Drones that outfly Police helicopters

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Message posted by Smythers (Member since 01/10/2010) on August 21, 2021 at 16:13:11 PST:

Had some down time, and saw that the aviation pages are ablaze with worries about drones over US DoD installations yet again. So in the spirit of fairness, I am going to leave a little piece here, because frankly it annoyed me that the 'analysts' are all spooked and thinking it is 'enemy forces' or 'drug barons'.

We first need to go back in time to 1973/74. Raytheon and NASA, in two separate efforts, developed what is known as 'Power Beaming' - the sending of electrical energies from a transmitter to a receiver across long distances (wirelessly) in order to recharge the receiving article in question.

This was a major milestone, and one that spurred on a plethora of efforts to refine the technology. And refine it they did.

(Hint: Groom Lake watchers have already seen photos of the first wireless array, they just don't know what they were looking at.)

So how does this relate to the drones that escape the Police? Well, we have gone from the days of old where we had radio waves and other exposure risky efforts (microwaves, X-band radars), to recent years & PTOL - Power Transmitted Over Laser. Yes, laser energy sent directly at a UAS or even an UUV. Eye safe, extremely effective, and all five branches of the DoD estate are onboard with it.

A UAV fitted with adapted photovoltaic cells tuned ONLY for said laser frequencies (An adapted cell tuned for a single frequency would have a much higher energy conversion rate that a general visible light panel) would not need a conventional motor, could be as near to silent as it could possibly get, and very aggressive signature management would make it all but impossible to track on conventional airborne IR systems. No engine, no exhaust, small target.

Now, considering the above, and also seeing how Northrop Grumman are streaking ahead with airborne laser nodes for uplink/downlink on high performance aircraft, could it not be far more feasible that the technology developed in the black is slowly making its way to the white world? Is it not more likely that some naughty naughty misfits have lasers powering their drones to give them almost limitless flight time?

I would wager a pretty dollar that this is just the case. I would also wager that when the two Police helo were airborne, the flight asset had handlers orbiting the AOO at 30K, which would then answer how the drone could stay out of visual for so long and evade so expertly. It was not some toy, it was a test of a very serious piece of DoD kit.


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