Powerful directional microwave downs six UASs in Nevada desert

On May 21, the US Army teamed up with the tech company Epirus to test the cutting-edge Leonidas anti-aircraft system in the Nevada desert. During the test, Leonidas showcased its prowess by successfully shooting down six unmanned aerial systems [UAS] using a silent high-power microwave [HPM] device, according to a statement from Epirus. 

Powerful directional microwave downs six UASs in Nevada desert
Photo credit: Epirus Inc

Epirus has introduced three different versions of the Leonidas counter-electronics system in less than two years. The latest version debuted with impressive results at a recent Department of Defense [DoD] technology demonstration, highlighting the company’s leadership in the counter-electronics market. 

The heart of Leonidas is Epirus SmartPower. This innovation arose from the goal of creating a smaller, yet equally powerful and efficient, HPM system compared to older models. Epirus claims that they have revolutionized the way we think about HPM systems by transitioning from analog to digital technology.

Powerful directional microwave downs six UASs in Nevada desert
Epirus screenshot

Inside Leonidas

Underneath the hood of the Leonidas, you’ll find gallium-nitride-based linear switchable amplifier modules [LRAMs] that come with unique power management, control, and amplification features. This LRAM design offers remarkable flexibility, unmatched reliability, and advantages over other high-power microwave [HPM] methods. 

Each LRAM is built on Epirus’ innovative SmartPower technology platform, which combines hardware, software, and intelligent services to deliver outstanding power management. Thanks to SmartPower, Leonidas can achieve the high power output needed for HPM pulses without overheating. 

Lastly, Leonidas boasts software-defined capabilities that allow for highly complex and customizable waveforms. Being software-defined means Leonidas can fine-tune its waveforms to either target a single entity in tight spaces or cover broader areas. This provides the operational flexibility to neutralize threats like enemy drones close to friendly assets or large swarms of drones with the same system.

Microwaves as a weapon

Microwaves, when they reach their target, have the unique capability to induce currents in electronic circuits. This can lead to malfunctions or even permanent damage to electronic components, making these systems highly effective against electronic devices and communication infrastructure. 

Beyond interfering with electronics, powerful microwave beams can also produce heat. This thermal effect can cause physical damage to materials and structures, though it’s a less common application compared to causing electronic disturbances. 

To function, microwave systems are typically powered by high-voltage sources that generate the necessary energy for the microwaves. The overall power and efficiency of both the microwave generation and its delivery system are crucial elements that determine the weapon’s effectiveness.

Mobile Leonidas

Leonidas is a cutting-edge, high-power solid-state HPM system that leverages gallium nitride [GaN] semiconductors to deliver unparalleled anti-electron effects. This advanced system is designed to minimize size, weight, and deployment time while maximizing maneuverability, safety, and operator control. 

With Leonidas Mobile, you get the flexibility to integrate this powerful system into any vehicle or tow truck, offering robust anti-UAS and anti-swarm capabilities on the battlefield. As a fully mobile counter-electronics solution, Leonidas Mobile represents a groundbreaking advancement in mission assurance.

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