Sydney's DroneShield's first order is for its product DroneSentinal, which provides its users with a highly-modular, multi-method drone detection capability and includes and integrates radar, radio frequency, acoustic, thermal and optical (with a range extender) sensor detection, i.e. all the key technologically viable detection methods that currently exist. For interception, its sister-product DroneSentry integrates these layered detection methods with a radio-frequency jamming system, where lawful. This integrated detect-and-defeat functionality can be deployed either via a "man in the loop" function or in the automatic mode.
The order, which came from a European company, will incorporate RadarZero, a portable and miniaturised radar roughly the size of a paperback book, rolled out by DroneShield earlier this month, and the company's DroneGuns product, an advanced rifle-shaped jammer. The products will be used to set up a DroneShield demonstration hub in the Netherlands, the home of the NATO Joint Force Headquarters, where there has been significant interest in counter-drone products across a number of domestic Dutch and international customers.
DroneShield chief executive Oleg Vornik said the company has been "overwhelmed" by the interest in the product across different industries.
"We are very pleased with the market response to our roll-out of DroneSentinel and its sister-product DroneSentry. Since we commenced marketing the products several months ago, we have been overwhelmed with inquiries and interest from a number of end-users," said Vornik.
"The market is hungry for a cost-effective solution that works in a wide range of environments and is available today. DroneShield has started satisfying this market need."
He added that the demonstration hub in the Netherlands will give the company better access to defence and civil industries in Europe.
"We are delighted to have established a European demonstration hub for our products in one of the key NATO countries. Governmental end-users, both military and civil, throughout Europe are currently largely helpless against the threat of intentional or unintentional drone misuse. As the density of the drone 'population' has increased dramatically, the frequency and the severity of incidents have gone up. As a result, governmental end-users have now recognised the need to have tools at their disposal to detect and mitigate drones," he said.
"The Dutch demonstration hub will enable European end-users to swiftly and efficiently observe the company's products in action, before making purchase commitments or seeking budgetary allocations from their governing bodies for purchase commitments."
The order comes against the backdrop of a helicopter crash, reported by the pilot to have been caused by a drone, in South Carolina, US. This is the first reported helicopter crash caused by a drone, and the first reported drone-related civilian aircraft crash in the US.
In turn, that crash comes just days after the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released a report on a collision in Quebec involving a drone and a charter plane, and in a separate incident, a drone was reported to have collided with an air-tour helicopter in Hawaii.
Along with its Sydney base and demonstration hub in the Netherlands, DroneShield also has substantial US operations with a base in Virginia.