We’ve seen different kinds of anti-drone technology so far: from eagles (thankfully, that was canceled) to an aerial battering ram. And now there’s the Drone Dome laser, developed by an Israel-based company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (or just Rafael). It uses a high power laser beam to track and take down hostile drones, even a few of them at once. Rafael shared a video to show off the technology, and it indeed seems pretty powerful.
The company explains that Drone Dome can detect objects as small as 0.002 square meters, at a distance of 3.5 km (2.1 miles). When the system detects the drone, the operator can select between two views on it: “coarse view” (a more distant view) or “fine view” (a close-up view on the drone). You can see in the video how each of them looks.
Then, when it comes to taking a rogue drone down, there are also two options. Drone Dome uses either a radio frequency jammer or the laser beam. In the video above you can see what it looks like when a laser beam is used, and it’s pretty destructive. The plastic housing starts to melt and the drone’s electronics start to fail. There are bits and pieces of plastic and metal falling off the drone, it gets destroyed.
Even maneuvering the drone won’t help. When the system detects the drone, it locks it down and tracks it, engaging the laser that eventually kills it. The system can even take down “swarms” of drones, and in the video, you can see what it looks like when Drone Dome takes three of them down.
People have come up with many solutions so far to take down rogue drones. Some of them are pretty badass, such as this DJI M600 turned into a drone killer. The others are, well… not exactly elegant, like this giant net or this shotgun drone. Using a laser beam is apparently pretty powerful. What I dislike though is that it destroys the drone completely. In my opinion, it’s too invasive and could be an overkill. Still, Drone Dome opens up new possibilities and I wonder how, where and if it will be used to take down rogue drones.
[via Drone DJ]