Frontex Prize: We know the winners!


Frontex is pleased to announce the winners of the Prize Award Contest on the Detection of Low-Flying objects. After a complex, multi-level evaluation process, we have awarded first, second and third places. The winners will receive in total 600 000 euro worth prizes for further development of their projects.
Based on the results of the operational trials, which was the third and last phase of the contest:

  • the first prize of 250 000 euros was awarded to DAT-CON,
  • the second of 200,000 euros – to Teledyne FLIR, and
  • the third prize of 150,000 euros – to Marduk Technologies.

Each of these systems reflected innovative approaches in border security technology.

The three companies with highest scores from phase two (FLIR, MARDUK, and DAT-CON) were invited to take part in three-week trials testing their capability to detect low-flying objects. During this phase, the three finalists prepared, deployed, and operated their proposed technological solutions at the Ridali Airfield, in Estonia, from 16 September to 6 October 2023. Each participant had the opportunity to demonstrate their technology in a dynamic environment, simulating real-life scenarios and tested against an Independent Testing Team in scripted and unscripted scenarios, comprising diverse types of low-flying object threats and modus operandi.

About the contest

Launched on 19 December 2022, this initiative is Frontex’ first Prize Award, and it aims to encourage the development of innovative concepts and technological solutions to detecttrack and identify low-flying objects crossing EU borders. The term “low-flying objects” (LFO) covers a broad set of aerial platforms that operate in low-level airspace. The definition of “low-level airspace” utilised throughout this prize contest is defined as airspace below 1000 ft above the ground level. LFOs include a wide range of aerial platforms, from piloted ultralight and conventional aircraft to remotely piloted aircraft systems.

The goal of the contest was to provide an incentive to industry to develop cost-efficient, scalable, and integrated operational capabilities and reward the best performing technological solutions. The solutions had to be comprised of at least three systems using a combination of both active and passive detection capabilities (e.g. RF monitoring, camera, and radar).

Frontex launched this Prize Award contest as a platform to establish a preliminary, yet accurate overview of the state-of-the-art technologies related to LFOs in terms of capabilities and limitations, as well as their suitability to the needs of the European Border and Coast Guard community.