Skip to comments.Microwave weapons: Wasted energy
Posted on 09/14/2012 12:27:13 AM PDT by neverdem
Despite 50 years of research on high-power microwaves, the US military has yet to produce a usable weapon.
For some Pentagon officials, the demonstration in October 2007 must have seemed like a dream come true an opportunity to blast reporters with a beam of energy that causes searing pain.
The event in Quantico, Virginia, was to be a rare public showing for the US Air Force's Active Denial System: a prototype non-lethal crowd-control weapon that emits a beam of microwaves at 95 gigahertz. Radiation at that frequency penetrates less than half a millimetre into the skin, so the beam was supposed to deliver an intense burning sensation to anyone in its path, forcing them to move away, but without, in theory, causing permanent damage.
However, the day of the test was cold and rainy. The water droplets in the air did what moisture always does: they absorbed the microwaves. And when some of the reporters volunteered to expose themselves to the attenuated beam, they found that on such a raw day, the warmth was very pleasant.
A demonstration of the system on a sunny day this March proved more successful. But that hasn't changed a fundamental reality for the Pentagon's only acknowledged, fully developed high-power microwave (HPM) weapon: no one seems to want it. Although the Active Denial System works (mostly) as advertised, its massive size, energy consumption and technical complexity make it effectively unusable on the battlefield.
The story is much the same in other areas of HPM weapons development, which began as an EastWest technology race nearly 50 years ago. In the United States, where spending on electromagnetic weapons is down from cold-war levels, but remains at some US$47 million per year, progress is elusive. There's lots of smoke and mirrors, says Peter Zimmerman, an emeritus nuclear...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
“Although the Active Denial System works (mostly) as advertised, its massive size, energy consumption and technical complexity make it effectively unusable on the battlefield.”
Let me fix that for them.
“Although the Active Denial System works (mostly) as advertised, its massive size makes it effectively a giant priority target for anyone with a firearm on the battlefield.”
That was a very interesting article. Long, but worth it.
Just enough to fry your eyes. Even 0.001" of opaque material will do it.
Bullets are cheaper and proven.
Gentlefolk - please consider who wrote the article before you judge it’s content as sacrosanct.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Thanks for the ping!