Feeds

US Justice Dept builds microwave heat-ray 'rifle'

Settings: Radar, pain-blaster or nudie perv scan

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
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?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.