Martek Marine targets superyacht drone threat with D-Fence
by Chris Jefferies
The proliferation of drones poses an increasing threat to safety, security and privacy on board superyachts, argues British firm Martek Marine, which has recently launched an anti-drone defense product.
Called D-Fence, the system can detect and track drone activity within a 20km radius of the vessel. This triggers a 500-metre electronic exclusion zone to be created around the yacht.
Should an unwanted drone fly within this zone, its video and control signals will be blocked thus initiating its fail-safe mode, which results in either a forced landing or a return flight.
Following a successful launch in the commercial sector, Martek Marine is now looking to roll this product out in the superyacht world, where CEO Paul Luen sees great potential.
“Drone technology offers some amazing opportunities within the luxury yacht sector but as ever, malicious individuals will seek to use the technology for nefarious purposes,” he explained.
“The development of D-Fence is a major breakthrough to help mitigate such threats and protect luxury yachts and their esteemed clientele.”
Industry analyst Gartner Inc estimates that 7,000,000 personal and commercial drones were shipped worldwide last year (a 1,000% increase on 2015 figures) and the global total is expected to hit 12,000,000 by 2020.
Martek Marine is not the only firm hoping to cater to the growing demand for drone deterrents, according to Dutch superyacht technology specialist Van Berge Henegouwen. Marketing manager Casper Kleiman told Boat International: “We’ve seen a huge increase in enquiries for anti-drone products.
"There are a number of companies on the market who can deliver this, normally with an 80% accuracy rate for commercial drones up to a distance of 10 kilometres, so anyone able to offer more than that would be a breakthrough, indeed.”