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AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ Used to Test New Laser Technology for Drones

Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

We all know how awesome AC/DC‘s music is, but their classic hard rock anthems appeal to people from all walks of life. Even British engineers rock out to ‘Highway to Hell’ while they’re on the job! They just happen to be using the song to test new laser technology for in-flight drones.

You may remember a story that broke earlier this year, when AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ was blasted at immense volume at an Iranian nuclear power plant thanks to a computer hacker. Now, British engineers have chosen AC/DC for military drone testing … sound like a conspiracy, Dave Mustaine?

In fact, the laser technology that was tested using ‘Highway to Hell’ is being developed to make drones lighter and operate longer without having to refuel. EADS Innovation Works in Newport, UK, are working on the laser reflector, which they call ‘Dazzle.’

Since we’re not all that bright when it comes to complex engineering, check out this description of the laser reflector courtesy of Gizmodo:

After the laser beam enters the reflector, it passes through a transparent switch, called a light modulator, that adds the digital zeroes and ones of the video data to the beam. The light then hits a mirror and is reflected back to the spot it came from – carrying the video data. The tech will allow a speed boost to 1 gigabit per second – easily allowing faster delivery of HD video, which struggles to top 20 megabits per second with radio frequencies.

Scientist Yoann Thueux is that man who chose ‘Highway to Hell’ for the inaugural testing of the laser technology. “It was on my iPod and I thought it would be a good song to go first because I know it completely by heart,” says Thueux. “I’d be the first to tell if the technology was not working properly on playback.”

As for the next song to be beamed into a drone, Thueux hopes to use one of his own band’s tracks, although Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ has also been suggested.

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