Feeds

US army gets raygun for Iraq

Set phasers to roast..

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

US troops in Iraq are set to use a non-lethal energy beam weapon mounted on a Humvee.

The ray uses a beam which heats up the skin to a depth of 1/64 of an inch. This burning sensation is very painful but won't cause actual damage unless the subject stays in the beam for as long as 250 seconds. It is hoped it will provide a less lethal way of clearing the streets of (live) Iraqi civilians.

Or that's the theory. Testing has been carried out by the US Airforce Lab, which also develops the weapon, which is a "clear conflict", according to Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News. There is concern that the beam could damage eyesight - although probably not as much as an M-16 rifle can.

The barrier to using such technology on a vehicle has been a strong enough power source. Researchers claim to have solved this problem, and 15 vehicles have been ordered under Project Sheriff.

The "Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System", or V-MADS, looks like an ordinary Humvee but with an enormous, square satellite dish on its roof. Only this time it's not Sky One that'll be frying your brain. Background and pictures here.®

Related stories

That classified US military report's secrets in full
Scientists slam US plasma weapon
The mysterious case of the 'gay-bomb' request
Taser-happy cops floor suicidal six-year-old

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.