At the beginning of 2020, AeroDefense received an AFWERX Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant with customer commitments from two wings at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (621st Contingency Response Squadron (CRS) and 87th Security Forces Squadron (SFS)) through the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) process. The project, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), delivered a ruggedized and rapid-deploy AirWarden version that operates whether stationary or in motion. AeroDefense’s AirWarden mobile systems are eligible for sole source purchase by any federal agency as a result of the SBIR contract.
AirWarden receives FAA Remote ID drone broadcasts and detects non-broadcasting drone signals. This is achieved through a simple software update, so no additional hardware is needed now or in the future.
The system’s ruggedized sensor is small and lightweight (8″ x 10″ x 6″, <15 lbs) enough to easily transition from vehicles to temporary mounts with little effort and manpower. The discreet detection antenna is only 4″, 4 oz. – roughly the size of a Sharpie marker.
Sensor deployment options:
- Temporarily or permanently installed in vehicle or boat
- Mounted on an all-terrain vehicle
- Deployed in a vehicle rack mount
- Mounted to a tripod
Detection and LTE antenna deployment options:
- Permanent vehicle mount (recommended)
- Via a temporary suction-cup mount designed for low-speed patrols and non-metallic vehicle rooftops
- Magnetic mount suitable for high-speed
- Mast mount on a vehicle such as a boat or SUV
- Temporary or permanent (recommended) mount on an All-Terrain Vehicle
- Mast mount on a Will-Burt pole (stationary)
- Mounted at top of tripod (stationary)
When an AirWarden mobile sensor in a vehicle or boat nears a fixed (permanent) AirWarden network or network of AirWarden temporary/portable tripod mounted sensors, the vehicle-based sensor can automatically connect to the network. This enables security teams or local law enforcement to respond to incursions using AirWarden equipped response vehicles to extend a fixed or temporary system’s detection range to see down urban canyons or behind obstructions.
In-motion sensors may operate independently as single sensors for airspace awareness (alerts when a drone or pilot enters a defined alert zone based on preconfigured geofence boundaries) or they can form a moving drone detection network by driving in formation to locate and track pilot/controllers and drones.
AeroDefense’s proprietary spectrum sensing methodology allows the AirWarden system to detect all drone manufacturer types, including homemade/kit drones, operate without violating Federal privacy laws, and protects the system against spoofing attempts by nefarious drone pilots.
1 hour or less
One (1) day or less (virtual or in person)
Supplemental learning management system training provided
Only one power source is needed at any given time to operate the system, yet there are three power options.
- Primary – wall socket (120V AC)
- Secondary – car battery or cigarette outlet (12V DC)
- Optional battery backup
Internal power requirement – 120 V AC @ 2.2A and 12V DC @ 7A
Networking and Information Sharing
AirWarden can utilize many different network configurations. The system is capable of anything from a self-contained ad-hoc mesh network to a cloud hosted service. As long as the sensors can “speak” to the control server, the system will operate. AeroDefense works with customers to define the network and cybersecurity requirements for each deployment.
AeroDefense’s AirWarden can integrate with external systems like camera or mitigation systems by pushing system information in a standardized format such as JSON. AirWarden can also ingest information from other systems like radar by listening to a specific port for standardized information formats such as JSON or XML. AirWarden can also integrate by subscribing to or providing an API for data flow to or from external systems. AeroDefense’s AirWarden has a released TAK-MIL plugin.