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Propeller Sensor Mod for Drone Killer

Sees rotation, not heat
  [vote for,

This is a grenade munition launched by rifle that can visually steer toward the optical behaviors of rotation. When we see vids of drones and the odd variation in quad propeller rotation due to operator inputs for steering and power, it looks like that gross optical cue would be easy to separate from background and avian clutter. [As easy as face recognition?] Firing a special round in an M203 at the drone would be much more effective if the round had a little help at the very end of its flight.The current most successful method is using an expensive 20 or 30mm radar-aimed shell from a heavy, expensive IFV that might not be where it is needed. Or AA. Total overkill. Or just rifle. Total underkill. In addition the sensor is to be used in a simple proximity mode (sources of rotation getting further apart) to ignite the charge and spray the target cone with shrapnel. Nominally 40mm, the propellant charge would be much lower than standard, leaving plenty of internal volume for sensor and simple controls, as well as a healthy load of small, tiny shards.
minoradjustments, May 09 2023

Flechette - see notes on rocket & artillery use https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flechette
Small flechettes were used in special artillery shells ... fired and set off by a mechanical time fuse, scattering flechettes in an expanding cone [a1, May 10 2023]

Taking down robot animals https://www.playsta.../horizon-zero-dawn/
If you believe video games, the best way is a long-bow & fancy arrows [neutrinos_shadow, May 12 2023]

Non-nuclear EMP weapon https://en.wikipedi...mpression_generator
[a1, May 12 2023]


       Could be avoided by putting a grid of vanes below the propellers but that would add weight and reduce efficiency so [+]. Clever.
doctorremulac3, May 09 2023

       It doesn't take much to bring down even a large hex- or octocopter, and I'm sure the operators have concocted some bob-and-weave tactics, so just a minor adjustment at terminal flight could make a difference. The small dji observation drones are the hardest to hit. IFV-mounted radar counter-drone systems brag about better than 90% hits within their long range. If you could get 15 or 20% hits each from 6-10 riflemen (not carrying any additional kit!) on a single target, that translates to high efficiency rivaling the best IFV scores and tons of drones shot down at the most critical time and place where they need to be destroyed. A rifle grenade solution at the squad level (probably not this one) will be a powerful counter measure. Can't wait to see.
minoradjustments, May 09 2023

       Might be good for current drones, but my guess is in the future the drone self defense will be quantity, a swarm of ten thousand drones is gonna need AI targeting I think.   

       Maybe they swarm in at ground level, hugging vertical surfaces and stuff so you can't just blow them out of the sky with one big airburst.
doctorremulac3, May 09 2023

       Localized EMP rounds?   

       Crop-duster drone (large) spraying a coagulating pair (or whatever) of chemicals. Light-weight rotors + mucus = no fly.
neutrinos_shadow, May 10 2023

       // spray the target cone with shrapnel. … a healthy load of small, tiny shards. //   

       Flechettes (link) would be effective.
a1, May 10 2023

       Or perhaps string/twine/synthetic stringy materials (Kevlar?) that would foul the prop(s) upon contact and resist cutting.
whatrock, May 10 2023

       I agree, [whatrock] - then after entangling the props, winch the lines back to bring the hunter drone into contact with its prey, using differential torque to attain the proper orientation and then deploy a small
* spray nozzle to paint over the victim's optics
* drill to attack the victim's fuselage
* soldering iron to muck up the victim's electronics
(choose or invent)

The more this ends up looking like a pair of crazed insects in a death match, the better I like it.
lurch, May 10 2023

       @—2 fries shy of a happy meal I really like this idea. Is a powerful enough pulse of EM possible from a 40mm grenade? I don't have the science to tell, but this would eliminate weight, maximize steering, increase power, range, etc. I think an explosion could be used to power the EM projector, but can it be focused? Does this type of weapon even need fine maneuvering at terminal flight? @-lurch The EMP 'battle' would end up looking less like a pair of crazed insect and much more like RAID sprayed on the loser. I prefer the crazed insect thing cinematically but I'm going for the certain victory of a democratic society over poor technology and authoritarianism. Let's do the crazed insect thing as a non-war project, own plans.Found this primer of Ukranian drone munitions: https://youtu.be/NjsemcB7I9o
minoradjustments, May 11 2023

       I've given it a bit of thought.   

       When I saw the crowds of citizens in hang-kang all focusing lazer painters at dranes and fragging their aptics... I wondered ...what else fucks them up. Same with them robohounds.   

       I'm used to dealing with real critters. Robo-critters is a whole new frontier.   

       Don't much dig it.   

       // Is a powerful enough pulse of EM possible from a 40mm grenade? //   

       [minoradjustments] See link for a non-nuclear EMP weapon.
a1, May 12 2023

       @ A1: Thanks for the link. Anything that includes an "explosively pumped flux compression generator" is tops in my book. Looks possible on a rifle grenade.
minoradjustments, May 14 2023

       Maybe. But I think the extant versions are larger than you have in mind. You might be better off with a truck / tank mounted directional EMP generator.   

       Don’t call it a weapon though, as it gets the non-proliferation folks nervous. I meant to build one a few years ago and still have most of the parts in my garage, but some of the parts I needed were on backorder.
a1, May 14 2023


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