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For offshore oil rigs, like any critical infrastructure, security is paramount.

Unauthorised drone activity around oil rigs, on and offshore, has intensified in recent years. Whether it's recreational drone users inspecting the site out of curiosity or a bad actor meaning to cause disruption, the intention behind these sightings isn't always clear. However, every incident must be taken seriously.

A few recent examples include:

It's clear that drones are a quickly growing threat to oil rigs. These threats require proactive measures to protect offshore facilities and maintain operations, safely and securely. 

Oil Rig Radar: How Can Counter-UAS Radar Help?

A drone detection system is a crucial method of defence against unauthorised drone activity. In the security sector, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) like drones have taken centre stage, and sophisticated counter-UAS radar systems have become key to mitigating them.

Counter-UAS radar provides full situational awareness and exceptional accuracy for monitoring drone threats. They can be deployed within minutes and in many different operations and environments. In fact, they're regularly used to protect a wide range of land and air operations in the defence sector. Let's explore how they can help.

The Features of Counter-UAS Radar

1. 2D and 3D Tracking

Depending on your choice of solution, counter-UAS radar provides unique visualisation capabilities for drone tracking in your airspace. This provides accuracy and key insight for quick intervention. Certain solutions that offer 3D tracking also provide in-depth detail, like height information, too.

2. Micro-Doppler Classification

Micro-Doppler radar detects motion generated by moving components, like rotor blades. This avoids mistakenly identifying other unknown flying objects, like birds. By using this technology, you ensure complete accuracy and can even detect hovering drones.

Protect yourself from airborne threats. Read our guide to the top 10  counter-drone technologies to detect and stop drones today.

3. Detection

Long-range detection and classification picks up flying objects that other radars can't. Counter-UAS radar provides 360 degree coverage of your site with a standard instrumented range of 5km. This ensures you completely secure your area and detect drones, fast.

Additionally, you can create an integrated network of multiple radars. You can then consolidate the data from your network into a single view for your teams, for an increased, seamless and consistent visual.

4. Implementation

An offshore environment offers a unique set of challenges when it comes to implementing a drone defence system. These include:

  • Environment: An offshore oil rig has all the challenges of land, air, and sea. This means you need a suitable and portable solution across all three environments.
  • Weather: Offshore weather is different from inland. You might experience stronger winds and rain. The ocean is equally unpredictable. You need a solution that's durable enough to withstand the elements. 
  • Flexibility: No two offshore oil rigs are the same. Your solution must be flexible enough to suit the unique needs of your site. It's difficult to transport heavy equipment to offshore sites, and so your solution must be lightweight.
  • Setup: Oil rigs aren't easily accessible. Implementation and deployment should be straightforward. This means you and your teams can get started without the need for additional support. 

Fortunately, counter-UAS radar is small, lightweight, and straightforward to deploy. This makes it suitable for an offshore environment. You can also integrate alarms as an additional layer in your existing security systems and Command and Control (C2) systems, for a fully integrated solution.

The Future of Counter-UAS Radar

Drones pose an ongoing threat to critical infrastructure. Drone attacks are listed as one of the key threats to the energy sector, alongside AI and politics. To highlight a distinct focus on the threat, the European Commission has released two new handbooks to help businesses and the public sector mitigate the threat of unmanned aircraft systems.

Critical infrastructure requires intelligent drone detection systems to detect, classify, and mitigate the drone threat. Counter-UAS radar will become an explicit requirement, rather than an added benefit, to ensure complete security at offshore oil rigs.