Early drone attack warning? An Australian company aims to protect the US public

The firm was instrumental in protecting marathons in Boston and Texas.
Ameya Paleja
The photo credit line may appear like thisaerogondo/iStock

Australia-based defense manufacturer DroneShield has been supplying the counter-drone tech to the U.S. military. The company has also been safeguarding public events, Popular Science recently reported.

DroneShield offers different technology services. Their DroneGun, for example, can jam frequencies of a drone that is over a mile away. While these aren't the only counter-drone tech available, they are definitely among the few that can be rapidly deployed and aren't tough to operate. 

Drones: A threat to public safety

In the world of warfare, drones have long been feared for their attack potential, and this threat has only become worse with the use of drone swarms. In order to be a threat to the general public, a drone does not have to be military-grade or be operated by military personnel. Even a hobbyist drone could be deployed with nefarious intent, and this is where DroneShield's technology comes in. 

Instead of using radar, which finds it hard to distinguish between man-made drones and natural birds, DroneShield turned to radio-frequency-based detection. The company deploys a wide range of sensors in different form factors ranging from sentry towers to body sensors.

Signals received by these sensors are then fed into an A.I. trained on drone characteristics to correctly identify drones that might be loitering in a restricted zone. Once a drone has been spotted, taking it down is easy for law enforcement with tools like the DroneGun. The system has been successfully deployed at the Boston marathon since 2015 and was recently deployed at the IronMan event in Texas

Focus on military applications

Even after these deployments, DroneShield's focus remains on the military applications of its technology. Last year, we reported how the US Navy was trialing its tech to negate threats from drone swarms

This year, DroneShield has already sold its products to Ukraine. While details of the products are under wraps, DroneShield confirmed to Popular Science that its technology was received fairly well. Aiding their technology was the presence of some off-the-shelf components being used in the Russian drones. Although these were smaller spotter drones with no attack roles, it helped that DroneShield's A.I. was used to spotting hobbyist drones. 

Trying to address civilian and military uses paid off for DroneShield.

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