Unpacking Epirus’ Safe, Unique Approach to Directed Energy

Epirus News
JUN 7 2021


From the Epirus Newsroom | Leigh Madden, CEO
From the Epirus Newsroom | Leigh Madden, CEO

In 2018, Epirus was founded to bring the most innovative directed energy systems to market to shape the contemporary battlefield and protect critical civilian assets throughout the United States. In just three years since our inception, we are on track to achieve mission success, having transformed our flagship directed energy product, Leonidas, from prototype to an operational system in just nine months – a timeframe that is unheard of from traditional Aerospace and Defense corporations. Central to our mission at Epirus is protecting our men and women in uniform from asymmetric threats at home and abroad and, ultimately, saving American and allied lives.  

In recent weeks, disturbing news of mysterious episodes resulting in brain injuries to senior U.S. government personnel throughout the globe have dominated headlines. Although the Intelligence Community is still working to identity the exact cause of these puzzling symptoms, early conclusions are pointing to adversarial directed energy attacks as the likely cause of these ailments, which GQ has termed the “Immaculate Concussion.”

It is absolutely essential to understand that the work Epirus is doing with our state-of-the-art directed energy capabilities is entirely different from and has absolutely zero connection to the microwave attacks launched against Americans both at home and abroad.

Let me be clear: the work we do at Epirus will enhance the national and homeland security of the U.S and save lives, not create new threats nor inflict harm. Our team comes to work every day to build directed energy systems that will protect Americans from harm caused by drones and other asymmetric threats, not in any way, shape or form target humans.  


  • Our engineers have developed modes of operation that enable our systems to use different waveforms that are much safer for humans than those used by other directed energy systems.
  • Unlike other directed energy systems, our products do not emit any ionizing radiation that would cause any harm to humans. Epirus products emit much safer versions of microwaves that are similar to those emitted by a traditional microwave oven or an everyday cellular device.
  • In addition, Epirus’ beamforming capabilities enable unmatched precision for operators and provide the ability to target a single threat in narrow, crowded spaces or neutralize a full volume of terrain. Because our systems operate at low frequencies, we have quelled the concern over the potential of collateral damage being caused to friendly aircraft in the surrounding area. As evidenced in our video of Leonidas in action, operators can narrow or widen the beam to disable an enemy drone and leave a friendly drone in very close proximity entirely untouched.  
Customers viewing a working prototype of Leonidas at a recent field demonstration
Customers viewing a working prototype of Leonidas at a recent field demonstration

We have validated the effectiveness and safety of our systems through years of the most thorough testing in our anechoic chamber and our technology has been evaluated by top decision makers in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community.  

Contrary to what many may think, directed energy and high-power microwave (HPM) technology are not novel capabilities and, in fact, their existence dates back to the Cold War era. Though their applications have been widespread, Epirus’ approach to HPM is entirely unique and we have turned the status quo on its head with our next-generation HPM capabilities.  

In a recent article published by the U.S. Naval Institute, Admiral James A. Winnefeld (Ret.) writes that “HPM systems seem to be stuck in science-and-technology (S&T) stovepipe and are not broadly understood by those who are responsible for force design.” Unfortunately, Admiral Winnefeld is right. That’s why Epirus is continuing on our pace of rapid engagement with our extensive group of stakeholders to more fully educate them on the range of beneficial use cases of HPM technology so that the U.S. does not “miss the boat on high-power microwave defense.”  

We simply cannot wait for the loss of human life as a result of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) attack to become the catalyst for change when proven technologies exist today that can effectively counter the UAS threat. Epirus’ revolutionary Counter-UAS (C-UAS) system is the first of its power and size with a proven ability to counter swarming drones and execute precision strikes at range. With a constant emphasis on agility, we intend to beat the biggest national security threats of our generation to the punch through the deployment of first-of-their-kind products – before tragedy strikes. Epirus stands ready to support the critical C-UAS mission need across DoD today and we are unlocking additional applications of our technology for broad commercial use in the years to come.  

With the introduction of new technological capabilities comes inevitable questions about the efficacy and safety of said technology. We at Epirus are dedicated to ensuring accountability and transparency are a central pillar of everything we do as a company. We recognize that the intolerable microwave attacks on Americans by our adversaries raise important questions about the safety of directed energy systems and similar technologies. Directed energy can be used responsibly and altruistically – and we have proved that to be true. We are no strangers to hard questions nor criticism and, just as we’ve done for the past three years, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring safety always remains synonymous with Epirus.