Chips in the drones used in Russian attack on Kiev

Thread Starter

null007

Joined Oct 24, 2022
3
***If inappropriate, please delete****

Drones, including Kamikaze and Shahed, were used extensively in the Russian attack on Kyiv. These drones are roaming, partially suicidal, autodetectable, identify targets with satellite guidance, and carry 45 kilograms of explosives.

There appears to be evidence that the drones were made in Iran, but both Russia and Iran deny it.

From the disassembly on the downed drone, the flight control section was made up of five custom PCBs (pic below). These should be assembled by the engineers themselves after purchasing electronic components.

five custom PCBs

The processor is an Altera FPGA, now acquired by Intel, this appears to be an older model from before the acquisition. (pic below)

Altera FPGA

The main control board looks like a TMS320 F28335 DSP from Texas Instruments (pic below).

DSP from Texas Instruments

In detail we can also find the HALO Fast Jack connector, Microchip's MIC69502WR voltage regulator, and ADI's AD9361BBCZ RF transceiver. (pic below)

No alt text provided for this image

The bottom left corner of the picture below appears to be Xilinx's Kintex FPGA.

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Pic below looks like a homemade GNSS anti-jamming system.

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The markings of some electronic components are polished or damaged, making them difficult to identify in the pictures.

source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chips-drones-used-russian-attack-kiev-shawn-qin/
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,893
While interesting, I'm unsure what the point is. As far as I know (and I haven't looked into the specific items highlighted), these are all parts legally available on the global market and that are used in a wide range of products around the world.

The fact that a regulator chip was designed by Microchip and purchased through some bulk supplier has little more relevance than if the piano hinges on the flight control surfaces were made by McMaster-Carr.

Now, if any of those parts were under ITAR or other export control restrictions, that would be a different matter.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
13,797
Since there are redundant GNSS receivers it may be that vastly overpowering the GNSS signals with a directed noise transmitter would be an effective disabeler. Otherwise, suitable radar and a high power laser could be effective. The best could be a radar able to trace the path back and deliver suitable ordinance to the senders.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,338
While interesting, I'm unsure what the point is. As far as I know (and I haven't looked into the specific items highlighted), these are all parts legally available on the global market and that are used in a wide range of products around the world.

The fact that a regulator chip was designed by Microchip and purchased through some bulk supplier has little more relevance than if the piano hinges on the flight control surfaces were made by McMaster-Carr.

Now, if any of those parts were under ITAR or other export control restrictions, that would be a different matter.
I brought this up in a previous thread on this topic. I don't understand the motivation to generate and perpetuate any kind of negative sentiment against US semiconductor manufacturers when their products are found inside weapons assembled by unfriendly forces.

Why isn't that ethernet jack mentioned? Who negligently allowed those blank PCBs to fall into Russian hands? What about the copper wires? Where did they get the aluminum and fiberglass? Should we call out Sketchers when their shoelaces are found holding 2nd hand boots on Russian feet?

It is impossible to keep chips out of Russian hands. They already have them. They can harvest microcontrollers from dishwashers and FPGAs from car ECUs. Half the manufacturers being flogged about this aren't even in business anymore, and haven't been for years.

Russia doesn't even need to do all that scavenging. They can buy them from somewhere that bought them from somewhere else that got them off ebay. Intel, TI, et. al. Can't possibly control what happens to their product after its sold to legitimate buyers, and anyone who expects them to do so is an idiot.

Find some other righteous crusade and quit attacking one of the few manufacturing industries we have left in this country.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
13,797
My post,#3, was a suggestion as to a possible means to thwart the drones.
Far more humane than nuclear carpet bombing.
The laser defense system has not yet been deployed, I am not aware of the reason.
 

