Drones have a new enemy. Boeing shows off a laser cannon that can shoot down drones with extreme precision.
The proliferation of drones brings a lot of problems as hobbyist are not following the rules. In a report earlier this month, the FAA says that for 2015 commercial pilots have reported 650 drone sightings. Operating drones near airplanes and helicopters is not only dangerous, but illegal.
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Airports and aircraft might soon use a laser cannon to take down drones. Boeing demonstrated a laser cannon that shoots down drones with incredible precision. Wired complains that there is no pew! pew! sound like in Star Wars, but besides that failure the cannon works excellently.
"There aren’t a lot of ways to deal with UAVs right now," said David DeYoung, director of Boeing’s Laser and Electro-Optical Systems to WTSP. "Lasers, it turns out, are very effective against UAVs."
The Drone killing laser cannon has 2 kilowatts. This is by far not the most powerful Laser cannon. The military has 10 kilowatt lasers in use.
Boeing has attached their drone killer onto a helicopter and looks into attaching it to other aircraft.
As there is no pew! pew!, drone owners will not know what caused their drone fall out of the sky until they recover it. There will be a laser cut hole in it.
Lasers are cool, but an uncool solution will come to keep drone pilots in line. We predict that drones will have a registration and will need to be identifiable by law enforcement to identify the owner. There will possibly also be pilot licenses required in the future.
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See also the Top 5 Drone Fails.