• DroneShield (ASX:DRO) announces work on a next-gen ‘integrated and automated’ drone detection and countermeasure product
  • Meets the growing threat of drone “swarming” attacks
  • The system utilises automatic deployment of jamming countermeasures following the detection phase
  • The system is aimed towards rising military demand, and the emerging $1.85 billion estimated counter-drone market by 2024

DroneShield have announced work on the ‘DroneSentry’ has begun. An integrated drone detection and countermeasure product, it looks to protect areas from swarms of drones.

The DroneSentry builds on the acoustic detection and RF/GPS jamming products DroneShield already offer. Essentially, this means the long range dish sensors and the DroneGun work together rather than in their current independent states. This forms the DroneSentry.

This means the DroneSentry would cater for a 30 degree detection cover for distances of up to 1km, and the DroneGun jamming operable at 2km. Combine this all together with a synchronized jamming system, and the DroneSentry hopes to have 360 degree coverage, at the above ranges.

When a drone (or drones) is detected, the system automatically locks on and engages – however maintains a ‘man in the loop’ functionality allowing for manual interaction if the need arises.

Drone Swarms

The DroneSentry looks to ‘fill the gap’ between single drones and drone “swarming.” This can occur when multiple drones attack a target and render individual-targeting systems almost useless. An attack with cheap, commercially available drones with simultaneous devices in a number of attack directions could easily overwhelm a target’s defenses.

With recent developments in military and academic areas, commercial drones have been programmed to navigate quickly in exact formations. This could prove harder for anti-drone systems to counter if their detection (or reaction) systems attempt to take down a drone at a time. Some experts have observed that drone swarms could change the face of modern warfare.

Not too long ago the US pentagon released footage of a thick swarm of 3D-printed drones being released from a fighter jet; their objective clearly could have many uses for both offense and defense.

pentagon drone swarm
Hundreds of 3D printed ‘micro-drones’ similar to that of a locus swarm were released by a fighter jet designed by the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO)
drone swarm academia
Academia has seen the rise of intelligent drone swarms – automatic GPS positioning that avoids collisions and allows drones to move in sync.
drone swarm
By mimicking nature, drone swarms can be designed to evade certain anti-drone protection mechanisms.

The Tech

Some of the technology being utilized by the training field includes some of DroneShield’s previously highlighted products.

The sensors detect drones and attempt to match them to their brand, size and type, which are then sent as an alert to a central point system. This can make operators aware of drones before they arrive, sometimes outside line-of-site.

  • Omni Sensor: 180 degree wide angle drone detection sensor with the effective range of up to 200m.
  • Long Range Sensor: far reaching drone detection with the effective range of up to 1km in a 30 degree cone.
  • Onsite processor: drone detection in a stand-alone closed loop environment.

The DroneGun uses a mix of Radio Frequency (RF) jamming and GPS jamming to either halt drones, send them back to their pilot or drop them out of the sky. It will be interesting to see if the testing ground included in the deal results in some videos of the DroneGun in action

  • DroneGun: tactical drone jammer providing effective countermeasures with an up to 2km effective range.
The futuristic-looking ‘DroneGun’ produced by DroneShield takes aim at 2.5ghz and 5ghz frequency offenders

The Market

Considering the booming anti-drone market, one can only assume ASX:DRO will continue to steadily improve in the charts – recent sales to the national security agency of an Asian country, and to the Turkish Prime Ministry (NATO force) suggest the call for counter-drone sensors and solutions will only increase.

Furthermore, ASX:DRO has quite an interesting sales model, with a global network of over 30 distributors in approximately 50 countries, leaving the heavy sales-work to others. This can allow DroneShield to focus on the research and production areas which have so far proved effective towards buyers.

ASX:D13 (Department 13) is another anti-drone company we have investments in, and believe that the worldwide surge in counter-drone solutions will likewise propel them up the share charts as well. Keep an eye on them in the near future, and put them on your watchlist for 2017.

Who is DroneShield?

We first learned of DroneShield when it was announced they would be the ones protecting the Boston Marathon after the previous year’s fatal terrorist bombing. We thought that was a move that took integrity, not just trying to line their own pockets. When they announced they were opening up a Sydney office and doing an Australian IPO, we couldn’t miss the chance to invest!

The company is currently based in Sydney and Virginia, a world-wide leader in drone security technology. They developed the pre-eminent drone security solution (DroneShield) that protects people, organisations and critical infrastructure from intrusion from drones. Its leadership brings world-class expertise in engineering and physics, combined with deep experience in defence, intelligence, and aerospace. Heavy spending into its research sector has recently resulted in the DroneGun – a tactical anti-drone weapon capable of taking down drones peacefully within a nifty range.

The various uses of DroneShield technology (droneshield.com)

Can I invest in the company? How much are shares?

Yes you can! To invest in DroneShield, simply open an account with a broker (we use the CommSec app) and select DRO on the ASX to trade in shares. DroneShield also keeps in touch with their investors in the latest news and press releases via ASX and via their investors portal.

Having some academics in DroneSec, we realize the importance of time and research. We believe that any research in the early stages of scientific developments needs a little incubation, and are positive the company will continue to grow into 2017 and beyond.