Boeing must be annoyed by people flying drones where they shouldn’t be because the world’s largest aerospace company has built a laser cannon to deal with them.
At this point it’s clear: the world is going the way of the drone, and as much as people might kick and scream, there is nothing that’s going to stop it from happening. So, that leaves us to the next issue at hand. We need to come together and not only create laws specific to flying drones, but we also need to learn some basic drone etiquette. You know, things such as not flying your drone in flight paths, above wildfires, or on the lawn of the White House.
The issue isn’t in debating whether doing things like this are a nuisance; it’s also an issue of public safety. Now, both government and military officials are saying that it’s only a matter of time before people start using drones equipped with explosives or chemical weapons into public places. Yes, that’s fear mongering at its finest, but it’s also a realistic concern.
INTRODUCING BOEING’S PORTABLE LASER CANNON
Boeing says it has a solution to these problems and more, and it comes in the form of a portable laser cannon. Now, before you get too excited at the thought of seeing a real life laser cannon in action, this isn’t the same laser cannon you’ve seen in movies. Instead, this is a portable solution that will simply burn holes into the drones they’re targeting, leaving little behind other than burning debris.
IS IT EFFECTIVE?
In short? Yes. Wired had the opportunity to see the device up close, and they described it as “insanely precise.” In the demo shown to Wired, Boeing used the laser cannon to burn holes in a UAV. After two seconds, the UAV was already on fire. Wired said that they didn’t see anything other than the UAV bursting into flames. There was no explosion, no crazy noise, and no visible beam.
There’s no indication to how far the laser can shoot, but Boeing representatives said they’re able to hit anything they can spot with binoculars. They also commented on how cheap and easy the device was to operate once everything is set up; noting that it only costs the electricity and manpower (one person) required to operate the laser.