French startup Dronisos has won much applause for lighting up the skies with its choreography of hundreds of drones in light shows, but now it’s gaining attention from defense groups eager to put the company’s command of mass UAV navigation to work in drone swarms flying security missions.
Bordeaux-based Dronisos most recently generated headlines for creating and staging ongoing nightly drone performances celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disneyland Paris – the first UAV light shows ever at a Disney theme park. Further from the public eye, meanwhile, the company’s specialized unit is working with France’s defense giant Naval Group to tailor the startup’s aerial orchestration talents to creating drone swarms in support of client navies.
In a release published Thursday, Naval Group said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Dronisos division Icarus Swarms to formalize what had been an exploratory partnership testing drone swarms in defense and security missions. Previous trials in conjunction with France’s Navy have focused on lighting, radio jamming, anti-drone system testing, radiological, and equipment research objectives. The communiqué reveals that official linkup was inked back on February 1.
Founded five years ago, Dronisos initially centered its efforts on increasingly popular drone performances, becoming one of the world’s top companies operating those light shows. But fairly early on, it also began adapting the experience gained in its work programming aerial choreographies to create drone swarms as security solutions. It uses modified Parrot ANAFI UAVs – keeping it all in la famille française for now.
Its trials with Naval Group have staged simulated attacks of 10 to 100 drones to test systems for detecting asymmetric threats, using Dronisos’s Certifence anti-UAV platform assessment product.
Icarus Swarms says its drones can be outfitted with payloads ranging from photosensors – visible or IR – radioactivity sensors, audio emitters or loudspeakers, signal and radio jammers, pyrotechny, and radio relays. In addition to trials for the French Navy, the company also serves police, first responder, and other emergency and security clients.
Grouped in the partners’ respective sites in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in southwest France, future joint projects will explore the development of intelligent drone swarms deployed both underwater and in the air to provide protection, and prevent detection of submarines as they surface and dive.
Naval Group’s linkup with Icarus Swarms is an outgrowth of its innovation strategy of working with diverse laboratories, startups, industrialists, and navies to promote increased use and new applications of drone swarm deployment.