Emerging Tech

Watch the fearsome DroneHunter X3 pluck rogue UAVs out of the sky

We love drones. But, just like plenty of other good things, irresponsible drone use can cause no end of problems. The latest reminder of this took place recently when a DJI Phantom was illegally flown over Fenway Park during a Red Sox-Blue Jays game — much to the chagrin of the Federal Aviation Administration.

A number of proposals have been put forward to help battle these unwanted UAVs, ranging from using birds of prey to pluck them out of the sky to obliterating them with anti-drone laser cannons. The latest piece of tech to add to this collection? The debut of the DroneHunter X3, a new autonomous anti-drone technology which promises to outrun, outlast and outmaneuver any other quadcopter on the market. This drone-based security system will track down enemy drones and capture them using a net, before safely towing them away for analysis.

To date, Fortem Technology’s DroneHunter drones have flown more than 7,600 missions and racked up more than 3,100 successful “kills,” leading the industry by a wide margin with an over 85% successful “kill rate.” DroneHunter X3 improves on its predecessor DroneHunters by being between two to three times faster. To show off its skills, it was recently put through its paces at the fourth annual Aerospace Day On The Hill. Flying at the impressive Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City as part of a Hollywood blockbuster-style demonstration, the DroneHunter captured 11 out of 11 “enemy” drones.

In doing so, it showcased how the technology could be used to protect venues like airports, government buildings, borders and more against potentially malicious drones. Fortem’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Adam Robertson, was present at the event with Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox as well as Director of Aeronautics for the State of Utah Jared Esselman to discuss the future of urban air mobility.

“This DroneHunter X3 will be available to customers for implementation summer of 2019,” CEO Timothy Bean told Digital Trends. “Currently, it is being field tested at a number of commercial and [Department of Defense] customer sites.”

Although drones are likely to remain a problem, technology such as this shows just how far the tools needed to counter these threats have advanced in recent years. (Not to mention the cool air show that onlookers at the Utah event were treated to!)

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Emerging Tech – Digital Trends