DroneShield partners up to keep airport airspace safe

DroneShield partners up to keep airport airspace safe

Managing the air traffic surrounding an airport was already stressful enough before drones were introduced to the general public at an accessible price point.

The tiny flying objects might seem innocuous, but as was demonstrated in December 2018 when a number of drones shut down Gatwick airport for hours displacing more than 1000 flights, their effect can be tremendous.

Australian tech innovators DroneShield (ASX: DRO), developers of anti-drone tech for the military and law enforcement, have partnered with traffic management provider Altitude Angel to make these types of drone-based disruptions a thing of the past.

The partnership brings out the best in both companies, as Altitude Angels is a group helping airport operators add value by integrating drones into their businesses.

Its traffic management system, GuardianUTM, offers enhanced airport safeguarding and automated approvals to fly in controlled airspace, and is being deployed by NATS, the UK's main air navigation service provider.

DroneShield's side of the partnership will see it use its drone detection and mitigation technologies and products to mitigate unwanted drones at airports.

"A joint offering of the two companies' systems as an integrated product to selected customers will bring 'single-point situational awareness' to managed airspace for users such as national governments and airport operators," says DroneShield.

"This will provide aerodrome towers or those tasked with managing airspace with a clear, single source picture of the sky. By clearly distinguishing between known, authorised operations, and unknown, potential threats, support of effective responses without disrupting authorised activities can be quickly executed."

DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik says the collaboration with Altitude Angel will enable air traffic controllers to make the most efficient and effective response in real time.

"Almost daily airports around the world are seeing drone incidents endangering the safety of thousands of passengers and causing tens of millions of dollars in economic damage," says Vornik.

"Civil infrastructure operators are in need of an urgent solution. We are proud to be co-operating with Altitude Angel, the sole provider of unmanned traffic management services to the UK airspace, to secure the airspace for customers both in the UK and globally."

DroneShield's partnership announcement comes one day after the group announced it has been selected for a grant-based collaboration program by Defence Innovation Network (DIN), in conjunction with Innovation Connections.

DIN is a university-led initiative of the NSW government to enhance defence industry capability through collaboration with government and academic research institutions.

Under the program, DroneShield will draw on university resourcing, in combination with its own engineering team, to design and develop real-time optical drone-detection capability using recent advancements in machine learning and neural networks.

This collaboration is expected to result in a product that will be taken to market by DroneShield in 1Q 2020.

Shares in DroneShield are up 3.23 per cent to $0.16 per share at 10.02am AEST.

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