Say Hello to SkyWall, the Anti-Drone Net Cannon System

British tech firm OpenWorks is showing off the latest in anti-drone small arms: SkyWall system. Part smart rifle, part net cannon, SkyWall targets and tracks drones and brings them down intact and unharmed.

As drone technology becomes more available and affordable, more people are finding ways to take advantage of small, short-range personal drones. In the wrong hands quadcopters and unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs have been used to commit crimes, invade privacy and smuggle contraband. And the potential to deliver ordnance remotely has huge terrorism implications worldwide.

In recent months the anti-drone arms race has taken off and we’ve seen dogfighting drones in the skies over Japan and trained drone-hunting eagles in flight in the Netherlands. Now, out of England, we’re seeing the first commercial surface-to-air anti-drone net cannon.

Other counter-drone measures depend on other technologies like high-energy laser weapons and focused electronic jamming systems. The SkyWall system was designed from the get-go to be cheaper and easier to use than earlier anti-drone devices.

skywall 2OpenWorks hopes to put their first system, the SkyWall100, into service protecting public and private security. It’s man-portable at 22 pounds, designed for a single user. The first unit has a 100-meter range and can track and take down any drones within line of sight.

The company has plans for three SkyWall systems, the SkyWall100, SkyWall200 and SkyWall300. The 200-series is a fixed unit on a pintle mount for prolonged use at venues like concerts, speeches and sporting events. The 300-series is a fixed, weatherproof turret for permanent emplacements.

All use the same basic launcher and tracking system although the 300-series has a longer effective range

OpenWorks has also developed several different types of projectiles and all are reusable. Their flagship net unit is the SP40. The SP40 bundles a parachute with the net unit that deploys after capturing a target to bring it safely to the ground. This is especially important when using the SkyWall system at public events where bystanders could be hurt. It also minimizes the risk of damage to the drone which could have other legal consequences.

SEE ALSO: KENTUCKY MAN ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING DOWN DRONE ‘SPYING’ ON YOUNG GIRLS

The basic projectile is the SP10, a low-cost net-only round. They also have a unit with electronic countermeasures, the SP80 as well as a training round, the SP01.

“OpenWorks Engineering believes that security enforcement authorities need a cost-effective and proportionate way of protecting the public and high profile individuals and we wanted to put a system on the market that offered just that,” said Managing Director Chris Down.

“Authorities around the world have been looking for a system like this and we are proud to continue the tradition of British innovation in the security industry.”

OdinWorks expects to have SkyWall systems in use by Q4 2016. The new battle for control over the small skies is just heating up.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Karl Sadvari September 9, 2016, 12:38 pm

    I think that man should be judged Not Guilty for shooting that damned thing down. If a criminal threatened him or his family would he be charged with illegal discharge of a firearm for defending himself and his family? The FAA laws restricting the use of drones only applies to Commercial use of drones and restricts the maximum altitude and also states that they cannot be flown over ‘non participating people and in certain cases where. For instance, they can’t be flown near airports. In this instance the man should look to his states privacy laws for recourse. In Pennsylvania no one has the right to film you without your consent. In California security cameras may not be placed so as to invade another person’s privacy…such as to be aimed at someone else’s backyard or bedroom window…anywhere that a person can expect privacy. His lawyer should look to existing statutes that show the drone owners to be in violation. Here in California there was an incident of a drone owner using his to get footage of a wildfire.In cases like this, the firefighting helicopters withdraw from the area for safety reasons and with them gone, the hotshot crews need to withdraw for their safety. So now a state legislator wants to draw up more laws that we don’t need anymore than we need more gun laws. Enforce the laws already on the books. In the wildfire case, its already against the law to interfere with emergency personel in the course of their duty. Add risking a catastrophy. Maybe even attempted manslaughter. As for that Kentuckian defending his family and privacy…I’ll bet his lawyer can find 5 or 6 existing laws violated by those droners. I’ll bet the arresting officer wouldn’t be happy about an unidentified drone filming his house.

  • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 16, 2016, 6:33 pm

    Well, the FAA laws are in. You can’t fly it over other people’s property or close enough to spy on them. I didn’t read it exactly yet, But one hovering around your home over your land close enough to see whose doing what on your otherwise privacy enclosed deck amounts to a charge similar to a peeping tom walking through your bushes, whom you can call the police upon after you ‘defend’ yourself from the intrusion by physical confrontation, if necessary. So if you yell at the drone to get the fuck away, and they don’t respond, obviously they must then be up to some no good like trying to harm you physically as well, you in fear of your life and property, you shot it down safely with birdshot which was in the air and safely fell to earth afterward with the drone.

    But HARKEN!!!! As a tactical solution professional, While writing this i just thought of the solution!

    You can add your own drone to your home security system! Just have it close by and always ready and launch your drone toward the intruding one and slam it out of the air! If you dive bomb it from above, full speed, you can knock it right out of the air. Yours will go down with it, but you make the owner pay for yours f they don’t want you to file criminal damage to property among any privacy invasion or other charges you can find, f because you were merely recreationally flying your own drone over your property when this intruder intentionally recklessly CRAShed his tresspassing drone into yours!

    Ahhhh, now i don’t feel so guilty about all that money i made for solving ‘security’ problems. I was truly good at finding solutions!

  • MeeesterPaul July 15, 2016, 7:13 am

    How about inflating a balloon instead of using a parachute. Then you could enjoy the drone owners tears as they see their drone go away.

  • Pro2AGuy March 21, 2016, 8:45 pm

    I’ll stick with projectiles ranging from air to ballistic in nature depending on the threat.

  • Larry Koehn March 19, 2016, 4:41 pm

    Does this thing include a radar setup? Predator drones fly around 20,000 feet and Global Hawks around 50,000 feet so they are a little hard to hear and see from the ground. This idea sounds like what you need to capture the neighbor kids drone at 100 feet. A 12 gauge is more fun, cheaper, and can be used for other things.

  • we c March 18, 2016, 12:40 pm

    This is exactly what law abiding citizens need to take out the constitutional destroying spying d@CKs, but until you experience the sheer joy of taking a drone down with a steelie and wrist rocket, you haven’t really felt like a patriot.

  • Shah Muhammad II of Khwarazmia (1200-1220AD) March 18, 2016, 10:30 am

    When will this be in Walmart on sale for less than $100,000?

    When they hit the $25K mark, I will buy one and go into the ‘drone extermination’ business. (Who you going to call? DRONE BUSTERS!)

    • Wally Bishop March 18, 2016, 4:32 pm

      Just another great government idea – A $100,000 brain fart to take care of a $50. drone ==wb==

  • Walter davis March 18, 2016, 8:37 am

    For personal use how about a pellet gun? And if the owner come up and says you broke it… Punch them in the face! I really don’t think some jerk niebors is going to claim the wreck after spying on you and if if is a gov. Droneyou have bigger problems

    • joe March 18, 2016, 1:02 pm

      That already happened.. and the guy did not even punched the drone operator and still he was the one penalized and fined, not the operator that was spying on his daughter. Laws here penalized the law abiding citizens, not the criminals. Criminals generate money for the justice system from your pockets, not the criminal’s.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 16, 2016, 6:18 pm

        Yeah, this is super but until i hit the lottery, I’ll have to stick to the shotgun. But I’m sure some bright gear head nerd will come up with something more affordable and just as good. The slingshot idea is good but takes too much practice. I know there’s a new air rifle out there that shoots a shotgun type round which should be perfect for urban victims of dangerous 4th/ A violating drone intrusions???

        I’m also thinking a little more…um…’effective version of a soft-air gun, like maybe a full auto version with higher power like around 600fps would be legal to shoot up in the air because it wouldn’t drop plastic 6mm pellets down to earth as hard as even a ping pong ball?

        C’mon you inventers out there. I’ll buy the first ones!!

  • Nicholas Hancock March 18, 2016, 7:56 am

    And then when you retrieve the Drone it explodes, I’m just saying the IRA was doing that back in the seventies.

    • Reinhard March 18, 2016, 1:02 pm

      Once the drone is down, how about shooting it with a standard bullet or shot and see if it explodes. One would need sufficient space to do that safely, however. If I took down a drone over my property I wouldn’t care what happened to it physically.

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