Clear and present drone threat countered by fast-moving DroneShield

DroneShield ASX DRO Commonwealth Games drones
Police at the 2018 Commonwealth Games equipped with DronesShield's product to target drones.

Up-and-coming counter-drone company DroneShield (ASX: DRO) continues to win public event contracts for high-profile events around the globe.

In response to the problems being caused by “nefarious drone operators”, DroneShield has created a range of products to detect and thwart drones with lightweight portable equipment through the use of radar, thermal imaging, and radio frequencies, according to Peter James, chairman of DroneShield.

Having listed on the ASX in June 2016, DroneShield is already the chosen counter-drone company to patrol the Boston marathon for the last 3 years running and patrolled the Hawaii Ironman World Championship, an annual triathlon event that is due to return to Hawaii in October this year.

From the growing list of interested parties that have trialled DroneShield’s technology, the market for assuring aerial security for Australian businesses could prove highly lucrative given current conflicts, the threat of terrorism and growing demand for safety at high-profile public events.

Commonwealth Games contract

DroneShield has been tasked with managing counter-drone security at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, expected to include several members of the British Royal Family, from 4 April to 15 April.

Mr James told Small Caps that the prospect of serving as Australia’s primary line of counter-drone defence for a significant sporting event was both a sincere honour and a great opportunity to validate the range of products being made by the company.

Queensland Police held a press briefing last month at the Southport Broadwater Parklands, led by Senior Sergeant John Hildebrand regarding DroneShield’s range of handheld products; and how the devices are to be used as the event’s leading counter-drone defence system.

“Queensland Police engaged the Australian military to exhaustively test our Dronegun Tactical and Dronegun MKII products, with the resulting feedback being very positive,” said Mr James.

It’s not just Australian law enforcement that is interested in targeting unauthorised drones. DroneShield has actively developed relationships on the international stage with French, US and Korean counterparties to utilise its technology for a range of applications, with military use the understandable first candidate. However, civil and commercial uses are not far behind.

“Off-the-shelf commercial drones available to anyone from the public, are being used to cause havoc amongst coalition troops through improvised explosive devices in conflict zones overseas,” says Mr James. “The danger is that such improper uses of drones can be used to disrupt public events, assist criminal activity and pose significant dangers to innocent bystanders,” he said.

Recent sales momentum propelling DroneShield to new heights

In recent weeks, DroneShield announced the first order for its DroneSentinel product and committed to going ahead with a new “demonstration hub” in the Netherlands as part of a large-scale education programme aimed at improving the public’s awareness of the dangers of drone incidents that have affected governmental, corporate and individual end-users.

The A$210,000 order was made by ForcePro, one of DroneShield’s European distributions, utilising the company’s latest technology including RadarZero, a portable radar system “roughly the size of a paperback book” which the company launched last month.

The products purchased by ForcePro will be used to set up a DroneShield demonstration hub in the Netherlands (home of the NATO Joint Force Headquarters), where there has been “significant interest in counter-drone products” across a number of domestic Dutch and international customers.

“We have developed a fully-automated detection platform as a means of countering the threat posed by drones and have had strong demand interest from Paraguay, Turkey and several other parties I simply cannot name for confidentiality reasons. We are at the leading edge of development in this evolving market niche and given the amount of media coverage we are getting, I’d say we are at the tipping point,” said Mr James.