Microwave radiation could bring vehicles to a stop

November 30th, 2007 - 2:05 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 30 (ANI): The microwave radiation that reheats your food could soon be used to bring a vehicle to a stop quickly.

Researchers at Eureka Aerospace have created an electromagnetic system that could be used by law enforcement officers to terminate dangerous car chases or by military personnel as a non-lethal way of disabling vehicles that get too close for comfort.

“The idea is to warn an automobile some distance away from a high-value target like a military barrack or a communication center. If they don’t comply, you just zap them and it prevents them from coming closer,” Discovery News quoted James Tatoian, CEO of Eureka Aerospace in Pasadena, Calif, as saying.

The system, which can be attached to an automobile or aircraft carrier, sends out pulses of microwave radiation to disable the microprocessors that control the central engine functions in a car.

The system has been tested on a variety of stationary vehicles and could be ready for deployment in automobiles within 18 months, Tatoian said.

Tatoian and his team have been working on the device since 2003. The current prototype is about 5 feet long, 3 feet wide, a foot thick, and weighs just under 200 pounds.

The technology employs the same kind of energy used in microwave ovens, but at a different frequency. Generally, ovens operate at 2.45 Ghz, but the high-power car-stopping system works at 300 megahertz. Scientists say that in both the cases, the radiation is above common radio frequencies and is not harmful to humans.

“There are no biological effects. We comply with every standard in the literature as far as biological impact,” said Tatoian.

To bring the car to a halt, the device first generates energy that is amplified using a generator. The energy is converted to microwave radiation and then directed, by way of a specially designed antenna, at the offender in a narrow beam.

The higher the frequency of the radiation, the more directed the beam, which allows the user to aim the energy at susceptible car parts, such as light bulb filaments, lug nuts, frame bolts, or windshield antenna.

Tatoian said that having access to these locations is vital because newer cars are made with lots of plastic parts, have rustproof paint that prevents electricity from conducting, and have computers already designed to resist the electromagnetic energy coming from the car engine.

One beam pulsed in a burst lasting just 50 nanoseconds is more than sufficient to upset a vehicle’s electrical system. The radiation can overload wires or harm or disturb the car’s central microprocessor.

In tests on four vehicles, the researchers were able to disable cars from 10 to 50 feet away.

“Once they get off the streets, they just go until they run out of gas,” said commander Charles “Sid” Heal of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in Monterey Park, Calif.

Tatoian believes that with the proper funding, Eureka Aerospace can minimize the device in less than two years to a 50-pound appliance that looks like a plasma television and can disable cars from 600 feet away. (ANI)

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