The Armed Forces of Ukraine tested the new upgraded feature of ATLAS software-defined radio (SDR), smart-hopping. One of the soldiers, who put the AtlasPRO to the test with jamming and spoofing close to Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, shared his experience of the tests.
Serhii A. (call sign “Ef”), is the head of the air surveillance group in one of the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He says that it is difficult to overestimate the role of drones in the war. He knows very well the corrosive feeling of helplessness when a drone’s communication with the remote control has gone out, because of the jamming done by electronic warfare.
“Due to the electronic warfare system, more than one basic drone was lost... Therefore, our unit often tested drones on jamming and spoofing before use. Usually, everything finished very predictably: under the working conditions of the electronic warfare system, the drone was lost in 100% of tests.”
“Therefore, the AtlasPRO UAV complex, with its frequency hopping feature, seemed very interesting. Put simply, this feature allows the drone to jump on a certain radio frequency range, bypassing those that are blocked by the electronic warfare system," added Serhii A.
The Ukrainian military began training flights of the AtlasPRO complex shortly after receiving it.
He went on to say:
"We eagerly awaited the electronic warfare operator, who was gloating that they jammed drones of other manufacturers during past training. We left the fields, sent the "hunter" with a jamming system a few kilometers away from it, agreed on the route, took a deep breath, and started. At first, we flew at an altitude of 200 meters, and only the GPS signal was lost, which is expected, but not a serious obstacle to the task.”
“Then we lowered the height to 150, then 100 meters... the effect was the same, no GPS, yet full signal strength of the control. It was very encouraging and hopeful. Then we made a couple of circles at an extremely low altitude and saw the surprised eyes of the electronic warfare’s operator, who failed at jamming the AtlasPRO. Of course, drones operating without satellites need special capabilities, but the key thing here is that the control was saved.”
Serhii A. notes that AtlasPRO piloting is characterized by less feedback and requires more practice for an inexperienced pilot, but the frequency hopping system really works and will give a real chance of saving the equipment from being lost, and to complete the task at hand.
"The military training day ended with discussions of the AtlasPRO complex's potential capabilities and mockery of the electronic warfare operator's facial expressions,” concluded Serhii A.
As you know by now, ATLAS has been working with Ukraine since 2019. The company creates a high-performance dual-use UAV, AtlasPRO, which focuses on quality as well as user comfort and safety. The company is currently preparing the next-generation ATLAS model’s features for users, including an even more consummate smart-hopping frequency system.