Dedrone seeks to broaden DroneDefender usage after acquisition

By Marjorie Censer / November 29, 2019 at 5:00 AM

Dedrone has acquired a counter-drone technology and hired its lead developer in an effort to expand its portfolio.

In October, Dedrone said it had acquired DroneDefender, a non-kinetic, radio frequency small unmanned aircraft system countermeasure, from Battelle. This month, it said it has also hired Alex Morrow, who worked on DroneDefender and was director of counter-unmanned aircraft systems at Battelle.

Dedrone already offered its DroneTracker software, which analyzes the activity of small UAS. With its acquisition of DroneDefender, Dedrone has established a new consultancy called Dedrone Defense.

In an interview with Inside Defense earlier this month, Phil Pitsky, vice president of U.S. federal operations at Dedrone, said Dedrone got to know DroneDefender by using it in a 2018 technology competition hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, NV. Dedrone won the competition.

Now, "we have grand visions of how the technology can be used in a platform," Pitsky said. "Some are fairly obvious, and I believe some are fairly nuanced."

Morrow said joining Dedrone provides an opportunity to continue to build on the technology.

"The biggest Achilles heel of the product was there’s no cueing system," he said. "Now, partnering with Dedrone and the DroneTracker system . . . provide[s] the operator with that intelligence."

Because DroneDefender is a jamming system, it is regulated and authorized for sale to specific U.S. federal agencies. But Morrow said he expects policy changes and technology adjustments that could expand the list of potential customers.

Pitsky said Dedrone is preparing to enlarge its staff.

"We have a fairly aggressive hiring and staffing plan slated for next year," he told Inside Defense. "One of the things we do recognize is speed to market is critical here."

Pitsky added that Dedrone is setting up a new facility in Columbus, OH, to work on the DroneDefender technology.