Customs and Border Protection in September awarded the radar company Echodyne a potential $20 million, five-year contract to supply a small, low-cost radar to elements of the agency for use in various security applications.

Already, Echodyne says it has delivered 30 of its EchoGuard radar systems, which shows that the radar is in regular production.

The contract is the largest to date for Echodyne, Eben Frankenberg, the company’s CEO, tells HSR. In a

EchoGuard is used for surveillance of ground, aerial and maritime targets. Echodyne says that in addition to expanding deployments of the radar, CBP plans to explore new applications for use along U.S. land and marine borders and ports of entry.

There is also general interest in surveillance of potential threats coming from ocean waters and other maritime environments such as the Great Lakes, Frankenberg says. The radar will be used in multiple applications, he says.

The EchoGuard is “super portable” and there is a “a lot of focus on being able to relocate things, set up sensor networks very quickly, have them run for some period of time and then have them move to another location,” he says.

The radar is a key component of Anduril Industries’ Autonomous Surveillance Towers (ASTs) that the company supplies to CBP for border security. Frankenberg says the new order is not related to the ASTs.

The EchoGuard is a relatively short-range radar with an 80-degree vertical field of view and 120-degree azimuth, enabling ground and aerial surveillance with a single radar. The radar can detect and track people from 2 to 2.5-kilometers away, vehicles and small vessels about 3.5 to 4 kilometers and small drones 1 to 1.5 kilometers. A single engine plane can be tracked from about 2.5 to 3 kilometers away.

Echodyne has just over 100 employees, up from about 75 a year ago. In the second half of 2021 the company has been ramping up, Frankenberg says.