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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Set phasers to "nuke"

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Author Topic: Set phasers to "nuke"
Grant
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quote:
The U.S. military has tested a vehicle-mounted device in Afghanistan that uses microwaves to create an intense heating sensation on the skin. The Active Denial System is designed as a nonlethal weapon for safer crowd control vs. firearms. There are no plans yet to deploy it. A two-second blast reportedly can heat the skin to 130 degrees. But someone in a beam’s path would immediately get out of the way before the skin starts burning, which might occur after more than four minutes of sustained exposure.
I wonder if Coppertone will now become a energy weapon countermeasure.

What happens if somebody is carrying tin foil in their pocket?

Sterilization? War crime? Geneva convention? Inhumane?

For real. 100 years from now, our great grandchildren will look down on us as barbarians for using bullets. Heck, there are plenty of people around today who think using bullets is barbaric. It's a brave new world. I hope one day one of my ancestors will look down on me favorably and comment on the advantages of the finality of the bullet.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
There are no plans yet to deploy it. A two-second blast reportedly can heat the skin to 130 degrees. But someone in a beam’s path would immediately get out of the way before the skin starts burning, which might occur after more than four minutes of sustained exposure.
Hrm. Over-under on when someone doesn't immediately get out of the way?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Hrm. Over-under on when someone doesn't immediately get out of the way?

Not that it's impossible, but try holding your hand on a hot stove out of sheer will and you'll understand why this isn't an issue in all but cases where a person has become paralyzed or unconscious.

Incidentally, this weapon is fantastic - it's the closest thing to a harmless crowd dispersant.

[ June 22, 2010, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Pete at Home
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I didn't realize that crowd dispersal was a major issue in the Afghan mission. Seems this could save lives and eyes in Israel.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Hrm. Over-under on when someone doesn't immediately get out of the way?

Not that it's impossible, but try holding your hand on a hot stove out of sheer will and you'll understand why this isn't an issue in all but cases where a person has become paralyzed or unconscious.

Incidentally, this weapon is fantastic - it's the closest thing to a harmless crowd dispersant.

I don't know if I'd call it "fantastic". It probably costs an arm and a leg. It probably has severe maintenance issues and requirements. It probably has reliability and weather limitations, all new weapons do. If I was a company commander of an MP company in Afghanistan, I might think it was neat, but I wouldn't trade it for my CS gas.

Of course, it'll probably be a huge hit on CNN. Just don't expect third world countries, or even second world countries, to start dispersing crowds with phaser beams anytime soon.

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JoshCrow
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Full disclosure - I'm an engineer who works in the microwave band... perhaps my enthusiasm is a little bit biased. [Smile]
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scifibum
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Wouldn't this damage eyes pretty quickly? I wouldn't think that a cornea can tolerate much heating.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Full disclosure - I'm an engineer who works in the microwave band... perhaps my enthusiasm is a little bit biased. [Smile]

HA!!

Entirely forgivable. For an engineer, heh heh.

This thing sounds like an engineer's bukake fantasy.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Wouldn't this damage eyes pretty quickly? I wouldn't think that a cornea can tolerate much heating.

It doesn't reach the cornea, which is protected by the sclera (~1mm thick). The rays are absorbed within 0.04mm of skin material (and, I presume, are similarly dissipated in the sclera) Long-term exposure would be a problem, though.

[ June 22, 2010, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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yossarian22c
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Your eyes would probably close very quickly and the rest of your body would be moving soon after. I doubt any permanent damage would be done.
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scifibum
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I don't believe the sclera protects the cornea, it just adjoins it. There's an epithelial layer over the cornea but it's only about .05mm.

I guess people would squint and turn pretty quickly, though. It does seem like a matter of time until somebody gets grotesquely burned by this through some kind of error.

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Not that it's impossible, but try holding your hand on a hot stove out of sheer will and you'll understand why this isn't an issue in all but cases where a person has become paralyzed or unconscious.

That depends if someone has a Gom Jabbar to your throat.
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msquared
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Point to Drake.

msquared

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JWatts
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This system has been out for some time:
quote:
A fully operational and mounted system was demonstrated on January 24, 2007, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, United States.
But it seems pretty questionable for a military role. It looks much more like something for police departments. Generally, it would be most useful in hostile crowd situations where you want to avoid hurting anyone and you don't expect too much counter violence.

It might be preferable to tear gas, but it's likely to be a lot more expensive upfront, so its potential usefulness seems limited.

As to the comment about wearing tin foil in your pocket, well that would probably be a mistake you would only make once. [Embarrassed]

[ June 22, 2010, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
This system has been out for some time:
quote:
A fully operational and mounted system was demonstrated on January 24, 2007, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, United States.
But it seems pretty questionable for a military role. It looks much more like something for police departments. Generally, it would be most useful in hostile crowd situations where you want to avoid hurting anyone and you don't expect too much counter violence.

