We live in a dangerous world. There are some threats that we’re capable of meeting, and some that are beyond us. This is what former secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld called the unknown unknowns: threats so oblique and sudden that they catch us unawares and leave us scrambling. So far, we can only add our culture’s random spates of violence in Rumsfeld’s category. We simply do not know why violence erupts in our culture, especially among our children, and all we can do is prepare for the inevitability.

The needs are simple, but many:

At present, venues have no means to counter threats, and particularly the nonmetallic variety, beyond simple entry point solutions like metal-detectors and personnel. Current alternatives require large spaces or dedicated areas instead of being integrated into existing infrastructure. The nature of the threat have been evolving towards more dangerous mass attacks, including shootings and bombings, and there is a growing need towards the detection of both metallic and non-metallic threats posed by forearms, explosives, improvised explosive devices and pyrotechnics.

This is why Liberty Defense Holdings (SCAN.V) proposed acquisition of DrawDown Detection via reverse takeover makes sense .

What are Liberty Defense and DrawDown Detection?

Both companies are weapons detection tech companies involved in the commercialization of intellectual property. DrawDown is in the development stage of a handheld device to detect smokeless gunpowder, which they intend to develop and sell to law enforcement agencies and other large public venues, including schools, sporting venues, hotels and places of worship.

Liberty provides security solutions for concealed weapon detection in high volume foot traffic areas, and has secured a license from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a technology transfer agreement, for patents related to active 3D radar imaging technology that are packaged into their HEXWAVE product.


Source: Liberty’s investor deck

  • HEXWAVE uses a form of low power radar energy that creates 3D images in real-time to detect weapons through clothing and hand-held baggage (backpacks, handbags, etc.).
  • Active means transmitting signals and receiving information about the detection space. Radio signals reflect off metallic and non-metallic concealed objects which produce 3D radar images in real-time.
  • 3D means capturing rich information (size, shape, depth) about the detection space. Can detect any material that has a physical form.
  • Imaging means using imaging processing techniques to create images and use these images to train and enhance the AI machine learning algorithms. Threat libraries stored both on units and Cloud with updates provided on a scheduled basis.

The system uses sensors with active 3D radar imaging and artificial intelligence-enhanced automatic detection designed to detect both metal and non-metal firearms, knives, explosives and other threats.

“We are very excited to be adding the HEXWAVE product to our security portfolio.  The engineering team at Liberty Defense has made great progress over the past 14 months since obtaining the exclusive license from MIT Lincoln Labs.  Our strategy moving forward is to improve upon the developments already made and to aggressively pursue compatible technologies from national laboratories and universities,” said Bill Frain, CEO and director of DrawDown Detection.

Dangerous detection

DrawDown detection’s technology looks like a dustbuster, but acts like a portable handheld sensor for smokeless gunpower. The device has undergone a successful transition from analog to digital formats, and the company has engaged Florida-based Jaycon Engineering to build out the phase I Beta units. The machine has been rolled out to be beta tested by law enforcement agencies, schools, sports venues and other public places. The feedback will be used for phase II of beta development.

Source: DrawDown’s investor deck

Smokeless gunpowder has a unique ultra low frequency non-uniform electric field that passes through normal obstacles such as clothing, metal and containers. The company’s sensor captures these emissions, and lets its users know there is gunpowder nearby.

We may live in a dangerous world, but it’s  a net positive that we have companies that recognize the value proposition in maintaining our safety.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence
DrawDown Detection
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MIT Lincoln Labs
public security
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