Interior creates a dron detection and control network in Barcelona and the main airport and petrochemical infrastructures of Catalonia

The network, made up of sensors and high-definition cameras, allows the Mossos d’Esquadra to reliably locate and identify unmanned aircraft flying over public spaces

The Interior Minister, Miquel Buch, accompanied by the Director General of Police, Pere Ferrer and the Chief Commissioner of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Eduard Sallent, presented the new network of the Police of the Generalitat-Mossos d’Esquadra for the detection and control of drones in Barcelona and the main airport and petrochemical infrastructures of Catalonia.

Buch explained that “the Kuppel project is a look at the future that has taken many months of work and is focused on the use of drones.” The Interior Minister stressed that “between 2019 and the second quarter of 2020 we had about 900 incidents with the use of drones.” In this regard, the minister noted that “the use of drones may be at the domestic level but may also have a risk associated with terrorism, espionage, drug trafficking or even aviation security.”

Buch confirmed that “Kuppel consists of several phases, the first of which begins this August, in which a protection will be established in the city of Barcelona and already in September a protection at El Prat airport and the Tarragona petrochemical complex”. The minister emphasized that “when Kuppel is installed, Barcelona will be the first major European capital to protect the urban environment from drones”.

KUPPEL Project

The Interior Department, through the Emergency and Security Radiocommunications Network of Catalonia, is launching a drone detection network that should allow the Generalitat Police – Mossos d’Esquadra to strengthen public safety in from the control of the air surface of Barcelona and of the airport infrastructures and most important petrochemical complexes of Catalonia. This network, made up of sensors and high-definition cameras, reliably locates and identifies unmanned aircraft operating in air exclusion zones.

Detection equipment will be installed in Barcelona during the month of July so that it can be put into operation during the first fortnight of August. It is expected that from the first fortnight of September the teams will be placed in El Prat de Llobregat and Camp de Tarragona. With these works it is planned to install about twenty teams and their software that will be under the command of the Central Command Room of the Generalitat Police – Mossos d’Esquadra and fully operational in the three territorial areas that are have determined in the project.

The German company Droneless will be in charge of carrying out this project, called Kuppel, which costs 400,000 euros. The functions of this infrastructure in the environments where it will be deployed are:

  • Detection of unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Geolocation of drones and command.
  • Tracking and recording of flight trajectories.
  • In Barcelona, ​​visualization of the device in full flight.
  • Inhibition, only in those situations of risk associated with specific events

This system notifies the alert in real time and allows to detect the communication between a drone and its remote control, as well as to carry out a search and location of the place by which it flies and from where it is piloting. From here you will receive information related to the type of aircraft, its manufacturer and model. These cameras, with vertical and horizontal movement and zoom, have integrated infrared lighting, as well as an automatically removable infrared blocking filter that is active day and night.

During 2019 and the first half of 2020, 892 drone-related incidents flying over public space were recorded in Catalonia. Of these incidents, 72% took place in Barcelona, ​​followed by 15% in the Camp de Tarragona. The rest were distributed in the police regions of Metrosud, Metronord and Girona.