Safety fears as US demonstrates crowd control heat-ray weapon
By Ian Sample | guardian.co.uk
820th SFG evaluates non-lethal weapon - Moody Airmen test new, nonlethal method of repelling enemy
The 820th Security Forces Group is currently evaluating the Active Denial System, a non-lethal weapon designed to engage and repel human targets by projecting a beam of energy that creates an intolerable heating sensation on the skin. ADS can potentially give deployed Airmen another option to employ in the Global War on Terrorism. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gina Chiaverotti)
Images from: moody.af.mil
How the wave device works
It looks like a table top stuck on a Humvee, but to the US military it is a revolutionary new weapon, a controversial heat-ray destined to change the face of conflict by dispersing mobs, protecting military bases and sorting friend from foe without inflicting injuries.
Called Silent Guardian, the prototype fires a high-intensity beam of millimetre waves, inflicting a burning sensation like a light bulb pressed against the skin. After 12 years in development it has been demonstrated in public for the first time, at Moody air force base in Georgia.
For the US defence department it marks the beginning of an era of "non-lethal, directed energy, counter-personnel" weapons, intended to cause temporary pain instead of killing or maiming. But critics yesterday raised fears that the weapon could cause serious, even life-threatening burns through accident or misuse.
During the demonstration a two-man crew used built-in rangefinders to target volunteers playing the part of angry rioters 500 metres away. Those hit by the beam jumped out of the way immediately to escape the sudden flash of heat.
The beam has a range of up to 1km, 10 times that of other non-lethal weapons such as plastic bullets or beanbag-firing guns. The waves penetrate clothing, but travel less than half a millimetre into the skin, where they cause water molecules to heat up. Within seconds, the beam heats the skin to around 50C (122F). Military officials plan to use the so-called Active Denial System to keep would-be attackers from approaching military installations or navy ships in dock, or for repelling mobs. It may also be useful in sorting combatants from bystanders, who are more likely to quickly leave the scene.
Speaking from the Pentagon yesterday, Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Maka said the device, which is not expected to be ready for deployment until 2010, was built to "stop, deter and turn back an adversary at a distance that lessens the potential for causing injury".
But Neil Davison, an expert in non-lethal weapons at the Disarmament Research Centre, Bradford, said that in tests so far volunteers had been allowed a cooling off period after being hit before being targeted again. "There's no way of guaranteeing people won't be targeted for longer in a real situation," he said.
Jürgen Altmann, an expert in military technology at Dortmund University, found that if the beam is tracked on a person for longer the skin temperature can quickly rise above 55C, and begin to burn.
"Even if they build in a mechanism that limits it to work for only a few seconds at a time, people can immediately be re-targeted," he said. "If more than 20% of their body receives second or third degree burns, it's potentially life-threatening."
According to papers released under freedom of information requests, mishaps during trials have caused blistering at least six times and one second degree burn when the beam was fired on too high a setting. According to the US military, the risk of injury is less than 0.1%.
Also see: 820th SFG evaluates non-lethal weapon
Article from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1999141,00.html
Radio Frequency, Active Denial & Psych Weapons
Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System (V-MADS)
Raytheon beam controls mobs
Electromagnetic Weapons, Mind Control & New Technology
Latest News from our Front Page
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax
NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters.
Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
The TSA Wants To Read Your Facebook Posts And Check Out Your Purchases Before It Will Approve You For PreCheck
The TSA is disappointed that so few Americans have opted out of its bottle-tossing, package-groping screenings by signing up for its PreCheck program. For a few years now, the TSA has been selling travelers' civil liberties back to them, most recently for $85 a head, but it's now making a serious push to increase participation. The TSA can't do it ...
What Happens To Privacy When The Internet Is In Everything?
This week Google’s Eric Schmidt was on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he suggested that the future Internet will be, in one sense, invisible — because it will be embedded into everything we interact with.
“The Internet will disappear,” he predicted (via The Hollywood Reporter). “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things ...
Harvard Professor: Government Mosquito Drones will Extract Your DNA
"Privacy is dead," academic tells Davos elite
Harvard Professor Margo Seltzer warned that miniature mosquito drones will one day forcibly extract your DNA on behalf of the government and insurance companies as she told elitists at the World Economic Forum in Davos that privacy was dead.
Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University, told attendees, “Privacy as we knew it ...
|More News » |