Boeing’s drone-killing laser takes down targets with an Xbox controller

Boeing's drone-killing laser takes down targets with an Xbox controller

Boeing has a fairly storied historical past with lasers and now its testing one that may take out UAVs and rockets no matter the place it is put in. A current trial run of the tech was carried out in Florida beneath some fairly grueling circumstances (heavy fog, rain and wind), to show that even a decrease-powered model of Excessive Power Laser Cellular Demonstrator — HEL MD for brief — is succesful in a maritime surroundings. As Boeing tells it, the agency exceeded all of its objectives and efficiently engaged with some one hundred fifty totally different targets together with drones and 60mm mortar shells with its 10 kilowatt laser. Wired says that the power beam is powered by lithium ion batteries, and that the entire setup solely requires a diesel-backed generator to maintain the wheels of conflict protection shifting. Which means, operating out of gasoline, not munitions, is principally the one menace the power weapon faces.

Maybe most fascinating is the truth that the armament is not managed by some arcane set of switches and levers: an Xbox controller and a laptop computer do the soiled work. The subsequent logical step for the HEL MD? Upping the system’s injury with a stronger, 50- or 60-kilowatt laser. Naturally. You’ll be able to scope a video of it in motion, together with a woman who’s unsettlingly enthused by the tech, slightly below.

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