I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig
By Sharon Weinberger EmailOctober 25, 2007 | 4:20:59 PM
Today, I broke my cardinal rule of defense reporting: never be a test subject for a supposedly "nonlethal" weapon. I adopted this rule some time back at a trade show, when I saw somebody pick up a dazzling laser from a booth and point it as his own face at close range. Basically, untrained people are prone to do stupid stuff around nonlethal weapons and I'm really fond of my central field of vision, so why take the risk?
But today, the military offered the second opportunity ever for reporters to be blasted by the Active Denial System, a millimeter wave beam weapon designed to heat up the very tippy top layer of skin. Considering that they've blasted the thing some 10,000 plus times, and at several hundred people, I thought, "Oh why not?" The demonstration was held today at Quantico in Virginia, where a couple dozen reporters -- along with military personnel -- volunteered for a demo.
In the briefings leading up to the test, Susan LeVine, of the Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, told us that ADS felt like being burned by a hairdryer at the hairdresser (women will understand this one better than men).
Colonel Kirk Hymes, head of the Directorate, described it like the heat on your face when you open the oven to baste a Thanksgiving Turkey (I guess that's a guy thing, because women don't stick their heads in the oven when they baste a turkey).
Lesson number two: It's hard to say whether the rain issue (which has always been acknowledged as a factor in the ADS beam) makes any difference in the end. After all, everyone jumped out of the beam within a couple of seconds. And, as the officials at the test noted, in real world operations, we would likely be closer to the beam (we were positioned over 500 meters away from the ADS system).
Military Shows Off New Ray Gun (AP)
Topic started by Eugene on Jan-24-07 04:49 PM (37 replies)
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Ray gun makes targets feel as if they are on fire
Topic started by onehandle on Jan-24-07 09:29 PM (34 replies)
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