Dedrone, which develops and sells technology used to detect, track and identify small drones that may pose a threat to critical infrastructure or event security, has acquired a drone defeat platform from Battelle, providing it with a counter unmanned aircraft system (UAS) end-to-end solution.
Terms of the deal for Battelle’s DroneDefender assets and intellectual property were not disclosed.
With the acquisition, California-based Dedrone has established a new consulting business called Dedrone Defense to provide solutions and services to the federal market around drone detection and defeat.
“When it comes to creating an airspace security program, detection and defeat go hand-in-hand,” Joerg Lamprecht, co-founder and CEO of Dedrone, said in a statement. “In order to best serve our customers in the Department of Defense and in the U.S. federal space, Dedrone Defense is available to provide the essential tools to assess airspace activity, protect civilians and critical assets, and eliminate unauthorized sUAS-based threats.”
Dedrone’s legacy capability for detecting, tracking, identifying and localizing small UAS includes sensors and remote controls by their radio frequency sensors, a radar to detect larger fixed wing targets at over 2 kilometers and smaller multi-rotor drones at over 750 meters, and video cameras for visual identification and forensic recording. The company’s sensor capabilities are integrated through its DroneTracker software that includes video analytics to provide situational awareness.
Dedrone’s sensors and software are an open platform and can be integrated with sensors and drone-defeat systems of other companies to provide customers counter UAS solutions tailored to their specific needs, Phil Pitsky, vice president of Dedrone’s Federal Operations, told Defense Daily in a telephone interview on Tuesday. Pitsky is also the team lead for Dedrone Defense.
The company has “hundreds of existing” customers in the private and government sectors, some with full up deployments of Dedrone’s technology and others that are testing it, Pitsky said. Some of Dedrone’s customers include F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming and other military bases in the U.S., the Departments of Corrections in Georgia and Kentucky, the Royal Family of Qatar, and special events, according to its website.
DroneDefender looks like a rifle and is a lightweight point and shoot system that disrupts the radio frequency controls to mitigate potential sUAS threats. Dedrone said the system has a demonstrated range of 400 meters.
Dedrone and Battelle have been working together since August 2017 to provide counter drone solutions for militaries and critical infrastructure. Dedrone says that it has successfully demonstrated the combined capabilities of DroneTracker and DroneDefender at a rapid prototyping demonstration hosted by U.S. Special Operations Command and SOFWERX, where it placed first out of 45 other counter-sUAS entries.
Dedrone said that DroneDefender is in use by DoD, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies.
Dedrone Defense will be based in Washington, D.C., and will lead efforts with DroneDefender.
With DroneDefender now part of Dedrone, Pitsky said his company plans on further developing the technology to include being able to automate the drone mitigation capabilities.
The sale of the DroneDefender technology and intellectual property by Battelle is typical for the non-profit company, which focuses on technology development and maturation, not manufacturing.