Drone Service Alliance (DSA) has introduced its aerial intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions, catering mainly to emerging markets and their national interests. These solutions aim to assist in securing national maritime and terrestrial borders, significant natural resources, and bespoke interests of key organizations, especially within the grouping of Commonwealth member states.
DSA provides its services through a phased approach, which is guided by the complexity and incremental needs of the problem. It strictly provides platform-agnostic intelligence gathering operations, and does not conduct missions involving kinetic payloads.
According to Kirk Harris, Director of DSA, utilizing drones offers significant benefits in force multiplication and risk mitigation, allowing clients to survey unsafe and contested areas, such as protected fisheries and other natural reserves.
“In the Caribbean, there exists the illicit movement of narcotics along preexisting aerial and maritime trafficking routes. The suppliers within this trade have historically maintained the capability of employing their technical and organic tactical skills to protect their interest(s), thus catapulting drone platforms as key mitigating tools at the tactical and operational levels. Being able to conduct ISR for several hours or days on end, allows its customer(s) to enact more targeted approaches towards securing their interests. The worst case scenario involves only the loss of hardware, but the endangerment of human life is avoided.”
Drones also provide a large cost efficiency advantage. Harris says the operating cost to do limited-scope aerial ISR through uncrewed platforms is much lower than using traditional aerial methods. Prior to beginning a mission, DSA holds a discovery session with the client, where they discuss the scenario, its mission profile, required sensor payload, and other specifics to come up with the most effective and cost-efficient solution.
“We discuss how much time is needed for the mission, then we figure out what sensor or sensor suite they need. Only after that can we start talking about what drone platform can hold it aloft for the required time period. We discuss the mission profile first, then sensor, then drone platform,” Harris says.
When determining the appropriate sensor to use for a mission, there are three (3) capabilities to be considered – detection, recognition, and identification (DRI). Harris says that the sensor needed must be suitable for each mission. If the target is a motorized vehicle, such as a car or ship, then a middle-of-the-road sensor will likely be enough. However, if the target is human, then a sensor with higher DRI capabilities is needed, in order to distinguish between a person and an animal or other similar-sized moving object.
DSA is not a manufacturer of drone equipment, nor does it keep inventory of equipment. It is an end-to-end ISR solutions integrator, leveraging Harris' extensive network of vendors and almost 20 years of aviation experience.
“Our drone projects are much more than buying something cool to put in the sky. We talk to clients and determine their bespoke needs, then we build and offer a proposal for the most applicable solution. Prior to a mission, we oversee the building of the client's network and communications infrastructure to handle the transmission and storage of the data that will be captured by the drone, while adhering to their security requirements. After the mission, we include how the client can store and maintain the equipment. We take the full life cycle into perspective, drawing on our expertise and network to craft those solutions,” Harris says.
About Drone Service Alliance
Drone Service Alliance (DSA) is an end-to-end solutions integrator for aerial intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It provides consultancy, infrastructure building, operations, and maintenance services, with a special focus on securing the borders and natural resources of countries in the Commonwealth. DSA was established in 2021 by Kirk Harris, a licensed commercial pilot with close to 20 years' experience in the aviation industry.
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