Jan 5, 2023 - Technology

Exclusive: Dedrone acquires Aerial Armor for drone defense

Illustration of a giant hand preparing to flick a tiny drone

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

First came the drones, with global sales expected to top $60 billion within five years. Now a cottage industry has emerged to protect businesses, stadiums and other sensitive areas from aerial intrusions.

Driving the news: Dedrone, a Virginia-based airspace security startup that's raised over $130 million in venture capital funding, tells Axios exclusively that it's acquired Aerial Armor, a Phoenix-based developer of drone detection systems.

  • Dedrone says the deal helps it cover nearly 50% of the U.S. population, and that Aerial Armor's radio frequency (RF)-based hardware helps it solve some lingering detection problems.

What they're saying: "A lot of counter-drone companies are very good with one type of sensor or mitigation, like RF or radar or acoustics or visual," says Mary-Lou Smulders, Dedrone's chief marketing officer.

  • "We bring all of that into a single solution and use an AI algorithm to determine things like if it's a drone or a bird, [and] where exactly the drone is. We can even do pilot tracking."

What to watch: More consolidation.

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