DARPA's Latest Defense Weapon Knocks Drones Out of the Sky Using Advanced... Confetti Streamers?

DARPA's Latest Defense Weapon Knocks Drones Out of the Sky Using Advanced... Confetti Streamers?


The future is some soaking wet poor fool of a pfc sitting in a muddy foxhole eating a franks and beans MRE with party streamers falling out of the sky on him




If you have pound cake I have franks and beans


I've got a spice cake in a can... should still be good, it's only 20 years old.


Hell no, I'm not steve1989


I love his channel, he's a gem


I actually started buying MRE again from a local Army Supply place because of his channel


I mentioned I watched his episode on the Vietnam era Ham and Lima Beans MRE to my veteran boss, and he got so mad just for saying "Ham and Lima Beans" he almost kicked me out. Gave the man a PTSD flashback just by mentioning a ration, so it must have been horrible.


If someone said "creamy spinach fettuccine" to me I'd probably have to fight them.


Words can’t describe how bad that shit was, thinking about it makes me puke, thanks for the bad memories


Want to buy a veggie omelet one?


No thank you. I have had the "vomlette" before.


Oh fuck, anything but that. “What am I having for dinner” SPC Infinitee asked himself, opening his MRE. “Oh, cool. Sleep”


Let’s get this out on a tray. Nice!






Let's get this comment out on a tray


Nice Hiss!


"Not bad, kinda dry"


I gotta be honest, I'm kinda afraid to open it at this point but it makes a hell of a door stop.


Probobly the best use for it at this point


I’ll trade for jalapeño cheese spread


If you got jalapeño cheese spread I got skittles


Taste the rainbow


Taste the rainbow on Uncle Sam’s all-inclusive beach vacations where you never get to see the water


What can I get for a veggie omlette? Anyone? Please.


Sorry bro, you’re gonna have to throw a can of dip or some smokes in with that to trade here


Steve1989 of mreinfo has entered the chat


Let’s get this out onto a tray


Nice hiss


Nice, mmmkay


Only a bit of mold, not bad.


Naw I’ll keep my jalapeño cheese. Keep your wiener and beans.


Franks and Beans!


Chili mac with the jalapeño cheese packet mixed in. That’s the MRE you’d want.


This guy MREs


MREs aren’t half bad, way better than school lunches... so long as it wasn’t the omelette...


There's always that one freak in the platoon that loves the veggie omelette. Can't get enough. He's also usually the same guy who runs a 2 mile in under 10 minutes, smokes like a chimney, and can't seem to stop getting busted with prostitutes.


My god. We had this exact guy.


Fuck me we did too!? How the fuck does that happen!?!


It’s the same guy


He's the don of the E4 mafia.


"There's always one"


I loved the veggie omelette. Once heated up it was a banger.


What was your 2mi time?


Fuck that, I wanna know his prostitute time




It had the hands down best sides so if you were any good at trading, you could almost always end with a better combo than the best MRE


Our platoon in basic had two guys get kicked out because one sold the M&M's in his MRE to the other for $20. I guess until consumed it's still government property, and it's a felony to sell government property.




Shit now or shit later, the mres got you covered. First 48: no shitting allowed. Next 48: shitting apparently mission critical


Case A, menu 4. Fuck that thing to hell and back


So the future is Fortnite?


War. War never changes. *Zips up banana suit*


Damn the fucking military can do Gender reveal parties safer then the public can.


Oh shit did the new Gender just drop?


Laughed out loud on this one.


prior to that, the training for those weapons is going to require that same soldier pick all that fucking confetti off the field when they're done so the next training unit can use it. christ that's gonna suck


Hey, at least it's not the veggie omelette.




That’s make his day the streamers fall down right after his buddy next to him gets shwacked. Cue credits.


He eating beans!


To be frank that’s all I wanted out of my time in. Apparently it was too much to ask till now.


Streamers of Victory!


Its it out on a tray?


You just made me cry-laugh and now I can’t breathe.


