Behold SkyWall100, the latest in a string of new tools to neutralise problematic drones. This shoulder-mounted cannon can capture a drone with a net — and then land it safely with a parachute.
Drones are becoming a serious headache and security risk, leading to all sorts of potential solutions, from eagles being trained to catch drones in midair to drones that can catch other drones by firing a net at it. The latest advance from British firm OpenWorks Engineering takes the idea of netted capture further by offering a personal device that can physically capture a quadcopter and control its descent to the ground.
Image: OpenWorks Engineering
The 22 pound (10 kg) compressed gas powered launcher is used in conjunction with an intelligent programmable projectile. Developed for the civil drone threat (e.g. airports, sporting events, and large public gatherings) SkyWall can be rapidly reloaded, allowing a single operator to counter multiple threats.
A special projectile includes an embedded parachute which can control the descent of the captured drone, minimising risk and keeping the drone intact for forensic analysis and identification of the operator. The device also comes with ECM jamming.
The cannon’s “Laser-Equipped Smartscope” and onboard computer calculates the launch vector and muzzle speed required to intercept a drone up to a range of 32 feet (10 meters).
Looking ahead to the near future, OpenWorks Engineering is also working on a two-operator, tripod mounted SkyWall200, and a semi-autonomous SkyWall300 “permanent installation” cannon turret. No word yet on when SkyWall100 or these other anti-drone tools will be made available or how much they will cost.