Communications giant AT&T has partnered with anti-drone technology leader Dedrone to identify potential rogue drones in the airspace. The project is part of AT&T’s “Smart Cities” program.
The following is from the AT&T announcement:
AT&T* and Dedrone, a San Francisco-based drone detection technology startup, are teaming up on a drone detection solution that helps protect military bases, venues, cities, and businesses, from malicious drones. As drones become more prominent, so does the misuse of the emerging technology.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration¹, people purchased roughly 3 million drones worldwide in 2017. More than 1 million drones have been registered in the U.S. This creates a new avenue and threat vector for the community. Dedrone detects drones of all kinds, including commercial, consumer and military-grade, as well as autonomous drones. The airspace security platform uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and LTE connectivity to detect, classify, mitigate, and localize drone-based threats.
“Physical security and cybersecurity are equally important when safeguarding an entire ecosystem,” said Michael Zeto, Vice President and General Manager of Smart Cities, AT&T. “Malicious drones pose an aerial threat for the community, for businesses and for the people that live and work there. With Dedrone, we’re helping to protect customers and citizens from this type of risk.”
Since 2014, Dedrone has been working with correctional facilities, public utilities, and other organizations to help protect their lower airspace from drone incursions.
AT&T is the sole LTE connectivity provider for Dedrone’s drone detection solution. The software-centric platform identifies approaching drones by means of radio frequency, visual, radar, and other sensor data. Analysis of sensor data then reliably classifies approaching drones and finds their locations. It then triggers alarms to alert security staff.
The wide area and early detection capabilities allow public safety agencies to react quicker and more efficiently. It can also be integrated with other counter measures to help protect the public, such as building management and alarm systems.
“AT&T provides a reliable platform for Dedrone customers to connect our technology to their security ecosystem, and use Dedrone analytics to understand their lower airspace activity,” shares Joerg Lamprecht, CEO and co-founder of Dedrone. “Working with AT&T helps ensure that Dedrone technology is integrated into smart cities to prevent drone intrusions.”
AT&T is also utilizing drone technology itself. AT&T started investigating the use of drones a few years ago and has since started using drones for tower inspections, carrying our customers’ live LTE communications at events, and providing connectivity at scale to first responders and consumers.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.