This comment wins Reddit for the day


Frank’s and beans??? Where do I sign?!


“I do not know what World War 3 will be fought with, but I know World War 4 will be fought with Confetti and Silly String” - Sun Tzu, 1885


"Fun" fact: we already use silly string in a militaristic fashion. It's used to detect trip wires without setting them off.


Another “fun” fact: confetti were used as early as WW2, and still used to this day, as radar countermeasures.


Yeah, chaffs are basically like confetti. Bunch of shredded aluminum confetti


Or metallized Mylar, that way it stays floating for longer.


I wonder when the full switch over happened. I know it used to be aluminum, do we have like, a chaffe expert here?


Some time between 1955, when Mylar was developed and 1964, when NASA launched a metallized Mylar ballon is my best guess.


Wow that would be relatively recent considering how long chaff has been in use


oh... in a video game they worked against old surveilance cameras.. is that possible? (metal gear solid)


Possible. If the camera is IR and the confetti is made from IR reflective materials, it can possibly blind the camera yea. But why do that when you can just shine an IR flashlight straight into the lens. If it’s a visible light camera (normal camera) then … no, you’d just look silly.


Or fabulous!


Yeah reasonably certain you'd look fabulous


Well the cameras would see you throwing chaff everywhere at least


Boss, wtf are these shiny cloud things that appear here and there in the cameras? Ahh, no idea. It's been doing that since a few hours.


Simple solution: hide a couple lit candles near the trip wire so they set themselves on fire


This is literally George Owrin's 1985.


I fell like with all the advanced electronics making their way into military applications that the most power weapon in future wars is going to be a super soaker.




And the problem.


can't drink glitter water.. impossible to filterr... WtF!!?!


Here’s to glitter! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!




You reminded me of this: > To celebrate New Year’s Eve in the late 1970s, event planner Robert Isabell trucked in four tons of glitter for guests to dance on. “You felt like you were standing on stardust,” Ian Schrager later said. “People got the glitter in their hair, in their socks. You would see it in people’s homes six months later, and you knew they’d been at Studio 54 on New Year’s.”


The herpes of art supplies


They'll spend the next 100 years debating if China was about to surrender before we dropped the glitter bomb


I've always had this theory that working in a glitter factory would be the most terrible job. You'd get glitter in your car, then in your house, and soon people would stop coming over and you'd be left with only glitter friends.




Military grade glitter


Imagine how fucking expensive would be, anything military automatically adds like 7 zeroes to the end of the price.


The largest glitter purchaser in the world is presumed to be US military. https://www.google.com/amp/s/slate.com/business/2018/12/industrial-glitter-mystery.amp


Boat painting, helps with UV protection and makes it looks shiny Think skidoos and the like It's a secret because making good paint is hard so trade secrets are a big deal. Even if it's understood presumably within the industry, it's not made public by the manufacturing and purposely kept quiet Idk but that's my answer


One of the primary weapons in Chinas anti-carrier arsenal revolves around the concept of F.O.D.-ing out the flight deck. Like air-burst and rain metal chunks, survivors gotta sweep the deck before jets can launch again. Literally just littering so the enemy can't use their toys.


This is super interesting. Anywhere I can read more about this?


I cannot recall what it's called man. This is old tidbits of info likely surpassed by now, technologically.


FOD walls are still very much a thing and this could work. One little screw gets sucked into a jet engine, and you just lost a jet and a pilot likely.


That sounds like just a bomb


Smart bombs and guided missiles won't penetrate the active defense of a Nimitz-class and her battlegroup. Aiming to FOD out a large area is easier than getting a warhead through the early warning system.


Always remember, the US military is a guy firing a weapon that costs more than the guy firing it will make in a year at a guy who won't make that in his lifetime. Not after the javelins done anyway


A single cruise missile can be $1,000,000. That's a lot for a bullet. Edit: misspell


\> missal Just... *how?*


Mini EMPs


That, or a really big magnet.


As long as the planes don't start singing show tunes...


