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Sydney drone jamming firm to work with tethered drones

written by Adam Thorn | May 25, 2021

A Sydney-based business that manufactures products to detect and jam enemy drones has signed a deal with a US company to place its technology onto tethered (TAV) drones.

DroneShield’s deal with Zenith AeroTech will also see the latter business place a miniaturised radar into its TAV platforms, supporting counter-drone or drone swarm attacks.

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Tethered drones are devices connected to the ground via a physical wire or cable, which enables them to fly for longer and boast more capabilities.

According to DroneShield, the partnership would enhance longer-range drone detection and countermeasure capabilities.

“By putting a detection capability on a TAV, which typically flies at 400 feet, you get better range than if you were to have these systems on a pole or ground vehicle,” Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith Aerotech, said.

“Also, your alerts will be more accurate because, at elevation, you’ve eliminated clutter.”

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Zenith AeroTech offers three TAV variants — Hexa, Quad 8, and Quadro — designed to stay aloft for an extended period of time by leveraging Zenith’s Ground Power-Tether Management System, while carrying five to 15 kilograms of payload.

The system has been built to convert 120 or 240-volt AC power from a generator into high-voltage DC, powering both platform and payload.

Zenith AeroTech is also expected to offer DroneShield’s ‘soft kill measures’, used by personnel on the ground.

“Because we detect inbound drones from further away, we give personnel on the ground more time to jam them,” Kaya added.

“We are already working with a couple of federal agencies, and we anticipate broader adoption of this solution.”

DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik also reflected on the benefits of the new partnership.

“DroneShield’s deployment with Zenith takes our cutting-edge command-and-control ecosystem capabilities into the tethered drone domain, opening a new range of applications for our government end-users,” Vornik said.

The partnership is a rolling agreement, with either party permitted to terminate the agreement with a 90-day notice.

In September last year, Australian Aviation reported how DroneShield signed a landmark new deal with the US Department of Defense.

Vornik called its new client “one of most demanding defence customers globally” and that the new innovations would allow it to stay “at the cutting edge of customer requirement”.

“This contract is a material milestone in cementing our close working relationship with the largest defence customer globally,” said Vornik. “In addition to expected purchases associated with this paid development contract, further orders for other DroneShield solutions are expected as part of developing a trusted supplier relationship with this customer.”

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