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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 17

Stopping Cars With Radiation

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 10:15:20 -0500
Archived: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 10:15:20 -0500
Subject: Stopping Cars With Radiation

Source: Technology Review -  Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stopping Cars With Radiation

A beam of microwave energy could stop vehicles in their tracks.

Researchers at Eureka Aerospace are turning a fictional concept
from the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious into reality: they're creating
an electromagnetic system that can quickly bring a vehicle to a
stop. 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. 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

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.)

The radiated microwave energy will upset or damage the vehicle's
electronic systems, particularly the microprocessors that
control important engine functions, such as the ignition
control, the fuel injector, and the fuel-pump control. However,
electronic control modules were not built into most cars until
1972, hence the system will not work on automobiles made before
that year.

The concept of disabling vehicles' electronic system with
microwaves was first tested in 1997 by the U.S. Army using bulky
and heavy military equipment. But the Eureka Aerospace system is
only six to eight feet long (antennae included) and not quite
three feet wide. "It is much more efficient and compact than
anything previously used in military vehicles," says Tatoian.

The device's peak power output is two gigawatts, although the
average power emitted in a single shot is about 100 watts. Each
radiated pulse lasts about 50 nanoseconds. All the test cars'
engines were shut off using a single pulse at a distance of
approximately 15 meters, making the total energy output 100
joules, says Tatoian. His company is currently developing a more
compact high-power microwave pulse system with the goal of
disabling engines at ranges from as far away as 200 meters.

"I have no doubt that if you set up a microprocessor and get a
high-powered, well-focused beam of energy on [a car], you can
disrupt its operation," says Peter Fisher, a professor of
physics and the division head in particle and nuclear
experimental physics at MIT. But to be able to deploy such a
system safely will take some work, he says.

Imagine if a police officer is in a high-speed chase near a
shopping mall and turns on one of these systems to stop the
perpetrator: a lot of elevators have microprocessor controls, so
if the officer is pointing the device in the direction of the
mall, he or she could end up trapping 12 people in an elevator,
says Fisher. Many other electronic systems, such as an automated
teller machine or a security system, could also be disrupted.

Furthermore, Fisher cautions that, while the system may seem
like an easier and more efficient solution than spike strips, it
could still cause a huge accident if a car is disabled and a
driver loses steering control. The system could pose a safety
concern as well: radiation can burn human skin, and microwaves
have long been suspected of being a cancer-causing agent.

At the moment, the most practical application for the system
would be in the U.S. Army or Marine Corp, for perimeter
protection of areas that are generally remote, says Fisher.
Initial funding for the project came from the U.S. Marine Corp,
but now Eureka Aerospace is looking to other governmental
agencies for financial support as the company continues to work
to make the device smaller, lighter, and more efficient.
(Tatoian says that details regarding future work with the
military are confidential.)

[Thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead]

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