It might be preferable to tear gas, but it's likely to be a lot more expensive upfront, so its potential usefulness seems limited.

Heh heh. The US military is the only people around with the money to spend on these kinds of projects. The LAPD doesn't quite have the budget. And these energy weapons aren't stopping at crowd dispersers. This is just a part of development. They're going to continue to develop this thing until they can boil somebody's brain inside a tank 100 miles away.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
They're going to continue to develop this thing until they can boil somebody's brain inside a tank 100 miles away.

I don't think you are going to manage that trick with microwaves, but yes the military is actively working on high power solid-state laser weapons. I think the tanks will survive, but I imagine the days of manned military aircraft are quickly coming to a close.

If it flies it dies.
quote:
On March 18, 2009 Northrop Grumman announced that its engineers in Redondo Beach had successfully built and tested an electric laser capable of producing a 100-kilowatt ray of light, powerful enough to destroy cruise missiles, artillery, rockets and mortar rounds.[6] An electric laser is theoretically capable, according to Brian Strickland, manager for the United States Army's Joint High Power Solid State Laser program, of being mounted in an aircraft, ship, or vehicle because it requires much less space for its supporting equipment than a chemical laser.
Source
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TommySama
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"Disperse, citizens. Your foreign occupiers demand you get a certificate to march on your land."
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Not that it's impossible, but try holding your hand on a hot stove out of sheer will and you'll understand why this isn't an issue in all but cases where a person has become paralyzed or unconscious.

That depends if someone has a Gom Jabbar to your throat.
I'm not sure the military minds behind this have accounted for the Bene Gesserit.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Hrm. Over-under on when someone doesn't immediately get out of the way?

Not that it's impossible, but try holding your hand on a hot stove out of sheer will and you'll understand why this isn't an issue in all but cases where a person has become paralyzed or unconscious.

Incidentally, this weapon is fantastic - it's the closest thing to a harmless crowd dispersant.

Lol, so I repeat: Over-under on how long it takes for someone to die?
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Grant
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Depends on weather you're using energizer batteries or not.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Hrm. Over-under on when someone doesn't immediately get out of the way?

Not that it's impossible, but try holding your hand on a hot stove out of sheer will and you'll understand why this isn't an issue in all but cases where a person has become paralyzed or unconscious.

Incidentally, this weapon is fantastic - it's the closest thing to a harmless crowd dispersant.

Lol, so I repeat: Over-under on how long it takes for someone to die?
I want to officially start the internet rumor that wearing a tin foil hat will protect you from the evil military complex's microwaves. I also recommend wearing a tin foil condom for added protection.
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kenmeer livermaile
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When used, it will probably create a stampede in which people are seriously injured, even killed.
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Greg Davidson
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JWatts, the laser guys are right across the street from my building. In addition to JHPSSL, Northrop is also working on Maritime Laser Demo, a ship-based system that can safely take out small boats.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
When used, it will probably create a stampede in which people are seriously injured, even killed.

More so than the firing of rubber bullets, the use of tear gas, etc.?
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Pete at Home
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I'm more afraid of a sadistic cop misusing it on people who are trapped, or for torture purposes.
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yossarian22c
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I remember seeing this demonstrated on a discovery show a while back, it was pretty big and mounted on a truck. So I don't think we have to worry about individual cops using it like a taser yet.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
JWatts, the laser guys are right across the street from my building. In addition to JHPSSL, Northrop is also working on Maritime Laser Demo, a ship-based system that can safely take out small boats.

Cool. [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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Some combo of satelites, lasers, drones, and databases could virtually clear the South China sea of pirates.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"More so than the firing of rubber bullets, the use of tear gas, etc.?"

Probably about the same. Therefore, the only "improvement" it offers, that I can see, is gee whiz factor. Tear gas at least has the virtue of somewhat disabling persons it inflicts with agony that renders them irrational to the point of violence.

But burning someone doesn't necessarily disable them yet inflicts severe pain. People in severe pain that aren't disabled are extremely dangerous entities.

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Pete at Home
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Unless you get hit in the face with a canister, or with glass from where the canister popped through the window. Rubber bullets kill, blind and maim as well. Since all of the above may cause casualties from mob stampeding, the total effect may actually be considerably safer. And mob excitement itself may result in trampling deaths. All told, this device may save more lives than it ends. And at the end of the day, that's really all you can say about safety belts, helmets, airbags, and vaccines. Used safely, they usually save more lives than they kill.

[ June 23, 2010, 12:49 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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