Feeds

Enormous pain-ray patio heater towers erected in California

Military excrucio-beam tech guards fruits

A new approach to endpoint data protection

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. ®

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 ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
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

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?