The Mobile Force Protection Unit is Darpa’s new drone killer. (Source: DARPA)

Streamers to Bring Down Drones Prove to Be Far Safer Than Lasers in Protecting U.S. Military Installations

Have you had your privacy invaded by a neighbors drone? Or someone else drone? Imagine one from a foreign enemy. DARPA, the United States’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has detected unknown or unapproved drones and has acted. Andrew Liszewski, writing for explains a new program developed to combat drones without trying to shoot them out of the sky with a rifle.

As drones become faster, smarter, and capable of carrying larger payloads across longer distances, they pose a threat if leveraged as a weapon. Accordingly, Militaries have been developing anti-drone countermeasures to knock them out of the sky, including a novel new approach that blasts them with streamers.

Taking careful aim and blasting a drone out of the sky with a rifle isn’t impossible, but it’s not easy, and it’s not reliable. So the militaries of the world have been investing in developing counter-drone technology as much as they have for developing drone technology. They’ve come up with solutions including everything from grenades that explosively release nets when in range of one, to long-range lasers that can intelligently track and zap drones long before they’re close enough to become a viable threat.

But as Core77 points out, DARPA has been seemingly inspired to develop an alternate way to neutralize drones based on a video from a few years ago showing a camera drone crashing to the ground at a music festival after crossing paths with a confetti streamer cannon.

Yes, streamers. Far more effective and far safer than almost anything else people have come up with. You can catch a demonstration in the video below.

The effectiveness of the drone killer is only surpassed by the cost of the project, which as yet has not been released to the public.

Instead of lasers, or bullets, or nets, the latest approach to neutralizing the threat is to blast a wad of stringy, but strong streamer-like material, that spreads out as it travels through the air, increasing the chance of at least one strand of the material getting wrapped around a drone’s propeller blade and bringing it to a stop, and in turn the entire craft.