Feeds

Enormous pain-ray patio heater towers erected in California

Military excrucio-beam tech guards fruits

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?