I don’t need to tell you about the explosive growth the drone market has seen over the last couple of years. There are dozens of companies all over the world building consumer-grade quadcopters in all shapes, sizes, functions, and price points. Drones are raced, used for video production, or just flown for recreation. There is also no shortage of innovation in the field as these machines are getting better and smarter all the time. Take for example the new DJI Phantom 4, the first drone that can virtually fly itself by locking onto a target, following it, and avoiding obstacles along the way.
However the number of drones in sky and advancements in their capabilities have also raised safety and security concerns; leading to a mandated registration of drones with the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) of the Federal Aviation Administration once they meet or pass the 0.55g weight limit. Feeling like that is not enough, some people have taken to “regulating” drones by alternative means; which usually involves shooting them out of the sky. OpenWorks, an engineering firm in England is taking a less dangerous and more technical approach to getting drones to ground-level. The concept of physically shooting the aircraft out of the sky remains, but instead of bullets or pellets, their SkyWall line of mobile and installed cannons are taking a different approach.
The video focuses on the SkyWall 100 model, which basically a bazooka that shoots a compressed air projectile up to 100 feet, wrapping the targeted drone in a net, tangling it, and bringing it to the ground.
Prior to squeezing the trigger, the operator of the SkyWall tracks and locks on to the drone using an attached Smart Scope that calculates the drone’s path and speed, allowing the shooter to lead the airborne offender.
The system comes with optional accessories, including an optional parachute that slows the descent of the captured drone allowing it to be retrieved unharmed. OpenWorks is planning to also introduce a SkyWall 200 model that can be used in a mobile method like the 100 or mounted temporarily. There will also be a SkyWall 300 version that is meant to function as a permanent installation turret, boasting greater range and ability to rapidly take out multiple flying vehicles.
OpenWorks stresses that the SkyWall series is not being marketed towards regular consumers but is meant for commercial and government use, where drones present a danger of being used for spying, data-theft, be a general hazard, or be weaponized. However, the concept is sound and much like drones themselves will undoubtedly make it to store shelves sooner than later.Source: YouTube OpenWorks Engineering
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