The impunity of drone operators may have run its course, as a science and technology firm has just unveiled means to reign in rogue UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles). This drone ray gun accosts drones without having to use kinetic force.
Not only have drones flown ahead and out of reach of proper legislation, the UAVs have also skirted around just about every technology except for firearms. And even then, those firearms have to be in the hands of skilled marksmen who'll likely have to answer questions from the authorities for licking shots into the air.
So research and development firm Battelle has created a man-portable, and woman portable too, battle rifle, the DroneDefender that uses radio waves to disrupt the communications between drones and their remote drivers.
"This is just the kind of tool we need to safely counter a drone threat," said Dan Stamm, senior researcher who led development of the ray gun. "The DroneDefender can help protect us from those who may wish to do us harm."
The DroneDefender sends a disruptive beam to target drones and slowly brings them back to earth. So the offender, who has been flying drones over restricted airspace, will have to either come forward to claim the aircraft or count it as a loss.
The ray gun takes just 0.1 second to boot into full operating power and it can run up to five hours on a single charge. It doesn't require a high degree of accuracy to target and take down rogue drones. Its beam puts out a cone of energy that's 40 degrees in diameter.
The lightweight countermeasure for drones can disrupt GPS, industrial, scientific and medical radio bands, basically anything that operates on the common 2.4 GHz and 900 Mhz frequencies.
"It can help us in numerous settings, from the White House lawn to bases and embassies overseas; from prisons and schools to historic sites," said Alex Morrow, technical director on the project. "It easily and reliably neutralizes the threat."
Check out the DroneDefender in action in the video shown: