Defence manufacturer Arkeus will scale manufacturing of its hardware-enabled software platform for search, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The optical autonomy company raised $4.45 million in seed funding from technology investors Main Sequence, Beaten Zone Venture Partners and Salus Ventures.
The funding will help Arkeus scale manufacturing and enhance the capabilities of its core product – the Hyperspectral Optical Radar (HS-OR), which utilises a wide range of visible and non-visible light spectra to allow users to ‘see’, understand and act on their environment in real time, according to a statement.
“In high-risk environments like defence and search and rescue operations, first responders need to make split-second decisions based on their knowledge of the landscape, objects and people around them.
“Yet too often, those decisions rely on systems built decades ago that capture only a narrow visual range, are blinded by darkness or weather, and require extensive and time-consuming manual analysis.”
Arkeus’ optical systems are capable of real-time detection, recognition and tracking of relevant people and objects in complex environments.
Arkeus CEO and co-founder Simon Olsen said: “In high consequence situations where every second counts, defence and emergency responders are often hampered by outdated sensors built for a narrow range of light wavelengths.
“Arkeus is pioneering a new way of sensing, built from the ground up to overcome these limitations and deliver mission-critical information at the point of contact.”
Arkeus was founded in Melbourne by Olsen, and aerospace engineer Dr. Jonathan Nebauer after witnessing the challenges posed by existing equipment.
Arkeus has since secured multiple defence contracts for its autonomous optics technology, as well as working on systems that can be applied to tasks like disaster recovery, search and rescue missions,
Investment Manager at Main Sequence Alezeia Brown said: “In a short time, they have developed market-leading products, secured major contracts, and shown the versatility to solve operational needs in both defence and commercial sectors.
“Their novel approach of combining hyperspectral imaging, radar, and AI has tremendous potential to save lives by giving first responders greater situational awareness.”
Arkeus is initially focused on use cases in search, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions including in defence, search and rescue, firefighting and police operations.