Drones

Shoulder-mounted SkyWall launcher takes aim at illegal drones

The SkyWall launcher is man portable and can apparently be used with minimal training
The SkyWall launcher is man portable and can apparently be used with minimal training
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The user can take aim at the drone with the help of a so-called SmartScope
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The user can take aim at the drone with the help of a so-called SmartScope
The SkyWall launcher is man portable and can apparently be used with minimal training
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The SkyWall launcher is man portable and can apparently be used with minimal training
The Skywall uses a compressed gas-powered launcher to fire a programmable projectile that deploys a large net at just the right time
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The Skywall uses a compressed gas-powered launcher to fire a programmable projectile that deploys a large net at just the right time
The SkyWall launcher is designed to disable unauthorized aircraft by trapping them in a net
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The SkyWall launcher is designed to disable unauthorized aircraft by trapping them in a net
The SkyWall launcher is designed to disable unauthorized aircraft by trapping them in a net
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The SkyWall launcher is designed to disable unauthorized aircraft by trapping them in a net
The SkyWall launcher is man portable and can apparently be used with minimal training
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The SkyWall launcher is man portable and can apparently be used with minimal training

From trained eagles to radio beam disabling systems, countermeasures to deal with rogue drones illegally entering sensitive airspace are proliferating almost as fast as drones themselves. British engineering firm OpenWorks' approach to dealing with unmanned aerial interlopers takes the form of a shoulder-mounted launcher that captures errant aircraft in a net from up to 100 m (330 ft) away.

With drones exploding in popularity over the past couple of years, it follows that concern around exactly who is flying them and where is also on the rise. From lurking around the Japanese Prime Minister's office to crash landings on the White House lawn, the potential for malicious or irresponsible use of the technology has inspired some imaginative approaches to ensuring public safety.

Kind of like the drone-hunting drone that we covered earlier this year, the SkyWall launcher is designed to disable unauthorized aircraft by trapping them in a net. The system uses a compressed gas-powered launcher to fire a programmable projectile that deploys a large net at just the right time to net the drone. Once the drone is all wrapped up in the net, an attached parachute then safely brings it back to earth.

The user can take aim at the drone with the help of a so-called SmartScope
The user can take aim at the drone with the help of a so-called SmartScope

The user can take aim at the drone with the help of a so-called SmartScope, which consists of a laser range finder and inertial measurement unit. This calculates both the distance and flight path of the target, and then the trajectory required for a direct hit and informs the user of a target lock via a continuous beep. If the projectile fails to meet its target, the parachute will still deploy and the projectile can be reused.

The SkyWall launcher is man portable and though it appears pretty sophisticated, can apparently be used with minimal training. The entire system weighs 10 kg (22 lb) and can be reloaded in eight seconds. There is no word yet on pricing, but OpenWorks does describe the Skywall as cost-effective, and says it expects to see them in use before the end of the year.

You can see it in action in the video below.

Source: OpenWorks

SkyWall : SkyWall100 Drone Defence System - A Man Portable and Cost Effective Counter Drone System

10 comments
Gaëtan Mahon
This crap gets worse and worse with every day... Do they really expect a sUAV violating an Airspace to stay below 100m AND within the SkyWall Operators area of operations long enough for this to become a threat? Really?
Brian M
Or just use a shotgun!
Matt Rings
Not enough range. UAV's are too fast moving Response time too slow to get close enough via a truck and then walk toward the target (which will NOT be stationary or low enough!) Laser or RF-based weapon required
Michael Wilson
this has numerous FCC violations written all over it
EddieG
So, it only shoots down the illegal ones, eh? That's impressive.
Madlyb
Zorg Industries called and claims that this product infringes on their intellectual property from the original work completed on the ZF-1.
rpunzell
12 gauge with birdshot
sk8dad
Seems to me a non-guided ballistic projectile that can only capture a drone in forward orientation against a drone that may possibly be armed with software that can handle evasive maneuvers will have limited probability of success. Also consider if the errant drone was intended as an explosive delivery device, the slowed descent would give the drone operator plenty of time to press the red button over a crowd below.
Cframp
The promotional video for this thing is hilarious, unless of course this product is actually real....in which case it's really pathetic.
Nik
Next step; anti- anti drone devices, and then.....WAR! ;-)