Boeing has developed a laser that is designed to take down drones, particularly in sensitive areas such as around the White House. The system is very accurate and lightweight, and can be set up in minutes by two people.
(Photo : Mike Hewitt | Getty Images)
There have been a few cases of drones wandering into places they shouldn't go of late, not to mention the fact that it is largely thought that drones will play a big part in future wars.
Because of this, defense against drones could be very important. With that in mind, Boeing has developed a laser cannon that can turn a drone into a falling heap of rubble.
Governments and the military have become increasingly worried about the fact that drones could be carrying explosives or other weapons, especially when flown into places like the White House lawn or into prisons. Because of this threat, a number of different companies have been working on ways to take drones down, such as through using jamming technology or even through sound waves. The solution from Boeing, however, is by far the coolest.
The company first showed off the Compact Laser Weapon System at a media event in Albuquerque, N.M. Of course, this isn't the first time that Boeing has shown off a laser-powered device designed to take down drones, but this time the device is much smaller and swivels around on a tripod. It looks similar to a large camera.
During the media event, Boeing was able to first demonstrate shooting the laser at a stationary target, which was an unmanned aerial vehicle shell. This test was designed to show how quickly the device can compromise a drone.
One of the great things about the new system is how portable it is and how quickly it can be set up. It fits into four, suitcase-sized boxes, and can be set up by two people in a matter of a few minutes.
Not only that, but the laser is also very precise. It is designed to be able to target particular parts of the drone. For example, it can target the tail of the drone to bring it down without completely destroying it. Or the drone can be completely destroyed in the air, for example, in case it is carrying explosives.
It is expected that we will see lasers like this used for taking out drones in the near future, especially in sensitive areas. Boeing, in the meantime, is planning on adding sound effects so that multitasking operators can keep a better handle on what's going on.