The Anti-Drone Ray Gun

I feel a surge of irrational anger every time I see a drone flying around my neighborhood. Like, you flouncy dingbat with your robot bird, you think you’re cool? You like looking at the top of my head? Why don’t you fly that thing down here? I’ll punch a drone, don’t think I won’t!

Like I said, it’s an irrational anger. I actually think having one would be pretty cool. But in the meantime, let’s talk about fun ways to shoot down drones: https://patents.google.com/patent/US10567107B2

USP 10,567,107, FIG. 1
wub wub wub wub wub…

First, you need to know a bit about drone technology. Most drones need to be actively controlled by a human operator. In some cases the pilot flies the drone by sight, while in other cases the pilot has a screen on the controller that shows the drone’s perspective. Regardless, the pilot communicates with the drones wirelessly, which makes the drones vulnerable. In the amateur radio world, interfering with a legitimate user’s signals would be called “malicious interference.”

In this case, it’s called “a bomb-ass ray-gun.”

USP 10,567,107, FIG. 5
PYEW PYEW PYEW

In the above figure, the ray-gun has two different antennas (202 and 204). This is presumably because you don’t know in advance what frequencies the drone will be using, so you need to cover different options. For example, the one on top is pretty clearly meant to be a directional antenna operating in the 2.4 GHz band, like one of these guys, to focus the signal into a beam.

Once you get the drone in your sights and pull the trigger, the ray-gun will emit a signal on those bands. The patent provides options for what the signal is supposed to do. In some cases, it emits new navigational information, either overriding the pilot’s commands or spoofing GPS coordinates. In other cases, the signal would jam the relevant frequencies by transmitting high-power noise, preventing the pilot from communicating with the drone.

This doesn’t seem capable of delivering enough power to actually do damage to the drone–and really, you wouldn’t want something like that right in front of your face anyway. So it can’t just blast drones out of the sky. That’s a bummer, but at least it’s portable, so just think of all the fun you could have explaining this to the TSA!

USP 10,567,107, FIG. 7
I swear, it’s not what it looks like…

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