Friday, April 29, 2005

gov. designing futuristic police weapons: microwave beams, laser guns, and plasma bangs

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the national justice department is currently designing three new less lethal weapons for police use. these could eventually be used for day to day crime fighting, as well as crowd control. as futuristic as they seem, the first weapon appears to shoot microwaves, the second heat lasers, and the third produces a "plasma flash bang" at the target.

the microwave gun is designed to heat people's skin with a 95 gigahertz microwave beam. this is supposed to cause severe pain, but no permanent damage, and fires at a range of up to 600 meters.

the second weapon is described as "the first man-portable heat compliance weapon of its kind." it uses a semiconductor laser for "force protection, crowd control, and access denial." this weapon is still shrouded in mystery, with no one really knowing or admitting much about it - but if it uses a semiconductor laser, it must be a laser gun.

the third weapon is actually a laser gun also, and produces a "plasma flash bang" at the target (plasma? like the mysterious fourth state of matter? wonderful.) the plasma flash bang stuns and disorients the victim. the weapon is apparently similar to another strangely futuristic sounding gun, the "pulsed energy projectile" system developed for u.s. marines.

while they are intended as non-lethal guns for the police force, the agency warns that many of the weapons may leave no bodily traces after use, and may also have an amped up "lethal" setting.

full article at new scientist

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