After developing manned aircraft, it didn’t take long for humans to start tinkering with unmanned aircraft designs. The first drone dates back to the early 1900’s with the Gyroplane made by the Brequet brothers of France. Soon, more drones were being designed in response to the vital role manned aircraft played during WWI and WWII. Between the early 1970s-80s, the first proper military drones were being introduced by the Israeli and US armies. The US military first flew the Predator over Afghanistan in 2000, spurring the military drone movement.
Since then, drones became synonymous with military operations. Around 2006, the idea for drones being used commercially started to take shape. However, the technology was very costly, making drones mostly unideal for anyone outside of the military or hobby sector. That all changed when Austria’s Ars Electronica Future Lab built 49 small drones with LEDs, called SPAXELS. In September of 2012, the museum put on the first ever drone light show with SPAXELS. The show, and the inexpensive drones, were so impressive that they inspired a whole new drone movement. The development of micro drones for aerial shows laid the foundation for how drones could become commercially cost viable.
Today, drone light shows are more popular than ever. People have come to expect drone shows at special events, and they are quickly replacing other forms of aerial entertainment like fireworks. In a move that seems to bring drone technology full circle, on May 3, 2022, German based Nocturne Drone Shows announced that they were entering a partnership with San Francisco based drone security company Dedrone. The partnership would see to the development of Nocturne Drone Defense Systems.
Nocturne is one of the most successful drone show companies in the world. Under the creative leadership of Jens Hillenkötter, Nocturne has become famous for many of its shows, including setting a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive drone animations. Meanwhile, Dedrone has become one of the most trusted names in providing drone security systems, something that was at one time relegated only to military enterprises. Dedrone’s software can identify more than 300 different drones, even homemade drones. Providing protection from unauthorized drone usage, Dedrone’s services are being used by private and government organizations worldwide.
With Dedrone, Nocturne hopes to become not only one of the most accomplished drone show providers but also one of the most secure drone operators. “Drone shows are one of the most exciting uses for drones today and Nocturne Drones create fantastic events worldwide,” said Aaditya Devarakonda, CEO of Dedrone. “To ensure a flawless show and to protect spectators and airspace, safety must come first.” Jens Hillenkötter went on to say, “Safety is our top priority. Since we often work in sensitive areas, it is our aim to make our shows even safer and to offer our customers complete protection against drones from a single source. In view of the ever-increasing danger posed by drones at events we chose to partner with Dedrone, the world’s leading provider of airspace security.” This collaboration brings together two of the forces that drove the drone industry to what it is today, securities and aerial entertainment.