New Rifle Shoots Drones Out of the Sky Without Firing a Single Bullet


The DroneDefender rifle by Battelle is “a lightweight easy-to-use non-kinetic solution to defend airspace against UAS without compromising safety or risking collateral damage” according to Battelle Innovations latest video. Drones can be a lot of fun, but they can be easily abused and used to violate the privacy or safety of others. This novel invention allows people protection without the hazard and legal complication of firing projectile based weapons skyward.


  1. avatar rc says:

    That doesn’t look nearly as fun as blasting one with a shotgun.

    1. avatar Rich K. says:

      …but far less likely to land you in court. I was watching something on the news not all that long ago where someone was successfully prosecuted for shooting a drone out of the air over his property. IIRC, the charge was malicious destruction of property, and the libtard judge said that the guy had no more right to defend his privacy in that manner than if a private airplane flew overhead taking aerial photos.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        OMG. Where are the pods that hatch these judges?

        1. avatar Ralph says:


      2. avatar 16V says:

        My motivator for change is pretty straightforward. Drones with YT live feeds 20 feet over the pool of every Judge and Senator. Specializing in the ones with attractive wives/daughters/grand daughters. This will end very quickly.

        1. avatar De Facto says:

          They will cite armed drones and the danger they pose to elected officials as justification for their private security shooting them down. Then they’ll run a law through congress that carves out a nice exemption for themselves and call it a day.

          A law for thee, not for me.

      3. avatar Hannibal says:

        Should have demanded a jury trial.

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      And since it operates by interfering with the radio signal, it’s also just about as ilegal as blasting one out of the sky with a shotgun too, so might as well have fun at least. They need to make a laser version (governed by the FDA instead of the FCC so it isn’t illegal if it causes interference).

      1. avatar 16V says:

        It’ll only be illegal for us. The gov and it’s henchmen? Entitled to every protection.

        All joking aside, I’ve “read stories” about how easy it is to roll your own out of rather common electronics. I’d never test it, since that would be “illegal”, but the theory of operation is 100% proven. Just sayin’…

      2. avatar B says:

        A drone has to accept interference, even ones that cause undesired operation according to FCC part. Would a ham license cover you on this? Doesn’t seem like you’d even need one considering there is a dude transmitting from his van on the same frequency.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          If one were to build such a transmitter, and pick the right freq that throws a harmonic in the desired band to interfere, one might be able to claim “accident”. Very short range and a boatload of wattage, maybe. Would the FCC nod and wink? They have no sense of humor.

  2. avatar Farmer Tyler says:

    Just read today that the Federal DOT is going to require drones to be registered.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Just heard this on the news.
      Good grief.

      1. avatar Forrest M says:

        As an RC enthusiast this is a bit worrisome. For years and years the AMA was able to keep us legal, but now all these idiots are going to ruin it. The worst part is that it was RC hobbyists who pioneered the original chip designs that made these plug and play quadcopters a possiblity.

    2. avatar Rich K. says:

      Drones can be 3D printed now, just like guns. Going to register THOSE? I don’t think so…

      1. avatar Forrest M says:

        You don’t have to 3d print one. All you need is a frame to mount some motors to and the electronics. You could literally build one out of a sheet of plywood if you really wanted to.

    3. avatar JSJ says:

      DOT Registration? In that case I call dibs on the “I CU2” vanity plates.

  3. avatar Geoff PR says:


    I can go drone poaching and snag me some drones to sell on eBay!


  4. avatar Phil LA says:

    Now: design one that will change the channel.

  5. avatar Lurker_of_lurkiness says:

    I’m sure the fcc is totes okay with this!

    Seriously I’m worried all this “drone” crap will ruin it for rc hobbyist. The term “Drone” is the “assault weapon” of the hobby world!

    1. avatar 16V says:

      From cell phone jammers, to encoded transmissions, to cell phone tower emulators, there is one set of laws for us, and a different set for those who are to serve us.

      By “serve” I mean that Twilight Zone – S03E24.

    2. avatar Ben says:

      Exactly how I foresaw this developing. There was a time people broke the rules less frequently. There was a time a person who was into r/c flying would join the AMA and follow the rules mostly. Now we are at a point we need to make new laws and regulations and further expand the influence of bureaucracy.

      Way to go a-holes!

      1. avatar 16V says:

        When r/c was the province of middle-class and beyond folks with a technical bent, of course it was generally very civilized.

