Boeing has just unveiled a new weapon that's sure to strike fear in drone owners everywhere. It's small, able to fit in a box the size of four briefcases, and it shoots frickin' lasers. Plus, it looks cool, too. What more do we need?
Over the past few years, it's become clear that many people don't understand proper etiquette when it comes to flying their drones. We've even seen folks fly their drones over wildfires, throwing all common sense out the window (or perhaps it was burnt up with those wildfires). While there's no reported incidents of a person dying by the hand of a [commercial] drone, there are some major concerns that the first case is on its way. Even more concerning is the annoyance drones can cause for aircraft.
But, with Boeing's laser system on-hand, any threat will be dramatically reduced. While max range isn't given, Boeing says that if you can spot a drone with a pair of binoculars, its system will have no problem striking the target - with a deviation of up to 2 inches depending on the movement speed of the drone.
Boeing touts this system as being very low cost, especially with regards to maintenance. The main moving part is what rotates the unit before it fires; there's no traditional ammunition used here, so there's only electricity to worry about. If the fact of what this is capable of isn't cool enough, note the fact that a human operator first lines up the the target with an Xbox 360 controller. Afterwards, the laser system takes over and fires the fatal shot.
As cool as it would be to see a drone evaporate in midair, this system mostly burns a hole straight through, effectively dropping it to the ground for later recovery. This isn't only about killing off drones from normal people, but also drones that come packing weapons - from any source.
I wonder if Boeing gives out review samples?