US defence research firm Darpa (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) has created a concept system for catching drones in mid-flight, allowing them to land undamaged.
Drones are a common part of modern warfare, but on occasion may need to land – a difficult concept in the midst of a battlefield or if they have to be remote-guided back onto a US Navy ship.
The defence firm believes it has a solution called SideArm.
The system comprises a line, which attaches to a hook on the back of the drone that then slows it down so that a net can catch it, using barbs to hold it in place.
Darpa says SideArm can be operated by between two and four people and could be deployed either on land or aboard a navy ship.
It forms part of a joint programme between the research firm and the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research to develop drones and related technologies that can be applied to small ships.