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Old 07-24-2009, 04:19 PM #1
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Default Microwave weapon

The Pentagon's enthusiasm for non-lethal crowd-control weapons appears to have stepped up a gear with its decision to develop a microwave pain-infliction system that can be fired from an aircraft. The device is an extension of its controversial Active Denial System, which uses microwaves to heat the surface of the skin, creating a painful sensation without burning that strongly motivates the target to flee. The ADS was unveiled in 2001, but it has not been deployed owing to legal issues and safety fears.
Nevertheless, the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) in Quantico, Virginia, has now called for it to be upgraded. The US air force, whose radar technology the ADS is based on, is increasing its annual funding of the system from $2 million to $10 million.

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Microwave weapon will rain pain from the sky - tech - 23 July 2009 - New Scientist





similar to this one, exept airborne




Im sure it would never be used on american citizens in america.... Pshh


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Old 07-24-2009, 05:02 PM #2
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

I saw a microwave weapon (believe it or not) on COPS. a lady picked up her microwave and threw it at her husband on national tv.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:50 PM #3
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

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Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
a lady picked up her microwave and threw it at her husband on national tv.
BWAH Hahahaha! But seriously, if this thing supposed to heat up you skin to the point it becomes soo uncomfortable that you flee, wouldn't that make it incredily dangerous for your sensitive eyes.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:24 PM #4
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

@gryphon, i have always wondered that. i saw it on discovery a couple years ago, and the claim after tons of testing it is eye safe.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:42 PM #5
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

Microwaves are RF energy, not photons so the only effect they will have on any part of the body is heating. People with pacemakers, though, could be killed by a device like this.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:48 PM #6
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

Its no special risk for people with pacemakers, these mm and shorter waves literally penetrate skin deep and no further. On the other hand, they are not eye safe either. Since the cornea has no circulation it is very sensitive to overheating from RF, and likely the first part of the body to sustain (lasting) damage from this type of weapon.

I believe everyone they tested it on is okay, but what would happen in a real world situation, where people might not be able to move away from the beam? Like caught in a crowd demonstrating or injured otherwise to they cannot evade exposure? If its painful in seconds, i'm sure its harmful in minutes.

One amazing thing about this is that its the first government contraption tinfoil hats actually work against. Provided you could get a tinfoil suit to match, it would render the weapon ineffective.


... also RF radiation consists of fotons just as visible light does. The per-photon enery is much lower and the wave character dominates in most practical application, but its just well, very-very-infra-red light
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:11 AM #7
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

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Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
if this thing supposed to heat up you skin to the point it becomes soo uncomfortable that you flee, wouldn't that make it incredily dangerous for your sensitive eyes.
No more than sitting too close to a campfire.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:26 AM #8
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

You're actually right about the pacemaker thing, Benm.. I looked it up. My information is a little outdated. My mom had a pacemaker and she couldn't go around a microwave when it was in operation, but there aren't very many of those kind of pacemakers around anymore. It turns out that all newer pacemakers are invulnerable to microwave energy.

Not that it would be a huge problem in this case, since you're not likely to find very many people with pacemakers in a battlefield environment.

Also, I rescind what I said about the photons, not too sure why I said that.. Just wasn't thinking deeply enough. RF (and all EM energy) consists of photons. Thanks for the corrections.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:29 PM #9
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

I'm not so sure about the battlefield evironment thing though, this weapon seems more suitable for crowd control in riots and similar application. The thing i don't like about the development of non-lethal weapons is that they tend to make their use casual - like police tazering people instead of talking quite easily.

I wonder if they come up with a more powerful military version that has both 'scare away' and 'set on fire' modes.

The output of these things is much higher in frequency than microwave ovens btw, its claimed to be 'mm range', which would peg it at 300 GHz or that order, over 100 times the frequency of a micorwave oven.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:01 PM #10
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

^Sure, but even mm waves are considered "microwaves".. The term doesn't just refer to ovens. There's actually a surprising amount of amateur radio stuff that goes on in the mm range.. lots of data trasmissions, stuff like that. At any rate, it's still referred to as microwave communication.

Agreed on the non-lethal weapons development. It does seem to make people treat these kinds of weapons in a trivial manner.
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:45 PM #11
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

i remember when tasers came out for cops. they used to say it would only be used a a last resort, instead of killing somebody. now they tase 72yr old women and people in wheelchairs 10times in a row like its normal. its getting more frequent as the years pass. ive never even seen a single person who was tased and "took it".
i wonder if these new ray guns will be used to curb protests as well as riots. im sure as technology gets better these will become smaller, and eventually be given to local police departments. it might even replace the taser as well one day.
i dont get why they even talk about it though. if its meant top be a battlefield weapon then why are telling the world? there are ways to counteract everything.
So many questions...

i dont think its a good idea
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:06 AM #12
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

By the looks of it, it could already fit on the roof of an ordinary car. I'm not sure about the power requirements though, but getting up to tens of kW out of a normal car engine is possible if needed.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:11 AM #13
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

It seems like a waste of time. If there is the potential to blind the enemy on the battlefield, you might as well just fry em. There would be fewer complaints about killing an enemy combatant than blinding them. Strange isn't it how we just value our eyesight more than life itself.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:10 PM #14
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

just another way of population control.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:50 PM #15
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

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It seems like a waste of time. If there is the potential to blind the enemy on the battlefield, you might as well just fry em. There would be fewer complaints about killing an enemy combatant than blinding them. Strange isn't it how we just value our eyesight more than life itself.
blinding them is worse than killing them. it is cruel and unusal..
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:38 AM #16
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Default Re: Microwave weapon

Actually not killing but just maiming an enemy is "good military tactics". It has a scare component because people have a tendency to think themselves immortal but not invulnerable. Also having injured soldiers means the other side needs resources for rescuing and treating him, possibly having to send them home, where the sight of crippled soldiers = friends/fathers/sons demoralizes the "home front".

That's why land mines are popular in certain countries, the USA and China being foremost...
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