2kW laser weapons can easily take out a drone by burning off it’s tail…
Boeing has announced that they’ve developed an anti-drone laser weapons system capable of identifying and tracking an object from ‘ranges approaching 40km away’. Considering North Dakota just became the first state to legalize weaponized drones, albeit non-lethal, with House Bill 1328, and the FAA just issued over 1000 drone permits as of August 9, now might be a good time to start paying attention as to how Boeing has demonstrated easily taking down a drone (just in case).
According to Wired, Boeing demoed their Compact Laser Weapon System August 26 in Albuquerque, NM for reporters, controlled with an XBox 360 controller and notebook computer, and was reportedly able to take down an unmanned aerial vehicle within just a few seconds of directing a 2 kW laser at the object, easily and effectively rendering it disabled by burning off it’s tail. Once the system locked on to a target, the software took over targeting and tracking automatically.
Phys.org quotes Boeing Engineer, Isaac Neil, as saying,
“Consider a contest of unmanned aerial vehicle versus energy. And one where energy wins. Boeing has a compact laser weapons system to pull the win off. The system directs energy on its targets, focusing energy on a spot in order to damage the target. Think of it as a welding torch, said Isaac Neal, Boeing engineer, but from many hundreds of meters away.”
Unlike the much larger laser systems we’ve seen in the past that require being mounted on a truck, this system is small and portable, contained in just 4 suitcase-sized boxes and operated by just two people. Governments and cities alike are nervous over potential future threats from the skies by rogue drones, so could small directed-energy weapons be considered a 21st Century solution at airports and other at-risk facilities in order to curb potential threats of rogue attacks? Only time will tell.
August 30, 2015 – Boeing is developing a laser that shoots drones out of the sky.
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