Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) supported a number of Department of Defense organizations in evaluating component technology during Black Dart 2019, a joint, interagency demonstration focusing on rapid development and implementation of counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) technology from readily-available commercial and government vendors. Sixteen C-UAS systems employing technologies to detect, classify, identify, and track small UAS were evaluated during the event.
The objectives of Black Dart included:
Assess and validate existing and emerging air and missile defense capabilities and concepts specific to the C-UAS mission set;
Advocate for soldiers' desired C-UAS capabilities; and
Inform future requirements decision making.
These objectives were in direct response to the explosive growth of the commercial drone industry and the emerging, complex threats UAS pose to military service members, high-security installations, and critical infrastructure.
DIU strengthens our national security by increasing the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and growing the national security innovation base.
Black Dart 2019: Participating Vendors Selected by DIU*
Citadel delivers a low-cost and AI-enabled counter drone solution that autonomously detects, identifies, and defeats drones or swarms before they ever become a threat. The Titan system can be set up in 3 minutes, requires no signal expertise to operate, and provides a hemisphere of protection that expands beyond visual line-of-sight with the click of a single button. Citadel technology is trusted by U.S. Special Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Border Patrol, Coast Guard, DHS S&T, Department of Energy, and classified Department of Defense customers.
D-Fend Solutions; EnforceAir c-UAS platform
D-Fend Solutions is a leading provider of counter-drone solutions. EnforceAir c-UAS is an advanced autonomous system that automatically and passively detects, locates, and identifies rogue drones as well as mitigates risk by taking control over them and landing them safely at a pre-defined safe zone.
Dedrone is the market and technology leader in airspace security. The Dedrone counter-drone platform combines hardware sensors and machine-learning software, providing early warning, classification of, and mitigation against drone threats. Based in San Francisco, Dedrone was founded in 2014 and is backed by investors including Felicis Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco Systems and founder of JC2 Ventures.
MyDefence is an OEM technology company specializing in C-UAS products and emerging technology integration. MyDefence offers a layered RF detect and defeat solution for static, man-portable, and mobile platforms. These solutions are modular, scalable, flexible, and able to adapt independently, or integrate into other existing network architectures.
Echodyne has created the world's only compact, lightweight, solid-state, true beam-steering ESA radar sensor. Made for fixed and portable deployments, Echodyne's high performance radars offer advanced 3D situational awareness capabilities (e.g. search while track, sequential lobing super-resolution, onboard classifier) against surface and air threats for government facilities, forward military bases, special operations, strategic perimeters or borders, etc.
Photon-X's current system uses a passive single Spatial Phase Image (SPI) sensor mounted on a gimbal and is used to track and identify drones past 1km. This system can identify the drone, provide a range to target, and determine global coordinates of the drone. The system works above and below the horizon including cluttered urban environments. The system capabilities include the ability to simultaneously track and identify multiple drones. The system is scalable to see farther if required. Due to the small, passive nature of the sensor, it can be easily integrated into other systems. Future capabilities will include payload detection, too.
Sensofusion; AIRFENCE counter-UAS solution
Sensofusion is the creater of AIRFENCE, a countermeasure technology designed to automatically detect, locate, track, and take over unmanned aircraft system (UAS) controls. In addition, AIRFENCE can GPS locate operators' remote control as well as locate the original home position from which the UAS launched. Sensofusion currently partners with the U.S. DoD, the European Union, NATO, the FAA, and the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems.
SkySafe; AIRFENCE counter-UAS solution
SkySafe provides complete RF-based drone detection, identification, tracking, and mitigation for military and government customers. Built on deep signals analysis and threat data, SkySafe monitoring provides airspace operators insight into the presence of both friendly and hostile drone activity. Additionally, SkySafe is the largest provider of forensics capabilities for recovered drones, completing the full cycle of drone incident response.
Squarehead; Discovair G2
Discovair G2 is the latest generation of highly directional, ruggedized Counter-UAS microphone arrays from Squarehead Technology. The Discovair system is a fully automated, acoustic drone detection system for close proximity air marshaling. The system utilizes our acoustic array sensors, allowing for both detection and tracking of Class 1 and Class 2 drones. The system has been developed to be utilized in both 'expeditionary' and 'fixed' environments. Acoustic detection is a last line of defense against autonomous or RF silent drones. Since it is 'passive,' it provides the end user the understanding of being both low probability of intercept and low probability of detection. The system works in both stand-alone or part of a layered system.
Tarsier Technologies; AirScout
Tarsier AirScout is an EO/IR sensor-based system that provides fully autonomous detection, classification, tracking, and localization of sUAS. Tarsier AirScout is hardware agnostic, enabling easy integration with other sensors and systems and providing the ability to mix and match hardware to meet the requirements of various use cases.
DroneFox is an omni-directional sUAS detection, identification, and mitigation system. DroneFox scans the environment for radio frequency (RF) signals being transmitted by an sUAS and/or its controller and provides the user with the capability to detect, identify, and mitigate sUAS supported in the DroneFox library.
*All vendors were selected collaboratively by DIU and DoD entities. This vendor list includes only organizations that approved public release of their participation.