FAA Collaboration: Hidden Level and Saab Advance Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research

Hidden Level, Inc. continues to be at the forefront of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Detection and Mitigation Research Program. The company is participating in the program both independently and as a partner with Saab, Inc. since 2018 when the FAA Reauthorization Act was signed into law. The act extends the FAA’s funding and authorities through Fiscal Year 2023 and includes important legislative changes related to increasing the safety and pace of UAS integration.

In August of 2020, the FAA announced an effort to test and evaluate technologies and systems that could detect and mitigate potential safety risks posed by unmanned aircraft at and near airports. Five airports were selected for participation in the testing program, including Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

In the spring of 2022, Hidden Level deployed its Airspace Monitoring Service for evaluation as a standalone solution as well as a complementary technology to Saab’s SAFE Airport Event Management system. The FAA’s UAS detection and mitigation research is expected to continue through 2023, and the results from this testing and evaluation effort will be used to assist with planning for certifying, permitting, or authorizing UAS detection and mitigation technologies at airports around the country.

“There has been a dramatic increase in the number of drone threats, many of these at airports,” says Jeff Cole, Hidden Level CEO. “We are honored to participate in this crucial research program to provide additional tools to keep the National Airspace System safe. Airspace Monitoring Service is a scalable solution for major airports considering drone security.”

Hidden Level’s Airspace Monitoring Service (AMS) offers an additional level of situational awareness, providing a very robust surveillance picture. Using passive RF technology, sensors interpret a 3D location, classification, and other identifiers to provide UAS and operator geolocation data. With drone surveillance integration, airport operators can manage drone threats in the same way they manage other high-impact events at their airport.

The UAS research being done at Syracuse Hancock International Airport is a great example of how Central New York has become one of the premier UAS technology hubs in the world. Both Hidden Level and Saab are headquartered in Syracuse, NY. This collaboration between the two companies is a testament to the region’s expertise and leadership in the field of UAS technology.


Founded in 2018, Hidden Level is led by a team of skilled sensor experts with more than a decade of experience building innovative sensor solutions for both military and commercial customers. Hidden Level’s airspace monitoring service delivers the only industry solution that provides secure, accurate low-altitude airspace monitoring at scale. By eliminating the burden of owning, operating, and maintaining expensive and rapidly changing sensor technology equipment, Hidden Level provides its customers only what is necessary—real-time, actionable data at a fraction of the cost.

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