Coming up with ways to deal with the threats faced by small drones is among the trickiest problems military and security agencies face these days. The devices are so small, so easy to use and are proliferating so rapidly.
The MITRE Corporation based in Washington DC, supported by the federal government, set up a competition intended to draw out the most inventive and creative solutions to the drone problem.
OpenWorks Engineering won the ‘best UAS interdiction’ award with their SkyWall100 system, after stopping more drones than any of the other competitors. This represents a major achievement both for OpenWorks and British Engineering; A start-up company against tough competition from established large organisations!
The MITRE Challenge and the OpenWorks team were filmed by the National Geographic channel for a prime time programme that is due to be shown in early 2017.
SkyWall100 was selected from 42 applicants, representing 8 countries, becoming 1 of the 8 finalists, including Lockheed Martin.
The live flight event took place in August at the US Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia. The eight finalists were challenged with protecting a small village from a number of drone attacks, representing a wide range of realistic drone threats.
The SkyWall100 system designed by OpenWorks Engineering is simple, physically capture a drone in a net and bring it to the ground safely under a parachute. The system became an instant media hit back in March when the first promotional video went viral on YouTube and a number of social media channels.
This successful endeavour certainly puts OpenWorks Engineering on the map and further cements SkyWall100 as one of the counter-measures of choice when dealing with nefarious drones.
Next month, Openworks will be exporting the first pre-production SkyWall100 systems which signifies the start of the exciting times ahead.