San Francisco-based drone startup Dedrone has launched a new counterdrone tech product called DedronePortable, which is designed specifically for military and commercial entities. And already, it has one highly prominent customer: the Ukrainian military.
Dedrone today announced its newest product dubbed DedronePortable, which is an all-in-one kit that offers drone detection, tracking, and identification capabilities (DTI) on-the-go.
Although the product is widely available as of today, it’s already been in the hands of many militaries, government agencies and commercial entities around the world. And there’s one that might especially stand out: the Ukrainian military.
Drones have been used by both Russia and Ukraine in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, tasked with carrying out reconnaissance, artillery target location and even bombings. A spokesperson for the Ukrainian military told The Drone Girl in a prepared statement provided by Dedrone that having access to its new, counter-drone tech could provide essential support.
“We have been working closely with the Dedrone team and have reverse engineered the RF signature of the Russian Orlan-10 drones,” said a representative of Ukrainian military forces on the front line in eastern Ukraine. “We are now setting-up a network of sensors to further up-level our capabilities in the conflict zone.”
Dedrone Chief Marketing Officer Mary-Lou Smulders said that, in advance of the product launch, Dedrone has been working closely with the Ukrainian military. One of their biggest tasks was aiding in the reverse-engineering of the Orlan-10 drone’s RF signature.
“Orlan-10s are one of the major drone types being used by Russia in Ukraine and are difficult to detect and mitigate with current commercial offerings,” she said.
Everything you need to know about DedronePortable
What makes DedronePortable stand out is its easy-to-use, mobile and agile drone response technology.
Dedrone Portable is a kit with a bunch of various drone detection components (including other Dedrone products), all neatly packaged so they can be easily transported from location to location and quickly assembled upon arrival. In the kit comes all required equipment including sensors, power supply, cables, a ruggedized laptop pre-loaded with drone identification database, DedroneDNA, and DedroneTracker. DedroneTracker is a software platform that can detect drones via intelligent sensor fusion technology, enabling PTZ cameras to automatically verify radar detection data.
Additionally, DedronePortable can be equipped with the ability to deliver dis-information to the enemy through deliberate drone spoofing capability, if required for combat situations.
There’s also the option to add on drone mitigation technology when combined with another Dedrone product called DroneDefender. That can detect enemy and unauthorized drones, while also denying disrupting the RF bands used by most commercial and military drones. It works across the GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, SBAS, and QZSS geo-location bands.
Without DroneDefender, DedronePortable still offers the capabilities of drone detection, tracking, identification (DTI) and drone spoofing capabilities. But with it, DroneDefender adds mitigation capabilities such as denial and disruption of RF bands.
Dedrone claims that setup time takes less than 20 minutes. And with it, Dedrone promises that even military or homemade RC controllers, along with commercially available drones, can be detected and mitigated.
As far as cost, Smulders told The Drone Girl that pricing is determined based on the integration, and would be provided upon request from potential partners.
How Dedrone Portable fits in with other Dedrone products
DedronePortable is best-suited for militaries, government agencies, and large commercial entities that are reacting to rapidly-changing airspaces. But Dedrone has a number of counter drone products for other scenarios too (it’s even partnered with BlackBerry, you know, the old smartphone company).
Earlier this year, the company launched another somewhat similar product called DedroneRapidResponse. That kit is also designed to be quickly deployed and is designed to ensure uninterrupted airspace protection of outdoor events within a five-kilometer radius. In short, it’s the type of thing you’d want to have to ensure drones don’t get anywhere near a large parade or sporting event.
But while DedroneRapidResponse requires a trailer (which can be towed by a truck or SUV), DedronePortable is, well, a lot more portable. The whole thing is contained to just two cases and is designed to be transported by one or two people. DedronePortable is also more suited for militaries and governments looking to quickly secure an airspace, and DedroneRapidResponse is best for outdoor events or special events.
What is Dedrone?
Dedrone is kind of a drone company in that it keeps drones out of places they shouldn’t be, but it’s also probably better-referred to as a counter-drone company. Dedrone refer to itself as “smart airspace security.”
Dedrone, which was established in 2014 in San Francisco, currently operates in more than three dozen countries including four of the G-7 nation governments, nine U.S. federal agencies (including the Department of Defense), more than 20 airports and over 50 correctional facilities worldwide. The company itself has additional U.S. offices in the Washington, D.C.-area and Columbus, Ohio, as well as abroad in London and Germany.
Perhaps its most prominent product is the Dedrone Airspace Security-as-a-Service (ASaaS), which makes it possible to detect, identify, locate, analyze, and mitigate unauthorized drone threats.
And as drone usage grows, so does the interest in counter-drone tech. In fact, research from German-based drone analytics firm Drone Industry Insights conducted at the end of 2020 indicates the counter-drone market could be worth $6.6 billion by 2024.