Antimatter bomb


AI driven psyops


You mean, our current reality?


It's certainly starting, but it's nothing like what it will soon become. Worst of all, I can't think of a single way to stop it.


Modern militaries hate this one trick! Make your revolution grow fifteen cells in three weeks! This primitive man is smashing computers with a club hopped up on shrooms and they can’t do a thing!


Do you want drones with razor blade propellers? 'Cause this is how you get drones with razor blade propellers.


Sadly, it PROBABLY won't work, as aerofoils/props/turbines need a thicker leading edge to generate a pressure differential and produce lift. EDIT: You can produce lift with a razor thin edge, just the fact to make an efficient blade it would require as little separation as possible.


>Sadly Caught the guy who wants that, I guess.


They don't *need* one, it will just result in less efficiency. Most consumer drones don't have a traditional aerofoil cross section, Either way it's trivial to make these streamers out of kevlar or spectra or carbon fiber. A regular sized drone won't be able to cope with chopping that into confetti.


Leading to onboard defensive systems consisting at first of spiders dedicated to the cause that can be deployed with tiny hundred-lensed pilot goggles to fling out dozens of streamer catching webs. Silk based rapid unspooling tech follows: compressed air blows a sticky adhesive onto silk strands while shooting out thousands of them to hang in the path of hazards for a few seconds before liquifying and taking them down. The final battle will be not for oil or water; rather, humans will destroy themselves fighting over silkworm and funnel web spider resources. Mulberrycoin to the moon!


I imagine the results of this warfare would resemble something similar to [Randy Marsh and the ghost](https://m.imgur.com/r/southpark/ISYACaR)


That sounds like Spider-Man with extra steps.


True. Maybe just at the root of each blade then.


That makes sense. A string caught in a prop gets drawn toward the center as it winds around, so forget a sharp leading edge on the blades and just put a snip point between each blade where theyre mounted to the shaft


Yep, there it is.


Or just put fine mesh around the propellers


Greatly reducing lift.


Shush, the 12 year old armchair engineers of Reddit will solve this.


Also opening a new vulnerability: literally just dump a load of rocks on it.


Is that not already a drone weakness?


weakness to having a load of rocks dropped on you is probably not limited to just drones either


We need to develop some technology that can fling a load of rocks through the air on to something! We could make millions!


It's funny that you say this as real military helicopters have points on their bodies designed to cut power lines or ropes if they get entangled.


If you think plastics caused environmental damage before just wait until you get a country covered in party streamers for 20 years straight.


Oh well, I guess the post-apocalyptic landscape's going to be a bit more festive than I was expecting


I used to work music festivals for a living. One time, I was walking around a large, well known event that runs until sunrise and I vividly remember thinking to myself “this must be what a post-apocalyptic shitstorm must look like” as I watched trash, discarded clothing, and...you guessed it...streamers and party decor was being blown hither and thither by the early morning wind.


I’ve seen more ground socks than I have groundscores.


“Were they all partying when the world was ending??” “No, that was the cops knocking their drones down. You know, after they shot everyone.”


TBH I'd rather have that than a bunch of undetonated munitions and craters all over the place. Probably much easier to clean up.


Undetonated munitions aren't hard to clean up, it just takes one ruthless dictator and a large prison population that your happy to reduce.


I mean, you're not wrong.... That's TERRIBLE, but you're not wrong.


The paper wouldn't be that bad for the environment, and the dyes could be biodegradable.


I feel like if it was just paper, drones would shred right through it. It also seems silly to think whatever material it is, is going to be colorful.


You could also use very thin rope made from natural fibers.


This is the US government we're talking about. The lowest bidder is going to sell them crap martial that we later discovery is cancerous.


This ain't the 60's or 80's anymore, and I suspect that not even 2000's logic applies here. This may be the US government, but this is also the military, and they'll spend a ton of money on anything.


Trust me, we might spend a ton of money on things, but 80% of the time it’s way overpriced, possibly dangerous, or damages easily.


