Feeds

Enormous pain-ray patio heater towers erected in California

Military excrucio-beam tech guards fruits

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.