AeroDefense expands Collaborative Drone Detection Network development via AFWERX contract

AeroDefense has announced that AFWERX has awarded a Tactical Funding Increase contract for USD1,794,999.96, focused on AirWarden’s Collaborative Drone Detection Network (CoDDN) to address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF). 

The technology enables cooperation between multiple Department of Defense, state and local entities for situational awareness and rapid, unified response to unauthorised drone activities.

In 2022, AeroDefense completed an AFWERX Direct to Phase II (D2P2) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with partner commitments from two wings at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) to modify its permanently installed drone detection sensors for mobility and military deployment.

AirWarden fixed mobile sensors function as a network exclusively for the system owner in their current form. The CoDDN development builds on the D2P2 to enable connectivity between AirWarden detection equipment types and amongst disparate agencies/units. Essentially, end users from different agencies/units choose to share detection and sensor data to enable cooperative response to the same threat intelligence in a secure, controlled manner.

As part of the CoDDN effort to test connectivity between previously standalone sensor systems, JBMDL will deploy fixed sensor systems at McGuire Air Force Base and nearby Fort Dix, the largest federal prison in the United States. JBMDL will also protect Lakehurst, the naval component of the base. The base is more than twenty miles from east to west and home to more than eighty mission partners and 40 mission commanders. 

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process, focusing on faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business, and implementing process improvement changes in contract execution.

The DAF began offering the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and on September 13, 2023, AeroDefense continued its commitment that began in 2020 with the original SBIR award.

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