USA – The small handheld device, weighing only 7.5 pounds, can be pointed at a drone in the air and cut off communication between the drone and its operator, according to IXI Technology officials.
When a drone is intercepted by the Drone Killer, the unmanned aircraft is set to either hover in place, return to the place it was launched from or simply land, depending on its programming.
The device can disable most drone models; however, if the Drone Killer encounter’s a drone it can’t stop, company officials plan to rewrite the software to overcome the problem within days.
The Drone Killer device was created by IXI Technology, a Yorba Linda-based company that supplies electronic equipment to the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Currently, there is a federal law that says drones are not able to be taken down; however, there is a state law that says you can,” said Andy Morabe, director of sales marketing for IXI Technology.
However, after a meeting with the FCC last week, Morabe said they admit that the 1934 law is outdated, and are working on changing this law to allow the use of this technology.
Once the laws are changed, many first responders are planning on purchasing this device, which costs close to $30,000 per unit, according to officials.
Currently, the LASD is testing this technology, and is set to test it for a year, according to officials.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is able to test this technology because it wasn’t purchased,” said Morabe.
The Drone Killer is set to be tested in emergency situations only, and not for complaints of drones in residential neighborhoods.
“The device is only going to be used if a drone is putting a person or property in danger,” said Morabe. “If a drone is over a fire, that could endanger the helicopter pilot, and if the helicopter is forced to land, fire can spread. So in a case like this, the Drone Killer can be used.”
If a drone flies over a stadium and isn’t showing any threats, it won’t be taken down, according to officials.
“Last week a police chief told me if we pull this device out, it is like we are pulling out our service weapon,” said Morabe. “These devices will be used only if there are no other options.”
If and when the next brush fire does ignite in L.A. County within the year, the LASD is set to be able to use the device to land drones interfering with the fire fight.
During the Thomas and Sand Fires, firefighting aircraft were forced to land due to drones flying over the fire.
If any private drone interferes with firefighting efforts, the pilot can face criminal charges.