Early 2018 brings rush of counter-UAS activity

UAS MAGAZINE MARCH 13, 2018 BY LUKE GEIVER

The advent and understanding of counter-UAV systems is catching up to the country’s adoption and usage rates of drones in the commercial space.

Lightspeed Venture partners, an early stage venture capital firm that manages more than $4 billion in committed capital, recently made its second-ever drone-based investment. In Citadel Defense Co., Lightspeed has placed $12 million on the hopes that Citadel can successfully scale and provide its counter UAS system to the world.

Founded in 2016, Citadel utilizes a unique algorithm to detect Wi-Fi, radio control and drones in flying in common spectrum bands with a low false positive rate, according to the company. Multiple units can create a drone-free zone as well. The unit sends signals to unwanted drones and is able to control them.

The Series A financing round, led by John Vrionis a former Navy Seal, will be use to advance the technology, accelerate product growth and extend the sales capabilities. Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense and two other government agencies are using Citadel’s drone defense system.

Securus Technologies, a Dallas-based provider of technology for public safety, law enforcement and correctional facilities, is also making strides in the counter UAS space. After an 18-month testing and study period, Securus believes it has created a counter-UAV option to keep unwanted drones from breaching prison walls.

The drone detection system uses a digital antenna structure similar to that of Securus’ wireless containment solution.

“Like all technology, it gets better with trials, investment and resources to improve the technology over time,” the company said. “We work together with corrections officials who share a dedicated mission to deter drone delivery of dangerous contraband. So far the results are outstanding. These trials have already identified new tactics and methods that will only get better.”

Securus has not said what it intends to do with the results of it study in the future.

Finland-based Sensofusion knows exactly what to do with its counter UAV system it calls AIRFENCE.

“Based on our current customers, we have strong reason to believe Sensofusion has the largest active counter-UAS sites across the globe,” according to Kaveh Mahdavi, vice president of the company.

Mahdavi said in order to meet demand for an influx of orders that came in at the end of 2017, the company is doubling the size of its manufacturing capacity. By the end of the year, the company expects a 5X growth number.

The second version of its AIRFENCE software features new antennas for longer-distance jamming capabilities, an updated user interface and an out-of-the-box setup and installation. The system can detect, locate, track and take over UAV controls on a fully automatic set-up.