Thread Starter

null007

Joined Oct 24, 2022
3
Weapons can be used to save, or they can be used to do evil. Depends on who is using it. It's more about technology sharing here. Can anyone advise how to deal with these drones?
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
13,797
I suggested a means to reduce their ability to navigate in post #3. The USA DOD has been experimenting with very high power microwave energy for a while, also, lasers have taken down drones in demonstrations over a year ago. I like the concept of the high power laser damaging a missile shortly after launch, dumping it back on the launching entity.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,893
I suggested a means to reduce their ability to navigate in post #3. The USA DOD has been experimenting with very high power microwave energy for a while, also, lasers have taken down drones in demonstrations over a year ago. I like the concept of the high power laser damaging a missile shortly after launch, dumping it back on the launching entity.
I was involved in counter-UAV exercises over a decade ago and several technologies were developed, chief among them were laser systems, but they also worked with microwave, sonic, jamming, spoofing, missiles, sharpshooters in helicopters, and kamikaze UAVs that would try to ram the target. The lasers systems got good enough that IF they got an optical lock on the target they could literally burn the team's name in the side of the UAV. But even the ability to do that does not equate to a fieldable platform. You need the entire kill chain to be intact, which includes the ability to detect the UAV, track it, lock onto it, and engage it. And before any of that can happen, the system has to be physically located so that the UAV flies within its engagement envelope. Plus, being able to hit the UAV does not mean you've brought it down. We had numerous UAVs that were hit multiple times by the laser systems and had significant damage to them that still flew to their target and returned to base successfully. Of the total area of a UAV, there's actually only small portions of it that are truly critical.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
639
Hitting them with a smaller drone carrying explosives or that can eject something to jam up props or turbines?
.22 caliber machine gun with a high cyclic rate that creates a curtain of lead (ground-based or drone-mounted)?
Like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Storm or (much lower rate) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-180 That would still require knowing their precise location and velocity.
The best is to get them before they launch. Need more intel from disgruntled conscripts.
Or bribe someone in Iran to leave a back door in the firmware, then transmit a message that means "Return to launch site".
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,338
. Can anyone advise how to deal with these drones?
Depends what kind of drone it is. Others have posited strategies that I would deem appropriate for dealing with a kamikaze bomb drone. But if it's a reconnaissance drone or a drone that drops grenades and then flies back to its origin, I would recommend stalking it home. If you can shoot it with a GPS tracker that's probably best. Alternatively fly above it at a safe distance with a smaller drone. Find out where it's human overlords are controlling it from and you have a higher value target than just the drone.
 

Thread Starter

null007

Joined Oct 24, 2022
3
Hitting them with a smaller drone carrying explosives or that can eject something to jam up props or turbines?
.22 caliber machine gun with a high cyclic rate that creates a curtain of lead (ground-based or drone-mounted)?
Like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Storm or (much lower rate) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-180 That would still require knowing their precise location and velocity.
The best is to get them before they launch. Need more intel from disgruntled conscripts.
Or bribe someone in Iran to leave a back door in the firmware, then transmit a message that means "Return to launch site".
Ukraine could develop an app where people can report the location of drones at any time. I think this is the cheapest way?
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,537
I suggested a means to reduce their ability to navigate in post #3. The USA DOD has been experimenting with very high power microwave energy for a while, also, lasers have taken down drones in demonstrations over a year ago. I like the concept of the high power laser damaging a missile shortly after launch, dumping it back on the launching entity.
Some years ago I offered to NATO scientific projects concourse a proposal of weapon able to neutralize such drones in the flight. Received bad marks but without explanation. Had made my personal conclusion that they already have something similar. Project main idea was 2.2 kW magnetron from cooker in Launcher, then Circulator plus Three Knob Tuner plus open Horn Antenna. According calculation, at distance of 0.5 km every kind of electronics ought be cooked on the fly, even if it is enclosed in average quality Faraday Cage. Thus, I am sure, the magnetron as tool for drone neutralizing ought be very successful, however the parts price is between 3 and 5 kEur.
Question about the injurability of such rifle operator body - horn antenna practically have no back reflected radiation side-loops. At hevier need the multiple magnetrons radiation may be summed at circulator.

