NSW-based counter-drone company DroneShield has dominated the 2018 Industry Innovation Awards at the Land Forces 2018 defence expo, taking out the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) Innovation Grant and the Young Innovator Award.
NSW Trade and Industry Minister Niall Blair said DroneShield won awards for their DroneGun Tactical, a rifle-styled counter drone system used at the recent Winter Olympic Games.
“It’s fantastic to see a NSW company recognised as the best of the best among the nation’s defence firms,” the minister said.
“DroneShield’s success reflects NSW’s position as a leader in defence technology. It is breaking new ground when it comes to countering threats from hostile drone activity.
“It is particularly pleasing to see a company based in the Sydney Startup Hub becoming a world leader in new technology and landing significant international contracts.”
Minister Blair said he was proud of the role of the NSW government and the Startup Hub in the success of companies like DroneShield.
The company was among 18 defence innovators selected across six categories from around Australia as finalists.”
In addition to the Winter Olympics, DroneGun Tactical was used by Queensland Police at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and has been used by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
DroneShield chief executive Oleg Vornik said DroneGun had been designed to meet strict requirements required for military use, including robustness, temperature extremes and resistance to government forces.
“The engineering team has taken all of this into account and what we’ve got as a result is a functional product that looks and feels great for the user,” Vornik said.
DroneShield has been a tenant of the Sydney Startup Hub at Wynyard since it opened.
Vornik said there are a number of natural benefits of being headquartered in NSW.
“There’s a significant labour pool, plus there’s something to be said about working in an environment where everyone is enthusiastic. Success feeds success.”
DroneGun uses a jamming system which jams frequencies used by drones, forcing them to either land immediately or return to their operator. The jamming immediately halts drone transmissions of video back to the operator.
DroneShield has notched up some significant exports. In June, the company announced an unspecified Middle East country had ordered 70 DroneGuns in a deal worth $3.2 million.
DroneGun designer principal Angus Bean was recognised with the Land Forces 2018 Young Innovator Award.
In response to user feedback, he designed it to be much smaller and lighter than its predecessor.
Its design allows it to be highly portable and it can disrupt multiple RF frequency bands simultaneously as well as navigation systems such as GPS and GLONASS.