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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

DroneShield’s C-UAS AI in US Army focus

07 January 2020
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DroneShield deploys AI algorithms in its drone detection products such as the RFPatrol wearable UAS detector. Source: DroneShield

DroneShield has been shortlisted through the US Army's Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch) programme to collaborate on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms.

The xTechSearch programme provides funding to small companies to demonstrate technologies pertaining to army challenges. It also aims to integrate these businesses into the army's science and technology ecosystem, according to DroneShield, providing research opportunities with army laboratories, including access to its intellectual and technical capital.

DroneShield has now moved to Phase II of the programme. At the time of the announcement in early January, DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik noted that the US Department of Defense has the largest defence budget globally, presenting an array of opportunities to a company like the counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) specialist. This includes the potential for significant acquisitions as the US military looks to bolster its C-UAS capacities.

Vornik told Jane's that the focus is on his company's AI/ML drone detection algorithms, which DroneShield deploys in its drone detection products, such as the wearable drone detector RFPatrol and the DroneSentry autonomous drone detection and countermeasure system.

Vornik added that while AI/ML is a broad technological trend globally, it has particularly important uses in the field of C-UAS.

"AI/ML is becoming an increasing part of what we do," he said. "This means as more drones come to market, the system is highly effective at learning their protocols and able to rapidly add to its capabilities."

Vornik said the collaboration through xTechSearch would be significant for DroneShield, which has several interests in both the military and commercial domains.

"We get to better understand the US Army's requirements by closely working with them over a period of time, and [we are] able to shape our solutions to meet their needs and potentially have our products adopted by the army through its various branches," he said.

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