U.S. Navy looking to protect drones from laser cannons

Remember that big scary laser the Navy showed off a few weeks ago? Well, not that ray guns and cannons are looking like they could be a real thing, the Navy wants to figure out how to guard against 'em.

The Navy refers to them as DEWs, or Directed Energy Weapons, and it's an emerging technology that could, one day, change the nature of warfare as laser weapons don't run out of ammunition in a traditional sense, and can attack a target with a great deal of accuracy.

So, how do you protect against a threat like that? Right now, the threat that lasers pose is that they could pinpoint the electrical systems on a target, from a spy drone's cameras to a bomb's guidance systems. To counteract this, the Navy is awarding contracts to companies such as Texas' Nanohmics, Inc., which is developing an early warning system that would detect laser weapons and have a drone take evasive action.

There's also plans in the works to shield components from laser hits using absorbent coatings. This would work well against low-energy weapons designed to screw up electronics, but may not guard against a high-powered cannon looking to destroy a target outright.

Here's a video of a drone taking it from a laser, in case you missed it.

Danger Lab, via Engadget

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