OpenWorks Engineering, an engineering startup company, has invented a new counter UAV system that offers security operators an alternative way to defeat unwanted drones. The system is to be displayed at the UK Home Office’s ‘Security and Policing Event’.
There is a broad range of current concepts to defeat drones, including jamming their command signals, burning them out of the sky with high-power lasers and attempting to train eagles to catch them.
OpenWorks’ SkyWall concept is simple; physically capture a drone in a net and bring it to the ground safely under a parachute. The company believes that physically capturing a drone is the best way to ensure control of a situation is maintained. Once captured the aircraft can be impounded, forensically investigated or simply handed back with some words of education where appropriate. Perhaps more importantly, the potential legal implications of damaging the pilot’s property are mitigated.
The OpenWorks Engineering team will officially launch their SkyWall100 drone defence system at the Home Office S&P Event; the team hopes to show a cost effective system that could be deployed by government authorities and private security firms.
Skywall 100 comprises of a man-portable compressed air launcher and an intelligent projectile with on-board countermeasures. The launcher uses a computerised SmartScope to calculate the drone’s flight path and directs the operator on where to aim the launcher, to ensure the drone is intercepted.
When the operator pulls the trigger the projectile is programmed so that it deploys its on-board net and parachute at precisely the right time to catch the target drone.
OpenWorks Engineering will develop a range of air powered launchers and intelligent projectiles to provide for the wide range of scenarios conceivable. These include permanent systems for the defence of critical national infrastructure.
Chris Down, Managing Director of OpenWorks, said: “OpenWorks Engineering believes that security enforcement authorities need a cost-effective and proportionate way of protecting the public and high-profile individuals and we wanted to put a system on the market that offered just that.”
“Authorities around the world have been looking for a system like this and we are proud to continue the tradition of British innovation in the security industry.”
OpenWorks Engineering is already engaged with a number of government and private organisations across the world and is expecting to see the first SkyWall100 systems in use before the end of 2016.