DSEI NEWS: The new SIGINT sensor detects satellite phones
Horizons Aerospace Technologies
LONDON – A signal intelligence device unveiled at the DSEI in London this week can detect and track satellite phones used by the world’s three largest telecommunications companies.
The BlackFish on-board satellite phone surveillance system, developed by Britain’s Horizons Aerospace Technologies, can detect users of Iridium, Thuraya and Inmarsat portable devices, said Bash Ahmed, the company’s chief operating officer on the sidelines of the International Conference on Defense and Security Equipment. . 16.
Refugees, drug smugglers and terrorists rely heavily on relatively cheap satellite phones, which can cost as little as $ 300, he said. They can bypass traditional communication infrastructures and use them in remote areas without terrestrial telephone systems.
The 8-kilogram BlackFish sensor, which can fit on board boats, trucks, medium-sized drones and balloons, detects satellite phones as soon as they are turned on, identifies the brand and shows its location as an icon on the map.
“Smugglers of people from North Africa buying a Thuraya phone for $ 300 need it to communicate with their controllers. As soon as it is turned on, a small pin appears on a [view screen] map, “he said. A BlackFish sensor on board the UAV can point a camera on board the plane and change course toward the target and see if there is any illegal activity, he added.
Previous devices could only detect one of the three companies, and operators had to manually switch between sensors. BlackFish automatically scans all three without the need for an operator. In addition, older iterations can only be used for large trucks. The new product is hardened for military and naval employment.
The operating software can be integrated into the mission platforms of the mission and superimposed on other displays.
It is based on software-defined radio systems. Government customer software that can provide additional information – such as what number the user is calling – can be purchased from other vendors, he added.