Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) challenges SMEs to develop new products and technologies and bring them to market. The tool is used by the Dutch government to stimulate innovation in order to solve certain social problems. One of the subjects was how to protect ourselves against unmanned mobile systems, especially drones.
TSG InnoteQ presented the InterceptDrone concept: a drone that is able to capture an unwanted drone by using a net launcher. All the procedural formalities were drawn up and submitted to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The idea came 4th out of 41 entries and a feasibility study was granted. The InterceptDrone concept offers a mechatronic non-destructive intervention model that can be used as an add-on for standard semi-professional drones. We created a prototype to demonstrate functionality. A few characteristics of this module include a low overall weight of 600 grams, recoil compensation to avoid any harmful effects of launching and remote activation of CO2 pressure.
A business plan and detailed report were written for the next SBIR phase A final InterceptDrone intervention solution would include automatic tracking based on GPS coordinates and height, speed and directional information using a detection system manufactured by one of the other participating companies. Other features include air distance measurement, a line connector attached to the net that can hold small objects and release drones above a certain weight. Released drones can land with the aid of a parachute and are traceable using a GPS tracker.
Although the second SBIR phase was not granted, we certainly learned a great deal!