FORT SILL, Okla. -- On a hill in southwest Oklahoma, Soldiers and civilians are testing equipment that can assist service members in the fight against unmanned aerial vehicles. The testing is taking place during Fort Sill's Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX) from April 3 through 12.

The equipment is called AUDS, which stands for anti-unmanned aerial vehicle defense system, and works against UAVs, or drones, by detecting, tracking, identifying and defeating them, said Tom Scott, president of LITEYE Systems, who helped create AUDS.

According to Scott, the system works first by using the radar and camera to detect a drone. The radar feed comes from two 180-degree radars placed back-to-back in order to give the operators a 360 degree feed in real time. With the camera feed connected to the system, they are able to see what may be flying in their area. Once a drone has been identified on camera, operators put the target in their crosshairs and pull the trigger, which allows the system to lock on and track the target automatically.

In the past, ground forces became familiar with counter improvised explosive device (IED) equipment designed to jam the signals to IEDs from individuals holding the detonation trigger. Today's counter UAV equipment is similar to those electric counter measures (Duke, Thor and Warlock to name a few) only rather than defeating targets on the ground, they defeat airborne threats.

"The system then puts a 20-degree cone of energy downrange and that will inhibit the drone and we can interrupt the signal from the operator to the drone," said Scott.

The 20-degree cone of energy allows the signal to be stronger because it is concentrated to a specific area rather than spread across the 180, or 360 degrees other signal utilize, said Scott. That stronger, more amplified signal produced by the AUDS is able to jam the signal between the UAV and the UAV's controller.

"The operator loses control of the drone," said Scott.

The 20-degree cone of energy allows the signal to be stronger because it is concentrated to a specific area rather than spread across the 180, or 360 degrees other signal utilize, said Scott. That stronger, more amplified signal produced by the AUDS is able to jam the signal between the UAV and the UAV's controller.

Soldiers from 108th Air Defense Artillery came from Fort Bragg, N.C. to allow developers to see firsthand how Soldiers interacted with the system. Scott said he was pleased with how easily the Soldiers learned the AUDS and could now operate the system.

"It's been pretty awesome," said Pvt. Shamar Paulhill. "It's a pretty easy concept to grasp. We've only been out here for three days and we already have it down. We are tracking, jamming stuff, and we brought down (many) drones."

Paulhill and his battle buddy Pfc. Sergio Torres, both air missile defense crew members, explained how once they have acquired the target, they wait for instructions. If they jam the communication between the drone and the drone's operator, the drone could return to its home base, remain hovering or fall from the sky.

While the AUDS is newer, Scott said their systems were rapidly deployed to units in October of 2016. Scott said feedback came almost immediately.

"My guys operating the systems (…) once they got it with the Soldiers and turned it on, the Soldiers called it 'the day the drones stopped'" said Scott.

Since October, two changes have already been implemented from the feedback Scott and his team have received from units using the AUDS. Now at MFIX the goal is to integrate into the mobility part of the military, said Scott. The system currently is standalone with a generator to provide power.

"The deployment was done in a real hurry," said Scott. "Now we, as owners of the company, can sit back with the military and start to integrate this into other command and control, and mobile systems."