FCC prohibits high-power microwave weapons for counter-UAV uses because of RF interference or jamming

April 26, 2021
As such systems mature, high-power microwave and other electronic weapons may be tested and deployed with little advance notice to the general public.

WASHINGTON – When Hawthorne, Calif.-based startup Epirus Inc. asked to test a new electronic weapon last winter to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington said no. IEEE Spectrum reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

26 April 2021 -- Epirus officials filed an application with the FCC to test a high-power microwave device in the California desert east of Palm Springs, about three miles from a small airport and the busy I-10 interstate.

The counter-UAV prototype would be operated intermittently with an effective radiated power of 270 megawatts -- thousands of times higher than the strongest FM radio stations, and in the same ballpark as controversial experiments that produce artificial aurorae -- and have a range of 300 meters.

The FCC, however, did not let the experiment proceed. “You are advised that the Commission is unable to grant your application for the facilities requested,” the FCC wrote in October. “The FCC is not authorized to approve systems that cause interference or jamming.”

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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