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  1. #1
    BEB
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    Navy Researching Vomit Beam

    From a Wired magazine blogger.

    http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/0...esearchin.html

    Navy Researching Vomit Beam

    You never know what's going to land in your mailbox. Last night, I found a weapon that shoots an invisible wall-penetrating beam that makes people so dizzy they fall over. (It can make them puke, too, but I'll get to that in a moment.)

    Okay, okay... it was only a description of the device that I came across, going through my (mostly junk) mail. The less-lethal weapon was one of many novelties described in an invitation to the "Navy's 07 'Opportunity Forum" for small businesses.

    Invocon, Inc., one of dozens of companies expected to showcase their wares at the forum, says it'll be there to display its "non-lethal, stand-off weapon for military and law enforcement personnel that could ultimately work through walls and other non-metallic structures."

    They've even got a Navy contract to develop the thing. I looked up Invocon's contract in the Navy's Small Business Innovative Research database and found this slightly more detailed description of the work:

    IVC proposes to investigate the use of beamed RF [radio frequency] energy to excite and interrupt the normal process of human hearing and equilibrium. The focus will be in two areas. (1) Interruption of the mechanical transduction process by which sound and position (relative to gravity) are converted to messages that are processed by the brain. (2) Interruption of the chemical engine which sustains the proper operation of the nerve cells that respond to the mechanical transduction mechanisms referenced in item (1). Interruption of either or both of these processes has been clinically shown to produce complete disorientation and confusion.

    Wow! Through the walls? That even beats the Active Denial System -- the pain ray that Noah wrote about the other day. Invocon even touts its device as a "Star Trek hand-held Phaser Weapon set on 'Stun'."

    However, rather than causing intense pain, like the Active Denial System, Invocon is advertising a weapon that boasts the ability to go through walls and incapacitate everyone in a room by making them lose their balance. "Second order effects would be extreme motion sickness," the company notes.

    Basically, you're safely in your house, an invisible beam hits you, you feel dizzy, and fall over (or puke). Or so goes the promotion:

    The benefits of such a weapon would be that in areas of extreme risk to Marine Corps personnel, hostiles could be controlled without loss of life. The weapon effect would be helpful in urban combat where rooms could be subjected to the EPIC stimulus and then subdued without further risk to friendlies or hostiles. Similar technology could be applied to law enforcement operations especially in hostage situations where all the people in a room could be incapacitated without damage and subsequently sorted out as to which are the bad guys and which are the good guys.

    Invocon claims they have already held the "first known demonstration" of this technology. You gotta wonder who that lucky employee was.

    [For those of you interested in learning more about the very weird effects of radio-frequency weapons, check out David Hambling's excellent -- and often terrifying -- writing on the subject]

    -- Sharon Weinberger

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    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    You just never know what's coming next!
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