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Cost advantageous and scalable drone alarm and protection system for urban contexts

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - KNOX (Cost advantageous and scalable drone alarm and protection system for urban contexts)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-07-31

Drones are quickly moving from being mainly a military technology to a mass market gadget. The obvious concern is that drones are used for illicit purposes and terrorist attacks. Therefore, MyDefence is pursuing a major market opportunity, developing an innovative drone alarm and protection system – KNOX – able to detect, identify and locate civilian drones, and to jam in a specific wireless frequency range without interfering with other mobile signals. KNOX is to be used by security services providers and infrastructure owners.
The overall objective of the KNOX project was to optimize, fully demonstrate and setup commercialization of the KNOX counter-drone solution by:
• Deploying and testing the KNOX system (Optimization based on end-user output; effectiveness, price, portability, user-friendliness etc.).
• Testing and demonstrating the technical effectiveness of KNOX in real operational environments.
• Developing and defining Standard Operation Procedures.
• Analyzing needed approvals, certifications and establishment of documentation for certification.
• Preparing market entry, organizational capability and project planning.
• Studying the markets continuously and networking to prepare further market expansion.

Conclusion
The EU funded Horizon 2020 project “KNOX” has been a success for MD and the participants within it.

It has provided unprecedented knowledge about state-of-the-art technologies and matched them with the ever-increasing demands for protection against malicious use of drones. Major obstacles were known from the beginning and overcome, like the EU-wide regulations against jamming that proved to be a continuous burden to keep the pace in the project when specifically jamming had to be demonstrated and proven. But it was achieved in several occasions to find collaborative authoritative partners and get the approvals in place to test the technology.
Our competitiveness has been improved, and the KNOX technologies and products have been heavily improved throughout the project to meet the customer needs and create the needed situational awareness about drone activities in these areas.
Today the system is fully active and incorporated into the daily operations in two prisons. There will be continuous improvements to be made to the technologies going forward as the threat continues to evolve into more sophisticated methods of smuggling contraband into prisons, threatening stadium security or harassing air traffic safety in airports.
During the project period in the past 2 years MD have been in contact with several policy makers, public and private security service providers and critical infrastructure owners to gain insight into and align with their security visions and daily operations requirements.
Our KNOX-related efforts have been entrepreneurial in nature and will set new standards as key components in the coming infrastructure of equipment and data.
In summary, through the innovation project KNOX, MyDefence managed to demonstrate the full KNOX concept including the technological and tactical effectiveness. The result became a collection of showcases/use-cases based on the demonstration activities and a finalized full KNOX solution, providing the basis for the sales to security services providers.
During the first year of the project, MyDefence set up all the administrative processes for project management and coordination. Due to a tender in the UK, the British partners left the project. A lot of effort was put into finding new partners simultaneously with overcoming the obstacle of getting an approval to test jamming in Denmark. This proved very difficult, but we found new partners in Finland and Israel, where jamming was possible. MyDefence began an intensive, iterative process of testing, developing and re-designing the products to meet customer needs, as a result the project was delayed. MyDefence have improved significantly on early drone detection and jamming efficiency. We have improved the ease of integration by splitting Iris into Iris (front-end) and Argos (back-end). The scalability of the KNOX system is proved and documented as we have tested the system in various prisons, mounted on military vehicles, at a stadium, an airport, a military facility and at a police station, plus numerous other sites. New anti-drone SOP for stadiums, prisons and police stations have been developed and trained through the month-long periods, where the systems have been in operational use and provided invaluable user feedback. MyDefence have analyzed the needs and has established documentation for relevant certifications. In Q1, 2019 MyDefence got new investors and therefore the business model changed and became focused on critical infrastructure; prisons and airports on the civil side. MyDefence have completed a new market research, presented two prison use cases and written a white-paper describing C-UAS protection at airports.
The KNOX project has been the main driver for MyDefence to keep the stringent focus on continued development of our capabilities in the past 2 years, following the trends in the market, keeping up with our competitors and exceeding them where possible.
The KNOX system consists of distributed RF-sensors and a radar, respectively named Watchdog and Eagle. The effector is a distributed RF-jammer named Dobermann. Our RF sensors have been significantly upgraded to include direction finding, the false alarm rate has been reduced to an absolute minimum and our approach to jamming is the most compact in the market. The usage inside urban areas with a condensed RF noise environment has been improved significantly.
Our system in general has proven to be very flexible and the scalability is unseen in the market, which makes it very cost effective. Our Radar is the lowest cost on the market and as part of the total system a very important component. The drone classification has improved significantly resulting in a low false alarm rate with minimal user interaction. Our C2-system has gone from being local and site-specific to be a scalable multi-site system capable of sharing data between different sites with the aim of going towards a larger infrastructure. Our suppliers, especially local electronic manufacturer, has been instrumental for our rapid prototyping and changes needed for the continued product development. Our brand awareness has risen significantly, and our sales efforts has resulted in customers related to prisons, police forces and public safety.
MyDefence have created output (knowledge, technology, design, SOPs) from the project, which is contributing to a state-of-the-art commercially available anti-drone solution.
The KNOX system is ready for contributing to protecting critical infrastructures, private properties and mobile soft targets. MyDefence is able, with the KNOX system, to strengthen the security against drones and meet the market need for a commercially available anti-drone solution capable of early detecting the presence of any drone within a no-fly zone or defensive perimeter, jamming its activity without interfering with other mobile signals and forcing the drone to a safe landing.
MyDefence is becoming one of the strongest competitive players in the international anti-drone security systems industry and is as such setting the foundation for creating a new industry of KNOX solutions in Europe and grow related sub-suppliers.
KNOX system Sadium illustration
KNOX logo
KNOX system prison illustration
Security Research Event 2018