Pleasant Grove company changing international security from home

By Ryann Richardson, June 4th, 2020  Read on→
DroneHunter F700 Launching image

A Pleasant Grove security company is trying to create positive change internationally by focusing on its local community.

Fortem Technologies was founded in 2016 by Salt Lake City local Timothy Bean and Utah County resident Adam Robertson. The two Brigham Young University alumni came together to build the security company from the ground up.

Bean began as a software developer in 2001, writing code that helped authorities apprehend terrorist assets. Since then, Bean has spent much of his time in Silicon Valley in California before he shifted his focus to drones.

Bean returned to Utah County and, together, he and Robertson formed Fortem Technologies, raising funds to produce the world’s most advanced radar for drone detection.

“What we saw about 4 years ago was the advent of drones,” Bean said. “For drones to really integrate into society, you need two things: safety and security.”

The Pleasant Grove company breaks safety and security into five steps: detection, risk assessment, integrated response, recover and report.

Each of these steps has its own place in the technology that Fortem Technologies develops, Bean said. Drone radar by the company, called TrueView Radar, is used to detect drones within the desired airspace and assess how the drone is flying and where to evaluate potential risk.

The company is most notably known for its Fortem DroneHunter, which is a part of the company’s integrated response, Bean said.

If an unwanted drone is detected, the Fortem DroneHunter will fly toward it and detect, track, classify, monitor, inspect and capture the drone. The technology uses radar technology, machine-learning algorithms, proprietary guidance systems and an open command and control system to perform its functions autonomously, meaning it is completely unmanned.

Additionally, data is stored and organized into a report for the company and its client.

“Our system is like a door lock in the skies,” Bean said. “We protect the airspace to make sure drones fly where they should and don’t go where they shouldn’t.”

Since its inception, the company has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon and other international agencies to proactively protect against attacks from unmanned aircraft.

Bean said technology like the TrueView Radar and Fortem DroneHunter are becoming increasingly necessary, as first illustrated during the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011.

For the first time since World War II, Bean said the United States did not control the airspace, and hundreds of soldiers were killed and dozens were injured each week after “enemy, off-the-shelf drones” carrying explosives were deployed.

“These same, small drones that anyone can buy at a store are being used by criminals and terrorists today,” he said.

Airplanes and crowds are also in danger when drones are left unchecked. The Gatwick Airport in London was shut down for three days before Christmas after drones disrupted flights. What officials called a “deliberate act” cost a total of $63 million and disrupted 180,000 individual’s travel plans.

Additionally, an oil field in Saudi Arabia suffered $1 billion in losses after an explosion caused by a small drone.

“Drones have historically been something that only the most advanced militaries in the world can get their hands on,” Bean said. “Now, any terrorist, criminal or consumer can buy them at the store. It’s a huge national defense threat.”

When the everyday person thinks of security, they often think of ground-level threats, such as barbed wire and dogs, but Bean said the world is slowly realizing how prevalent the threats from the air have become.

While a fence is practical for threats from the sky, Fortem Technologies is hoping to develop an “above-the-fence” security extension, miles into the sky.

“Just as the country grew into the 19th century with skyscrapers, now the beginning of this century, we’re expanding our security into the sky,” he said. “Fortem has become a global leader in security solutions, and that leadership comes from Pleasant Grove, Utah.”

In the long run, Bean said the company is aiming to digitize the airspace, allowing access to data regarding. This data, he said, is extremely useful for law enforcement today but it will become increasingly important as commerce migrates from the roadways to airspace.

From drone-delivery services to autonomous flying cars, Fortem Technologies is looking to stake its claim in the industry and in the process of democratizing the skies.

Since the company’s beginning, Fortem Technologies has continued to hone its practices developing robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and high-end advanced radar systems.

The company has brought over 200 jobs to Utah County and has provided the opportunity for highly skilled individuals to move into the area.

Additionally, Bean said, the company is able to secure multi-million dollar contracts that bring capital and notoriety to the state of Utah, and especially Utah County.

“We work very closely with the Utah Trade Council and the Governor’s Economic Development Center,” he said. “It’s a great partnership that we have here with the state. Utah is a great state to do business.”

Although the coronavirus pandemic hit the company hard, Bean said Fortem Technologies was still able to adapt its manufacturing capabilities to positively impact the surrounding communities.

Fortem Technologies donated dozens of 3D printed masks to law enforcement personnel and local hospitals. The project impacted the company’s manufacturing capabilities for over a month.


About Fortem Technologies

Fortem Technologies is the leader in airspace awareness, security, and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones. Through an advanced, end to end system of distributed radar, AI at the Edge, deep sensor integration, and autonomous drone capture, Fortem monitors and defends the world’s venues, infrastructures, cities, and regions. The same system is accelerating the safety of the world’s airspace for urban air mobility. Based in Pleasant Grove, Utah, the company is privately held and backed by Boeing, DCVC, Mubadala Investment Company, Signia Venture Partners and others.

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