Feeds

US Justice Dept builds microwave heat-ray 'rifle'

Settings: Radar, pain-blaster or nudie perv scan

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Reports are emerging that the US Justice Department is working on a hand-held version of existing microwave cannons intended for riot or crowd control. The portable raygun could also have applications as a scanner or detector system, apart from being a weapon; and a working prototype has already been built.

Raytheon, the American weaponry globocorp which makes the Silent Guardian crowd-griller cannon, has been showing off its microwave weaponry plans to reporters at the AUSA expo in Washington this week. According to separate articles at Military.com and Aviation Week, there are many new plans for the technology.

It appears that both the US Marines and Army want truck-mounted units of varying size, allowing them to play wide-angle heat beams over recalcitrant crowds and so perhaps disperse them without having to resort to mass truncheonings or even more aggressive means. The technology isn't regarded as being able to kill; rather it inflicts intense pain by heating up water in the outer skin layers.

According to Colin Clark, Military.com scribe:

Reporters can be really dumb. There I was in front of Raytheon’s booth ... I hit the button. My lower thoracic area got very hot, very fast. So I waited for the machine to recycle and hit the button again. This time the pain was more intense — I wasn’t screaming or anything — and my skin felt like it was about to catch fire.

More interestingly/upsettingly still, both reports indicate that the National Institute of Justice is looking into a "rifle-sized", shorter ranged heat-ray weapon for use by US cops or feds. The NIJ is the R&D arm of the US Justice Department. Looking at the NIJ website, it appears that in fact a "small working prototype ... that law enforcement and correction officers can carry" has already been built.

Both the truck-mounted and handheld heat-rayguns use millimetre wavelengths, which are also used by high-definition radars and by certain kinds of security scanners.

The millimetre-wave scan gear used at airports doesn't emit any microwaves itself - it makes an image of the body's natural emissions. The only controversy attaching to this passive application is that the resulting picture is similar to seeing the given person naked.

There's some suggestion that the NIJ's planned microwave rifle could also function as a sensor or detector system at longer ranges, as well as a pain beam inside say 30 feet. This would seem to indicate some kind or receiver and screen or readout, alongside the emitter.

Plods or soldiers could then use their amazing microwave rifle in one of three modes: millimetre wave active man-tracker radar, heat-&-pain energy weapon, or passive through-clothes nudie perv scanner.

Now that's a versatile piece of equipment.

The Av Week and Military.com reports are here and here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.