Microwave radiation to help cops to stop cars?

Posted on Sunday, Nov 18 2007 @ 00:25 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Eureka Aerospace scientists are working on a new microwave radiation technology that may become very useful for law enforcement. The researchers have created an electromagnetic system that can quickly bring a vehicle to a stop:
he 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. Such a device could be used by law enforcement to stop fleeing and noncooperative vehicles at security checkpoints, or as perimeter protection for military bases, communication centers, and oil platforms in the open seas.

The system has been tested on a variety of stationary vehicles and could be ready for deployment in automobiles within 18 months, says James Tatoian, the chief executive officer of Eureka Aerospace and the project's leader.

To bring an opposing vehicle to a halt, the 200-pound device is attached to the roof of a car. The car's alternator serves as the system's power source, whose direct-current (DC) power feeds into a power supply. This generates a stream of 50-nanosecond-duration pulses of energy. These pulses are amplified to 640 kilovolts using a 16-stage Marx generator.

The 640 kilovolts of DC power are then converted into microwaves using an oscillator that consists of a pair of coupled transmission lines and several spark-gap switches. Finally, a specially designed antenna beams the microwave energy toward an opposing vehicle through a part of the car, such as the windshield, window, grill, or spacing between the hood and main body, that is not made of metal. (Metal acts as a shield against microwave energy.)
More info at Technology Review. This technology will be able to stop almost all cars by disrupting or damaging chips that control important engine functions. Most cars that were build after 1972 use microprocessors so only very old cars won't be affected by the radiation.


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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