn how to avoid some of the common “tricks” used by C-UAS “Snake Oil Salesman” when demonstrating their products.
- Cautious Steps Forward. Counter UAS measures are moving forward, but at a measured pace. Some traditional tools like, jamming have a lot of collateral damage and agencies are reluctant to put those tools into the hands of people that could disrupt normal G.P.S. signals for aircraft or communications. But technology is getting better, which should allow the regulatory change to happen faster, if it can shown that there’s less risk over other measures.
- Beware the Sales Pitch. Brian cautions against making quick decisions to buy on counter UAS measures, because they do not always do what has been promised. There have been incidences where when the technology has been put through a rigorous test by those who know the technology, and it fails. Make sure if you don’t know the technology, contact someone who does. Get referrals from the company that’s offering the technology and make the calls. Be wary of any company that can’t give you references for the system or technology.
- Closing. While organizations need to be watch out for over-hyped solutions, there is a lot of technology that is near ready to be released. He encourages organizations to continue to dig deeper when evaluating options and to be watching over the next year for new technologies that look promising at this time.
- Blueforce UAV Consulting (www.blueforceuav.com)