        Once every wahoo, perv, or pap could buy one for essentially chump change and a chimp could operate it? Everyone had to see this coming.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Tell me about it.

          Flying R/C helicopters was expensive back in the 70’s, and you could count on a few costly crashes until you got the hang of flying them.

          These damn things auto hover, where’s the skill there?

  6. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    COOL! But what does this have to do with “guns”? Yeah I’d like to see a specialty shotgun/drone hunter gun…

  7. avatar Stacy says:

    Quibble: if it doesn’t shoot a projectile out of a rifled barrel, it’s not a “rifle”. If it doesn’t shoot any kind of projectile at all, it’s not a “gun”.

    What’s really interesting about this thing is that it works by exploiting a known vulnerability in certain drones, as opposed to using jamming or EMP. So the opening scenes of Battlestar Galactica just went from science fiction to science fact. On the other hand, it can’t be too hard to harden drones against this kind of hacking, so the real-world effectiveness is quite limited.

  8. avatar Bill Kohnke says:

    Where’s the ‘KABOOM’? There’s supposed to be a ‘KABOOM’ (heavy panting).

  9. avatar jwm says:

    I still think a Bofors gun in the 40mm range is best for drones.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      40 MM on a quad mount.

  10. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    So are they using an EMP or what to take it down?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      It may involve flooding the drone’s receiver with so much RF that the drone loses ‘lock’ with the transmitter and goes into an auto-land mode.

  11. avatar Charles Ray says:

    Nice visual with the fat assed jackboot “protecting and serving” the public. In real life, he’d probably “asset forfeiture” the drone personally, so he could spy on his neighbor’s 9 year old daughter.

  12. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

    Hillary can tie this in with her gun grab. Her’s the deal. You get accused of a crime that threatens society (like an ex reporting you for battery, or you joined the NRA or you defended your life/property). Your taken to a clinic where they snip the nerves that control your heartbeat and put in a pacemaker with an RC signal. Later you are once again reported as a threat to society (by an angry ex, neighbor or a mentally unstable person perhaps) the local police show up, point the ray gun at you and slow your heart to a point where you are no longer a threat but most likely will not die. You are then taken away for redeeming. Who needs guns in today’s world? Who needs trials? Who needs freedom?

    1. avatar 16V says:

      This is not only realistically possible with off-the-shelf tech, something like it will very likely happen in the near-ish future. Somewhere, though likely not here first. NK, UK, somewhere like that.

    2. avatar B says:

      Baby’s implanted with heart control chips. Hit 30, bam, red light. Saw a documentary on it once. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but I think Santa came and rescued them with the Constitution.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        You’re probably thinking of a 70’s movie named ‘Logan’s Run’.

        You get to a certain age and an implanted crystal turns red and you head to a coliseum to be killed.

  13. avatar Jim Barrett says:

    Based on the bullet points in the slide show, it looks like this device projects a strong jamming signal to overpower the RF connection the user has to the drone. A few problems with it as a practical weapon. First of all as previously stated, the FCC is going to have some issues with this as you are blasting powerful RF energy on certain radio bands, If as stated, it is capable of hitting on the GSM band, that is likely to be a no no as you are effectively operating an unlicensed radio station. Plus it will play havoc with local cell phone users.

    The second problem is that these drones are easily programmed to return to a pre-set location upon losing their RF comnection, so the ability to capture a drone may be an issue. Along with this, drones can be programmed to fly a pre-programmed pattern without base station control, so camera runs would still be possible.

    A directed EMP would be far more effective, but that creates it’s own set of problems and at the moment is largely still in the realm of fiction.

    1. avatar Lurker_of_lurkiness says:

      Depends if it can jam gps, then forget about returning to a preset location!

    2. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

      “… the FCC is going to have some issues with this as you are blasting powerful RF energy on certain radio bands…”

      One thing here, though: this will be a “directed” (point-to-point) transmission; not a “broadcast” (wide area) transmission.

  14. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The Drone Defender rifle by Mattel….at Toys R Us.

  15. avatar Kendahl says:

    The sales video shows the security guards forcing the drone down. If the device simply jams the operator’s signals I would expect the drone to crash or to revert to some kind of default programming. Perhaps the default programming is a gentle landing and the guard just has to keep the drone in the beam. However it works, I can see it being used at sensitive facilities but not legal for private companies.

