At present, the UAV still needs to maintain communication with the operator or GPS, so the electronic jamming system can use this weakness to “soft kill” the UAV threat, that is, eliminate the operation state of the UAV through hacker technology. However, future UAVs will navigate through onboard sensors and cameras to avoid any available communication links. Therefore, the soft killing of electronic interference will fail, and the threat of UAV will increase greatly. In order to deal with the future UAV threat, before they reach the target, they need to have a “hard kill” option to actually aim and shoot down the UAV.
In fact, Israel has been subjected to air strikes from balloons carrying incendiary bombs near the Gaza border in recent years. The most recent attack occurred in February 2020. Initially, when this type of air raid began in 2018, Dr. UDI Ben AMI, co-founder of optidefense, an Israeli based technology solutions company, contacted Professor Amiel ishaya of Negev Ben Gurion University to find a solution.
Finally, the team led by Professor ishaya developed the “light blade” laser system. The light blade can focus the laser beam on a point on the UAV or balloon, and cut the target through concentrated high-energy rapid combustion, which can destroy the aerial UAV and other less complex aerial threats. It is understood that the light blade uses an eye safe laser, which has long been used locally to cut the plastic of greenhouse windows.
“When most high-energy laser defense systems work, they need to clear the airspace within a few kilometers so that the laser will not accidentally blind anyone. Our system can operate at a lower frequency, which makes it safe for the urban environment. Even if the airport fully covers our system, it fully meets the safety standards.” Professor ishaya said in a statement.
Recently, when the light blade system is paired with the supervisir threat detection system of Elbit, the Israeli defense electronics company, the light blade system performs well. Professor ishaya said: “we succeeded in shooting down all objects within the range of our firepower.” At present, Professor ishaya and his colleagues are exploring the possibility of applying this technology to UAVs, which will involve enhancing tracking system and laser power.