Non-military drones are an emerging technology to watch. The media can’t seem to get enough of them and the advertised use cases keep getting wackier (e.g. creating a live view of a real-estate agent’s latest offering).
However, no one has really focused in detail on the potential application for drones in the aviation security market, until now! I’m going to give the low-down on 4 exciting companies that could help enhance aviation security with their drone solutions.
Guard From Above is a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem. This Dutch company uses trained eagles to eliminate drones which are considered threatening. Eagles are able to accurately hook onto drones with their talons whilst avoiding the propellers, and they have the power to safely eliminate these UAVs.
Working in the Dutch law enforcement community, Guard From Above provide a compelling security capacity for the elimination of drones in No Fly Zones, long before they can reach their potential target in or around an airport. Wired Magazine (US Print Edition, July 2016) rated this company’s Eagles as the best anti-drone measures currently available on the market worldwide, demonstrating the awesome power of the eagle!
Prox Dynamics is a Norwegian drone-maker whose claim to fame is manufacturing the world’s smallest drone device. Their PD-100 is built as a reconnaissance system for the army, police, and emergency response teams, providing a discrete capacity to monitor unfolding situations from a safe distance. The recent acquisition of Prox Dynamics by leading sensor company Flir Systems for $134M demonstrates the excitement around and potential value of this device.
The product’s small size and 1.6 km operational range makes it a perfect solution for situational monitoring to airport security teams to observe unfolding alerts or to inspect suspicious devices, all without endangering personnel and from a centralized control point. Its size could even allow for its deployment in terminal buildings to provide high-speed monitoring and response from above.
Canard Drones is a Madrid-based start-up in the airport space providing drone teams and a ‘system as a service’ approach to inspections and calibrations at a distance, principally in airfield lighting and PAPI calibration.
While airfield maintenance is the company’s bread and butter, they may be exploring more security-related avenue, as possibly evidenced by their participation in the Hangar51 Incubation…or at least we hope they are!
Last but not least, AeroVironment, a US-based company and principle drone supplier to the US military, provides a high-performing drone capable of improving the airport security environment. The Quantix is a medium sized (1 meter wingspan) UAV featuring a hyper-easy touch control panel, and an array of sensors to provide high-quality and high-level data.
Although the Quantix is designed for the agricultural market for crop monitoring, this drone has some exciting airport security potential. While too large to operate inside terminal buildings, the long-distance operational range and long flight time, combined with the high quality multi-spectral sensor array, could make this drone an ideal candidate to provide airports with a perimeter monitoring capability.
From an aviation security perspective, analysts continue to fret about the dangers of heavy drones obstructing plane takeoff/landing, and about the dangers that drones could carry. While these innovations could pose risk when found in the wrong hands, they also poses massive opportunities. The ability to capitalize on these opportunities rests with security experts, and here are 4 great drone-focused companies to help do just that.