Expodefensa 2023 – CODALTEC–BANSAT alliance: new technologies for security and defense

Douglas Hernández

CODALTEC, the Colombian High Technology Corporation part of the Defence Social and Business Group (GSED), and BANSAT, a Colombian company specialized in satellite connectivity while also representing several foreign companies, showed the capabilities of their alliance at Expodefensa 2023, the International Security and Defence Fair taking place in Bogotá from December 5 to 7

The two companies – CODALTEC and BANSAT – exhibited in their booth airspace protection systems, satellite communications systems, equipment for the early detection of drones, short-range radars, and a drone-hunting UAV fitted with artificial intelligence algorithms.

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BANSAT exhibited the DroneHunter F700 UAV developed and manufactured by Fortem Technologies of the USA. This drone is equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms that allow it to make autonomous decisions in its role as a drone hunter. It can operate individually or networked with other similar UAVs, it is fitted with cameras that broadcast their feed live to the SkyDome Manager Command and Control Centre allowing human operators to make some decisions if necessary. The DroneHunter F700 is equipped with its own TrueView R20i radar, also from Fortem Technologies, and is capable of pursuing a drone that breaks into the protected airspace, evaluate the threat, place itself in a defensive position, between the intruder and a critical objective within the defended area, and determine the best way to neutralize this threat.

When the DroneHunter F700 has established the characteristics of the intruder, in terms of size, route and level of risk, it determines the angle of attack, and after fixing the target, it launches a net, which can have two characteristics: if the target drone is small, the net is attached to a strap tied at the other end to the DroneHunter F700, which will tow the captured drone, as far as required, without damaging the device which allows to subsequently analyze it, and avoids collateral damages to people or infrastructures. Known as tether net, these are available in two sizes, small or medium. Should the raider drone be larger and heavier than the DroneHunter F700, a different system known as DrogueNet would be used; here the net is dropped over the incoming threat, capturing it. The net equipped with a braking parachute that makes the fall of the captured UAV to the ground slow and smooth, preventing collateral damages or the destruction of the captured equipment.

This system is flexible and scalable and integrates airspace security and protection solutions, equipped with its own Command and Control centre, its network of optical and radar sensors, and interceptor aircraft. It can ensure protection of critical, energy, oil, government facilities, military bases, borders, airports, naval bases, and camp or logistics areas of a deployed army.

Since CODALTEC has been characterized by requiring technology transfer, it is foreseeable that this alliance with BANSAT/Fortem Technologies will involve joint developments and eventually similar systems of Colombian design.

Photos by D. Hernández