Defending Utah’s airspace with drones a possibility

Local News

Are you ready to see unmanned air taxis and drone catchers?
You may be able to see them by 2023 in the state of Utah.

We are not talking about Amazon delivering packages. We are talking true urban air mobility.

“This is the perfect concept of the Jetsons that they promised decades ago,” says Shawn Milne, Tooele County Commissioner, and Desert UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems).

Imagine a drone was sent by a terrorist to inflict damage or do recon on Utah’s most important venues like the State Capitol, Vivint Smart Home Arena, or Rio Tinto Stadium.

Within minutes a drone hunter appears and captures the unidentified flying object.

“It is all about us dominating the airspace and proving that this is the right state to come to. It is giving a whole new meaning to life elevated,”  Milne adds.

Greg Pugmire works for Fortem Technologies a Pleasant Grove company. The company built the drone catcher that was on display at the Utah State Capitol.

“If there is something there you don’t want to be there, we have the ability to take our drone hunter autonomously, find the other drone, shoot a net, capture it, and bring it back to you,” says Pugmire.

This is all done by creating a digital dome over venues that gives radars a chance to locate the object.

Pugmire adds, “Our radars are at Salt Lake City airport. We are using them to see if there are drones are there.”

The Drone Hunter is currently unavailable in the state of Utah but that could change soon.

Another company the state is looking into is Electrafly. It has built an air taxi for urban air mobility. This would allow a person to go from rooftop to rooftop.

John Manning, the Co-founder Electrafly says, “Law enforcement could definitely use something like this. There is definitely a search and rescue type application.”

All of this is great news for the state of Utah. It is technology officials say can be used when and if Salt Lake City gets the 2030 Olympics.

Milne says, “I’m really excited to see what is the potential is going to be as we debut for the Olympics and what Utah is going to be able to show to the whole world what we got here.”
 

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