Last week, AeroDefense announced that the company had received a Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) contract valued at $1,794,999.96 from AFWERX. This contract is dedicated to advancing AirWarden’s Collaborative Drone Detection Network (CoDDN), specifically addressing critical challenges within the Department of the Air Force (DAF). Representing cutting-edge technology, this development signifies a noteworthy achievement in airspace security. CoDDN facilitates seamless collaboration among various Department of Defense (DOD), state, and local entities, fostering enhanced situational awareness and a swift, unified response to unauthorized drone activities.

In 2022, AeroDefense successfully concluded an AFWERX Direct to Phase II (D2P2) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. This collaborative effort included commitments from two wings stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), aimed at adapting the company’s permanently installed drone detection sensors for increased mobility and military deployment.

Network Will Expand the Sharing of Sensor Data

AirWarden’s sensors operate as an exclusive network solely accessible to the system owner. The development of the CoDDN extends the capabilities established in the D2P2, facilitating connectivity among different types of AirWarden detection equipment and fostering collaboration among diverse agencies and units. Essentially, end users from various agencies and units can share detection and sensor data, enabling a cooperative response to shared threat intelligence in a secure and controlled manner.

As an integral component of the CoDDN initiative to assess connectivity among previously independent sensor systems, JBMDL is set to deploy fixed sensor systems at McGuire Air Force Base and the adjacent Fort Dix, the largest federal prison in the United States. In addition, JBMDL will extend protection to Lakehurst, the naval component of the base. Spanning over twenty miles from east to west, the base houses more than eighty mission partners and 40 mission commanders. With an expanded drone detection coverage incorporating a collaborative platform, JBMDL enhances its airspace awareness and streamlines joint responses to drone threats.

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have collaborated to streamline the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process. This partnership aims to enhance the small business experience by expediting proposal-to-award timelines, broadening opportunities for small businesses, and eliminating bureaucratic overhead through ongoing improvements in contract execution processes.

In 2018, the DAF introduced the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program, expanding the spectrum of innovations funded by the DAF. On September 13, 2023, AeroDefense continued its journey, which commenced in 2020 with the original SBIR award, to develop and deliver innovative capabilities contributing to the strengthening of the national defense of the United States of America.

Post Image- Modified graphic from the 2023 Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Power in the Pines Air and Space Open House Official Poster (Graphic Image Credit: Christopher Moses- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs)