In December 2022, Frontex challenged the industry, seeking innovative and cost-efficient solutions for detecting, tracking, and identifying low-flying objects. In response to the Prize Award Contest, Frontex received 21 distinct proposals, all of which were evaluated based on their conceptual content.

Earlier this month, Frontex announced the ten winners of the initial phase out of the three planned phases. The competition continues as the selected proposals will now undergo assessment for their technical capabilities.

Frontex introduced its inaugural Prize Award initiative on December 19, 2022, with the primary objective of fostering the advancement of innovative concepts and technological solutions for detecting, tracking, and identifying low-flying objects (LFO) that traverse European Union borders. The scope encompasses various aerial platforms operating within low-level airspace, ranging from manned ultralight and conventional aircraft to remotely piloted aircraft systems. Furthermore, the challenge sought proposals for cost-efficient, scalable, and integrated capabilities that align with the specific needs and requirements of the European border and coast guard community.

The contest’s first phase witnessed the submission of 21 proposals from 11 European Union countries: France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, and the Netherlands. Participants provided a comprehensive white paper outlining their proposed concepts during this initial stage. These submissions were accompanied by descriptions of technological solutions aimed at detecting low-flying objects (LFOs), specifically at the land borders of the European Union.

The submitted proposals generally met and surpassed the evaluation criteria outlined in the Rules of Contest. They showcased comprehensive, innovative multi-layered, multi-sensor architectures incorporating active and passive detection systems. These combined solutions exhibit the potential to detect diverse types of low-flying objects (LFOs) effectively.

After careful consideration and assessment by the Evaluation Committee, we are pleased to present the top 10 best-ranked proposals which were submitted by the companies below, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Advanced Protection Systems S.A.
  • CS Group
  • DAT CON d. o. o.
  • Dedrone GmbH
  • FLIR Systems AB (Teledyne FLIR)
  • Hemeria Airship
  • Marduk Technologies
  • Naval Group SA
  • Technofita Adria d. o. o.

Phase 2 of the Frontex LFO Contest

Each of the laureates is awarded a prize of EUR 10 000 and an invitation to the second phase of the contest.

The laureates who accept the invitation to proceed to phase two will undergo an evaluation of their proposals for technical capacity. Among the participants in this phase, the top five proposals will have the opportunity to receive a prize award of EUR 50,000 each. Additionally, the three leading proposals will be invited to advance to phase three, which entails conducting operational trials. During the finals, these three competitors will prepare, deploy, and operate their proposed technological solutions for three weeks, subject to operational testing in Estonia. The testing phase is scheduled to take place in autumn 2023.

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Post Image- Frontex Low-Flying Object Graphic (Image Credit: Frontex)