Anduril acquires Copious Imaging, eyes more M&A opportunities

By Tony Bertuca / September 28, 2021 at 5:00 AM

Defense technology company Anduril Industries announced today it has acquired Copious Imaging, a Massachusetts company focused on passive sensing technology to counter unmanned aerial systems.

In an interview with Inside Defense, Brian Schimpf, Anduril's chief executive, said Copious’ Wide-Area Infrared Sensing with Persistence technology made the company an attractive acquisition, Anduril’s first since April when it acquired Area-I.

“We’re very excited about the technology they have,” he said of Copious’ WISP system. “The basic idea is their sensor can look 360 degrees, find everything that is moving based on its thermal signatures, be able to ID that out at huge range with incredible accuracy.”

Schimpf said the WISP technology is ideal for counter-UAS systems, a key area for Anduril.

“We do a lot of work in counter-drone systems . . . where the ability to identify these sort of inbound threats is incredibly important,” he said. “Historically, this has been done with radar. But radar obviously emits a huge amount of energy and it is very easy to detect. Passive sensing completely eliminates that vulnerability. Now you can detect and understand what the adversary is doing without giving up any information about yourself.”

He also said the new counter-drone systems Anduril is working on are far cheaper than shooting down a small drone with a sophisticated missile.

Copious, which spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory almost four years ago, is a company of more than 40 employees and Schimpf said Anduril isn’t planning on cutting any jobs or facilities.

Bill Ross, CEO of Copious, said in a statement that “joining forces with Anduril will help get our technology out to the field faster and at greater scale, safeguarding our critical infrastructure and protecting our security forces to make America and its allies safer.”

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Schimpf said Anduril wants to acquire more promising technology companies.

“We think there is a huge array of technologies you can bring forward in terms of autonomy, how you apply AI, how you utilize unmanned systems that are incredibly compelling and our goal is to bring those forward as fast as possible,” he said. “You can’t really do that unless you’re basically a prime, where you are actually delivering all of the capabilities; you’re delivering something that goes all the way out to the user, all the field support, all those pieces as well as all the supporting technologies to enable these capabilities to get out there. M&A is a huge chunk of how we are going to get there.”