Just need to launch a stream of old cassette and VHS tape at them. Would wind around everything. That stuff is abrasive too. Would all need to be old Rick Astley songs though


Little known fact: VCR tape can be used as an amazing diy metal polishing material-that final mirror finish can be achieved using it correctly.


It’s strong stuff! We cracked open a tape once to make a finishing line for a race. Clotheslined everyone.


> Rick Astley songs There’s more than one!?


In this application.... no.


From the comments, it’s clear that Reddit is smarter than the top engineers at DARPA. wonder why they didn’t just consult Reddit?


"..this won't work, because..." It's a prototype "...but what about...." It's a prototype "...this is stupid. Didn't they think about..." It's a prototype "...why don't they just..." ^it's ^^a ^^^prototype


If you can find a low cost method of taking out a high cost device from your enemy, that's effective assymetric warfare.


Except, drones cost nothing. This takes down 1 drone. We regularly see massive drone swarms used just for entertainment. Militaries ain't sending 1 drone.


Remind some of silly string being bought up by uncle Sam because it was a cheap Way to find trip wires


All you confetti haters...Read further. The system is designed for mobile force protection. The army doesn't like cheap drones dropping grenades on troop carriers (yes this has happened). Convoy vehicles armed with a cheap defenses for a cheap attacks makes perfect sense. Especially autonomous defenses that can be fired on the move and left to deal with the threat on their own. Another one of the stated goals is bringing down threats over a civilian area. Convoy protection in cities, etc. A falling drone and streamers is better than a shotgun blast over a crowd yes? Laser and energy weapons (radio etc) have similar problems in crowds and in populated cities. Also, lasers are not great in bad weather or near eyeballs. Even reflections can permanently blind someone. This hardware is designed to save lives and will definitely do its job, at a fraction of the cost of traditional air defenses. Remember that time the Saudis shot down a dji with a 3 million dollar patriot missile? This is undoubtedly a better solution.




Oh man those gardeners nets are a nightmare. I bought some with about a half inch hole size. The stuff catches on everything. And it’s somehow strong enough to trip me after snagging on my running shoes somehow.






Who knew the Dollar Store was an anti-drone weapon's store?


Seems like a high powered laser, as mentioned in the article, is superior in just about every way.. especially if you just mount it to a vehicle.


A powerful vehicle mounted laser would need a vehicle mounted generator system to power it. The more drones you want to shoot down, and the shorter the time you want between firing cycles, means your generator will be necessarily be bigger.


Look at the size of that launch system. You could *easily* fit a high powered, gimbaled laser and all its energy needs in place of that system. The operating cost would be an miniscule fraction of that thing.


I don’t know how familiar you are with any of the actual vehicle mounted lasers that the government is testing. Raytheon’s High Energy Laser Weapon System looks to be about the same size as this launch vehicle, and it can fire one shot, before it has to be plugged into the grid to recharge its capacitors. I’m unclear what power source you believe is machine mountable that will be able to deliver the energy density needed to destroy targets at a distance. Even if such a fuel source existed, cooling would be a nightmare. Previously the Navy has taken the lead on directed energy weapons, as nuclear energy already exists on the weapons platforms. The ability to shoot down a drone with a laser, is a good capability to develop, but as it currently stands, the ability to defend against a single drone, is not a solid solution to the threat of inexpensive guided drone bombs.


Are you talking about a laser capable of taking down a missile or a full sized aircraft...? Because obviously that takes a hell of a lot more power. We're talking about melting plastic or overheating a motor, not blowing up a missile. EDIT: This article quotes "Flores" (I don't see a reference for who that is or why they're important, so take it with a grain of salt) as saying the newer vehicle mounted system is capable of taking down dozens of drones. http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/tag/helws/


