Feeds

Enormous pain-ray patio heater towers erected in California

Military excrucio-beam tech guards fruits

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

US weaponry globocorp Raytheon tried a small change of pace this week, announcing successful field trials of enormous microwave patio heaters intended to prevent frost damage in crops.

Raytheon refer to their mighty oven-tower machines as Tempwave™.

"Our expertise in radio frequency has enabled a disruptive product that frees growers from the limits and variations inherent in existing frost protection methods," said Raytheon veep Lee Silvestre of the firm's Integrated Defense Systems unit. "Tempwave autonomously and precisely delivers energy directly where it's needed to prevent freezing."

The arms firm says it has carried out successful tests of Tempwave in Californian citrus orchards. A frost at the wrong time is a dreaded event for citrus farmers, as it can wipe out an entire crop in one night. Vintners, also numerous in California, suffer similar worries over their grapes.

Raytheon has developed much of the radio-frequency knowhow mentioned by Silvestre in such technologies as radar and communications. However, it also offers a product specifically intended to heat up living things composed largely of water - the famous, crowd-griddling Active Denial System pain raygun. It would seem likely that the Tempwave mega-patio-heater towers draw heavily on expertise acquired during the ADS excrucio-blaster programme.

What we have here, then, is agony cannons up poles converted into mighty agrobiz patio heaters. They run on "grid electricity", according to Raytheon, which may get up the noses of the environmentalist tendency as much as regular patio heaters do: but the firm argues that the microwave heating is actually more energy efficient than other methods growers might use, as it heats up only the crops rather than the intervening air.

Swords beaten into ploughshares doesn't really seem to cover this, somehow. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
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

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.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.