Worried about a future in which the skies are filled with drones? Now there’s a way to fight back: portable laser cannons.
Boeing has developed what it’s calling a Compact Laser Weapon System to keep drones away from sensitive areas, Wired reports.
The company tested the system this week in an industrial park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The demonstration showed that when a target was exposed to a full-power laser for just two seconds, it went up in flames. David DeYoung, the director of Boeing Laser & Electro-Optical Systems, says that this is an inexpensive way to deal with the rising threat of drones, which have been known to fly near airports and even the White House.
The compact laser is smaller and much more portable than the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator that Boeing exhibited last year. Wired describes its appearance as “an overgrown camera, swiveling around on a tripod.” Technicians would be able to set up the laser system in a matter of minutes, and it’ll be controlled by an Xbox 360 controller and a laptop with custom targeting software.
Boeing expects it to be ready for market in a year or two.