Drone operators have been behaving badly recently and taken their remote control aircraft over wildfires, near airports, and even onto the White House lawn, but all that is about to come to an end.
That’s because Boeing just created a two-kilowatt drone killing laser cannon capable of shooting down any pesky drones that get too close or fly where they’re not supposed to.
The cannon, known as the Compact Laser Weapon System, can be set up in minutes, and is capable of turning a flying drone into flaming debris.
Everyday citizens may be worried about their neighbors using a drone to watch them sunbathe in their backyard, but governments around the world consider the quadcopters a threat to security.
Drones are sure to be a weapon used in future wars, capable of carrying explosives into enemy territory virtually undetected.
An extended anti-drone market already exists with companies making everything from anti-drone shotgun shells to jamming technology, but the laser cannon offers something new.
That’s the ability to target and destroy precise parts of the drone, like the tail, without blowing up the whole thing.
So if operators want to disable a pesky drone to find out who’s spying them they simply need to fire up their laser cannon.
With audacious drone operators ignoring basic safety precautions and taking daredevil flights, the need for an anti-drone system has become clear.
The Boeing-designed drone killing laser cannon is designed for military use and can be adapted to fire from a moving ship or vehicle with only a few alterations.
There’s no word yet on whether they’ll be allowed for civilian use to protect airports, prisons, and personal property.
The system, demonstrated for the media Wednesday, is small, portable, can be set up in minutes and looks like a camera swiveling on a tripod. It comes in four suitcases sized boxes.
There are no laser gun noises and there’s nothing to see, but the laser cannon burned right through the target drone in two seconds flat during Wednesday’s demonstration. Future designs will include sound effects to make it easier for operators to control.
It’s controlled by a standard Xbox 360 controller, so replacements should be easy to come by.
There’s no word on cost estimates, but Boeing says the laser is designed to work for years to come. After purchase, owners merely need to provide the laser with electricity.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella]