VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA — Current counter-drone tools often use large-scale blasts of power to take out the radio comms between the drone and the pilot.
That requires a lot of battery and can jam or disrupt friendly frequencies.
The Drone Killer, made by IXI Technology and displayed at this year’s Warrior East Expo by ADS, Inc., hits both of those gaps and more.
John Lopardo, adjunct director with IXI, explained that the shoulder-fired weapon weighs only 7 pounds, battery included, and has a range of 500 meters.
“It’s our line-of-sight solution,” Lopardo said.
Instead of shooting on a broad range of frequencies, the device has a “passive detector” that picks up what frequency the drone is using. Then it uses six distinct circuit boards to disrupt that specific frequency. The method saves power, meaning less battery is needed.
It also isolates the jamming to the right range, avoiding disruptions to friendly communication channels.
The device also can disable frequency-hopping drone controllers, which wasn’t a capability for past counter-drone devices.
“It’s not a broadband noise jammer,” Lopardo said. “In the older systems you had to send out a large amount of noise and you could interfere with friendly links in your area.”
Once hit, the drone begins to waver and either slowly drift to the ground or return to their controller. Older drones just drop like stones, Lopardo said.
The Drone Killer has been tested and confirmed at Camp Pendleton, California; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and at the Muscatatuck Training Center in Indiana, Lopardo said.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.