Data Sheet—From GE to Barrick Gold, Companies Learn Digital Transformation Isn't So Easy


The near-two-day disruption of flights at Gatwick Airport this week highlights again the potential–and real–security threats from autonomous flying aircraft. Kathy Gilsinan has a deep dive for The Atlantic into the difficulties with regulating drones or building sufficient countermeasures and safety systems. Among those quoted are Jaz Banga, the CEO of startup Airspace Systems.

As the risk of accident or malfeasance has grown, so has the industry devoted to countering rogue drones. “It’s almost the Wild West of counter-drone [development] out there right now,” said Banga. Various companies offer different kinds of monitoring systems: net guns that can be used to capture drones and bring them down, vehicles like Airspace’s that can tow a potentially dangerous flying object away from a crowd and to safety, and even “geo-fencing” software that physically repels a drone from flying into certain airspace.

So far, however, none of these systems are deployed in any comprehensive way around the United States. Instead, a patchwork of systems is being used in a handful of sensitive areas, such as airports and stadiums. “Most cities don’t have anything,” says Tim Bean, the CEO of Fortem Technologies, another drone-security company, which launched its own detection services in recent months. The technology is currently being tested at Salt Lake City International Airport, and one other that Bean declined to identify. Most of the remaining hundreds of airports around the country aren’t using any dedicated drone-detection services, and drones are too small for most standard radar to detect.

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About Fortem Technologies

Fortem Technologies is the leader in airspace awareness, safety and security for a drone world. Fortem delivers commercially available solutions that detect and measure intention of drones in real time to maintain airspace safety, while actively protecting No-Fly Zones. Based in Pleasant Grove, Utah, the company is privately held and backed by Boeing, Signia Venture Partners, DCVC, Mubadala Investment Company, and others.

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