NNSA Deploys Counter-UAS System at Los Alamos Facility

The National Nuclear Security Administration has collaborated with the Federal Aviation Administration to field a technology platform designed to counter unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems near the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

LLNL said Thursday it implemented a government-authorized system using legal authority under the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to protect the facility against drone threats that may harm laboratory personnel and infrastructure.

“We can detect and track a UAS and if it poses a threat we have the ability to disrupt control of the system, seize or exercise control, confiscate, or use reasonable force to disable, damage or destroy the UAS,” said Michael Lansing, head of security operations at LLNL.

NNSA intends for the laboratory’s counter-UAS program to serve as blueprint for the adoption of similar programs at the Pantex Plant in Texas, National Nuclear Security Site in Nevada and Y-12 facility in Tennessee.

The agency also created signage that warns drone operators regarding airspace boundaries and noted it will coordinate with other government agencies to craft protocols for the operator’s recovery of confiscated UAS.

FAA used a separate authority to establish a “No Drone Zone” for sites that fall under Category I Special Nuclear Materials.

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