As the market for drones and surveillance technology develops, so too does the market for tools to combat them.
However, defense against drones does not have to simply be through air cover. Instead, the Office of Naval Research has declared its intentions to use ground vehicle-mounted lasers to incinerate and take down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) instead.
Dubbed the Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-The-Move project, applicants are being offered federal grants to develop a laser that can be mounted on a ground vehicle to be used by military personnel. The system must be able to shoot at full power for at least two minutes, before recharging through a 20-minute window.
"Shortfalls of the Marine Corps' current low-altitude air-defense program of record have been identified with the advent of new threats, specifically Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs)," the project description reads. "Threat UASs may have surveillance weapon payloads. The need for a new expeditionary mobile air-defense weapon with improved effectiveness has been identified."
However, creating a system which allows for powerful blasts of at least 25 kilowatts without overloading a ground vehicle -- as well as being small enough to mount -- is going to be a challenge. The Office of Naval Research say that the laser cannot weigh more than 2000 pounds.
If you're interested in applying, you will need to have your proposal ready by April 26 this year.
Image credit: Charlie Osborne/SmartPlanet