By Jeff Todd
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – With small, cheap, commercial drones growing in popularity, a Colorado company is revolutionizing defense against drones.
“We protect critical infrastructure,” said Kenneth Geyer the co-founder of Liteye Systems Inc.
“When you think about it, anything is vulnerable from the sky. So, if you’ve got a power substation or you have an airport, if you’ve got a nuclear power plant, now you suddenly have this toy that can be armed and can be out doing something disruptive to your facility.”
Liteye uses cameras, radar and defense systems to monitor low elevations. It received a government contract in 2016 and quickly downed more than 1,000 drones, according to the company.
“The radar detects 360 degrees it detects everything flying and moving on the ground then the cameras, if there’s a threat coming inbound, it sleuths to it so it can identify the target,” said Geyer. “We can take it over, land it, make it leave, crash it, whatever needs to be done.”
Liteye is also developing systems to monitor long-range flight paths to protect planes from drones.
“If a drone flies in, it tells you which aircraft are under threat from that drone and should wave off, and which ones should still come in,” Geyer said.
The company is looking to expand its uses and could protect sporting events or even keep drones away from forest fires so aircraft can continue battling flames.
“Places that are vulnerable where you want to know what’s in the air and what could possibly happen and how do we stop it from doing that,” Geyer said.
Liteye is based in Centennial and uses software developed in Fort Collins. Geyer says Liteye is looking to hire more people in Colorado so it can keep up with changing technology and keep the system on the cutting edge.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.