    High resolution aerial reconnaissance is nothing new. A friend who was in the air force when the national guard still flew P-51s told me about a greatly enlarged photo of an attractive woman sunbathing nude. He said it was sharp enough to resolve individual hairs.

    1. avatar CCDWGuy says:

      Being a drone owner, my guess is it interrupts the signal from the owners transmitter making the drone think it is out of range and then allows the person with the device to take ownership of the drone putting it down. In TTAG world it would be like a “smart gun”, being taken over by law enforcement or the ATF not allowing it to be fired.

  16. One wonders about the effectiveness against, say, a Predator, though…

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “One wonders about the effectiveness against, say, a Predator, though…”

      It would have *zero* effect on a Predator for several reasons.

      Predator gets its communication link from a constellation of DOD satellites above it, it doesn’t ‘listen’ for a control signal below it.

      That link is encrypted as well.

  17. avatar CCDWGuy says:

    Here’s a link to the “Drone Registration” article. Just figure this out. How many drones are out there and are the owners going to be required to register them??? Duh, not likely, grandfathered like ‘high capacity magazines” in some states. What about drones that can’t fly more than 5 minutes and not more than a couple hundred feet from the transmitter. Going to license people who fly RC planes. What a crock of crap and another government agency is going to be created.
    Also there are build meetings all over that help you build your own drone from kits, ATF going to go after them?

    1. avatar pat says:

      Figured someone posted about this before me. This has very real implications for gun owners. Given the large quantity of drone and RC aircraft out there, it’s entirely reasonable to expect that the successful implimentation of a national drone registry will be used as a model to impliment a national gun registry. The NRA should therefore fight this regulation.

      On the bright side, if this new regulation turns into a colossal failure then that hopefully will kill talk of a gun registery forever.

  18. avatar Ed says:

    An aircraft has to stay so far above the ground. I thought it was 500 feet. So, comparing a drone to an overhead aircraft is not exactly a good comparison for a judge to use.

      1. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

        You beat me to it….Thanks!

        It’s more than obvious that this judge couldn’t “buy a clue” with a Cashier’s Check from Publisher’s House!

        It’s well known that a person owns the airspace over his/her own property up to the level “owned” by the FAA.

        Flying a drone over a person’s property below the FAA’s airspace without the effective consent of the property owner is a trespass committed by the drone’s operator, just as much as if the operator had trod the earth’s surface with his own feet.

        Hmmm: I suddenly see a market for a “No Trespassing” sign mounted on a pole set in the middle of the owner’s property…with the signage visible only to airborne trespassers. 🙂

        1. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:


          Hey, You! Get off of My Cloud!

          “Today, the federal government considers the area above 500 feet to be navigable airspace in uncongested areas.”

        2. avatar VTAero says:

          It is against FAA regs to fly below 500′ over land or within 500′ of any other person, vehicle, or structure with a few exceptions (formation flying, approach to landing, etc.). But that does not mean you have property rights below that altitude. It is an area of law that is still developing and will probably be spurred along by the widespread use of aircraft not really covered by FAA regs. This slate article has a pretty good summary of how the case law stands:

    1. avatar Rich K. says:

      Remember that “logic” NEVER enters into any liberal’s decision making, only what “feels good” at the time. Issues such as privacy rights, free speech, etc. only apply when the “victim” is also a liberal. That’s the sad state of our country right now, folks, and will remain so until we get enough real conservatives in office (and NOT RINOs like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie) to make a difference.

  19. avatar explainist says:

    It is made by Battele. if that does not tell you what you need to know, you are way behind.

    The Powerpoint says a 30 degree beamwidth. these frequencies do not broadcast, they are point to point. it will not interfere with cell phones

    DoD research facilities are typically miles from the nearest small obscure town. cell phones don’t work where I work. FCC rules are more of a guideline than a law on DoD research facilities. DoD is the primary user of many UHF and higher frequencies, and they can set aside FCC regs for their own needs. 70 CM & 33 CM ham bands are verboten near White Sands Missile Range, because the commander decrees the militaries needs are greater.

  20. avatar rlc2 says:

    10 sec of GoogleFu:

    Apparently its not against the law to build it, only to use it…
    I look forward to the coming arms race in 3D printing, for DIY drones and drone defense…

  21. avatar BDub says:

    No mention of range. Skeptical drone enthusiasts remain skeptical

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