Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

Sci-fi Beam Weapons Become Reality in New Non-lethal Technology

Sci-fi Beam Weapons Become Reality in New Non-lethal Technology

Washington D.C. -- (AFPN) March 2, 2001 -- The near future may see U.S. military units employing beam weapons on the battlefield.

Although this may seem like science fiction, the Air Force and Marine Corps took a big step toward making this science fact March 1, when they announced a breakthrough technology designed to project an energy beam that drives away adversaries without injuring them.

This emerging and revolutionary force-protection technology gives service-members an alternative to using deadly force, said Marine Corps Col. George P. Fenton, director of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, Quantico, Va.

Two Air Force Research Laboratory teams led the technology development. One team was the laboratory's directed energy directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and the other was from the human effectiveness directorate at Brooks AFB, Texas.

The development was done in response to Department of Defense needs for alternative options to the more traditional weapons that can cause serious injury or death, Fenton said.

"A weapon like this could be particularly useful when adversaries are mixed with innocent (people)," he said.

The Vehicle Mounted Active Denial System technology uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter, and turn back advancing adversaries from a relatively long range.

While the exact range of the beam is classified, Fenton said the goal is to employ the non-lethal weapon against adversaries before service-members can come under small arms fire.

To accomplish this, the transmitter sends a narrow beam of energy to the target and penetrates less than 1/64th of an inch into the skin, quickly heating up only the skin's surface.

When the beam is focused on a subject, within a few seconds they feel pain that only stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the subject moves out of the beam, according to Dr. Kirk E. Hackett, of the directed energy directorate at the Air Force Research Lab, Kirtland AFB.

The technology exploits a natural defense mechanism -- pain -- that has evolved to protect the human body from damage.

According to Fenton, the heat-induced pain produced by the energy beam is similar to the experience of briefly touching an ordinary light bulb that has been left on for a while.

Pain from the heat makes a person remove their finger from the light bulb before a burn can happen, he explained. Similarly, exposures from this non-lethal weapon technology cause a repellent effect but not physical damage to the body.

"We've done a lot of research on this technology and have shown there are no harmful health effects," said Dr. Michael Murphy, head of the Biological Effects Research Team at Brooks AFB. "There isn't any injury because of the low energy levels that are used. The beam only needs to be on for a few seconds to achieve its purpose."

"There is more physical damage to skin from exposure to visible light, such as sitting on a sunny beach, than from the energy that this technology exploits," Hackett said.

All testing is being conducted with strict observance of the procedures, laws and regulations governing animal and human experimentation, Murphy said.

The tests have been reviewed and approved by the Air Force Surgeon General's Office and are conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory's human effectiveness directorate.

Current testing is being conducted under field conditions at Kirtland AFB.

Although additional testing is expected to continue into this summer, officials have begun examining the technology for use on a vehicle-mounted version. Future versions might also be used onboard planes and ships, Fenton said.

The project is being funded under the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Approximately $40 million has been spent on this technology over the past decade.

The program was established in 1997 under the U.S. Marine Corps to recommend, develop and field less-than-lethal weapons for U.S. armed forces.

The two Air Force Research Laboratory directorates leading this project conduct research into a variety of directed energy technologies and effects.

Related Links

 

Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin





Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

Contact