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Sydney firm sells device to Army to detect drones 8km away

written by Adam Thorn | July 19, 2021
DroneShield’s RfOne MKII

A Sydney-based business has signed a deal with the Australian Army to supply it with its latest product to detect enemy drones up to eight kilometres away.

DroneShield’s RfOne MKII can map all manner of UAVs, from commercial to hobby devices, by matching their radio frequency signatures to those stored on a database.

The quantity and value of the order has not been disclosed, however, the announcement comes just over a month after the firm received a two-year defence contract worth $3.8 million from an unnamed Five Eyes country.

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Approximately $2 million of the total contract value were scheduled for the June and September quarters of 2021.

“DroneShield is immensely proud to support the Australian Army with its long-range counter-drone strategy,” Oleg Vornik, DroneShield CEO, said.

It comes after Australian Aviation reported in May how the ASX-listed company 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.”

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.”

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

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