Because the horn diagram is not much narrower as about 1 degree (or maybe 5) then it isnt very much difficult to "hit" those enemy drone.

The waveguide size, of course, must be WR430 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveguide_(radio_frequency)).
 
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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,893
Some years ago I offered to NATO scientific projects concourse a proposal of weapon able to neutralize such drones in the flight. Received bad marks but without explanation. Had made my personal conclusion that they already have something similar. Project`s main idea was 2.2 kW magnetron from cooker in `launcher`, then `circulator` plus `three knob tuner` plus open `horn antenna`. According calculation, at distance of 0.5 km every kind of electronics ought be cooked on the fly, even if it is enclosed in average quality Faraday Cage. Thus, I am sure, the magnetron as tool for drone neutralizing ought be very successful, however the parts price is between 3 and 5 kEur.
Question about the injurability of such rifle operator body - horn antenna practically have no back reflected radiation side-loops.

Because the horn diagram is not much narrower as about 1 degree (or maybe 5) then it isnt very much difficult to "hit" those enemy drone.

The waveguide size, of course, must be WR430 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveguide_(radio_frequency)).
This approach, or one pretty similar to it as best I can tell, was one of the ones that was tested in the exercises I previously mentioned. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about proposals or static tests, but live-fire exercises. To the best of my recollection, that system was pretty much a bust. It turned out that taking even hobby-scale drones down was a lot harder than anyone thought. My first year there I threw out at least a half-dozen ideas that I was sure would do the trick. Turned out every single one of them had been tried in the first couple years and all of them had been a bust. I have no idea where the technology has gotten since I stopped participating, but at that time the laser systems were showing the greatest advancements from year to year and the focus was shifting from the engagement phase to integrating the entire kill chain.

While the laser and other systems are cool, they are rather boring from a spectator's standpoint (we often had to put on laser goggles AND sit inside a vehicle with a tarp over it when they were hot, even though they were many miles away, because of the danger from reflected light off the target (or something on the ground since some of the flight profiles required the lasers to shoot downward).

From a spectator viewpoint, the two coolest systems I got to see were a two-ship of F-18 Hornets trying to engage a drone (no joy), and an Avenger system firing Stinger missiles. The first shot (a few miles away) showed a smoke trail that suddenly went straight up. Turned out that's a pre-programmed response to losing track on the target -- it zooms straight up until it runs out of fuel and then comes tumbling down more-or-less harmlessly. What we didn't know until the Hot Wash briefing that day is that the reason it lost track was that it had flown right through the middle of the drone with one of its fins cutting the drone in half. So it was a success -- albeit one in which a $100k missile successfully destroyed a $6k drone (which was really a $300 RC airplane fitted with a $6k autopilot -- the cost of which is now only a fraction of that).
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,537
RE:""albeit one in which a $100k missile successfully destroyed a $6k drone""
That is the very hearth of the famous Israelian project Kipuc Barzeļ (steel coupole) what is very well computerized radar system automatically analyzing WHERE the Gaza sector outlaid bomb will fall. If fall in desrt, let it happen, but if fall over Israelian habitated cities, then on-the-fly that rocket is intercepted with probability of 96-98%. System is just excitment worth except the money - one Gaza rocket self-cost is 10 USD whilst one Kipuc Barzeļ shoot cost about 100 000 USD. Average year Gazaians are senting about 6000 such "gifts" to Israel.:(
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,537
Then last but no least idea how to.... In analogy with ancient russian plan from Brezhnev time how to stop "inherrently evil American" hyperspeed rockets. Just go with MIG warplane OVER them and open there one sack with the sand. After few second this sand will make a giant sand cloud of few kilometer diameter and when rocket will go through on its ultra-speed, it means the same it had been stood that time kept to the grinding stone... all the rest is just the metal dust. Sorry, the drones are too slow, but one may go over it and throw down the large bird nets or fishing nets. When propeller will touch the net, that drone is stable captured.
 
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