Eh, the laser based systems aren’t quite there yet, but they’re getting close. There’s a DE M-SHORAD system that they’re looking to field within the next couple of years that should have enough wattage, onboard generation capacity, and firing rate to deal with at least basic drone swarms (so like high single/low double digits). There is a lot of R&D money and manhours going into improving output and power generation in the near term. https://www.smdc.army.mil/Portals/38/Documents/Publications/Fact_Sheets/MMHEL.pdf https://www.stripes.com/news/army/fast-and-furious-army-to-test-laser-weapon-as-it-looks-to-field-rapidly-developed-system-next-year-1.673296


Or we can have a fleet of these at airports to shoot down the drones that ass holes fly near them that stop flights from leaving. Also I feel like creating and deploying large amounts of airborne confetti cannons to stop drone swarms would be drastically more cost and energy efficient


My buddy had an internship at nasa. Was in a competition where teams were tasked with developing a non-projectile way of taking drones down. They basically just blasted radio waves at it. Said the civilian drone went down like a rock when they pointed their hand held antenna at it, and the Air Force grade drone couldn't transmit video back to the operator, which is all that was needed so they won the competition.


Yea that's honestly even easier for a lot of cases. But the problem here is that they're trying to prepare for auotonmous drones that may have a simpler guidance system and don't rely on any sort of communication. Meaning like fly to 400ft, fly 2 miles NW, drop, explode.


Right. I especially question the ground range this device could cover. Seems like anything would be within even low-power laser range


Unless maybe they want to recover it intact?


Is this where all the glitter goes?


Fancy that, glitter having a military application.


The secret place that buys the most glitter.




go back to your containment board


Wow, that takes me back! I remember when it was just a containment *thread.*


Every time I see DARPA in a headline I know it’ll either be something interesting as fuck, or something baffling


Military-grade confetti, heh


It’s so the vehicle in question remains intact and can be retrieved for later study and possibly reverse engineered for technology.


That’s pretty much what I think. Plus there might be some added benefits: the cost as mentioned in the article. And not using an explosive warhead to blow it out of the sky pretty much eliminates the risk of collateral damage in populated areas and might allow it to be used by police and even private companies. Also if this confetti did take down an armed drone intact a bomb disposal team would most likely be needed to make it safe and possibly just blow it up where it crashed.


Brilliant! This is a great idea and I’d much rather this than a gun armed drone hovering above!


its pretty much a flak gun but with....confetti


Advanced confetti streamers? I can only imagine this to be a device in which streamers are passed through an incredibly compact space and forced through a sieve-like contraption. Similar to that of a garlic press but for YouTubers and on an industrial scale.


Sometimes the low tech solutions are the best.


Low tech weapon gets taken out by low tech solution


Fireworks and confetti are effective in guerrilla warfare potentially. Is all I am seeing


The demonstration unit in the video shows a short-range low altitude weapon, so by the time it is deployed the drone has already arrived at the target area. If it is transmitting images or electronic intelligence (radio traffic or radar signals,) to its operators then it is too late, and the destruction of the drone shows its operators that the site is sensitive and defended.


It is always going to be cheaper to manufacture a drone that kills a person, than to make a drone that kills a drone. So using drones to kill drones is uneconomical, and a poor strategy. Point-defense lasers are actually a smart move here, however the current systems are too big, and we lack the vision/targeting and energy storage/generation to currently deploy directed energy weapons.


>the drone has already arrived at the target area. This was my first thought... now it just has to fall down and explode, if it's close enough it would still be effective. And, just like you said, the operator knows they are in the right place. They know where to aim the mortars now.


This *will* be used to quash protests and prevent people from getting footage of human rights atrocities.


It's not a party without STREAMERS!


I think we called this CHAFF! Bombers eject it into the airspace to confuse RADAR operators.


Chaff is similar, it consists of glass fibers that are coated with aluminium but are way shorter and thinner than the ones mentioned in the article are, as chaffs primary use is as a countermeasure for radar guided missile effectively being a "cloud in a can" when it comes to diverting radar waves. The fibers used here seem longer and more robust to survive getting hit by the prop and still being long enough to wrap around it. But yeah it looks a bit like chaff in the video ;)