Laser-Guided Lightning Bolts
Here is a brief explanation of how this technology works from PopSci.
If you don’t want the more technical explanation just read the second paragraph which uses layman terms.
PopSci: It works like this: a high intensity, super-short duration (maybe two-trillionths of a second) laser pulse will actually use air like lens–surrounding air focuses the beam, keeping the laser pulse nice and tight rather than scattering it. If the pulse is strong enough, it actually creates an electromagnetic field around itself that’s so powerful it strips electrons from air molecules, essentially creating a channel of plasma through the air. Since air is composed of neutral particles (that act as insulators) and the plasma channel is a good conductor (relative to the un-ionized air around it) the path of the laser beam becomes a kind of filament.
In other words, just as lightning arcs from cloud to ground via the path of least resistance, a high-voltage current will find its way down this filament rather than arcing unpredictably through the air. In other words, the laser just creates the path of least resistance between the power source and the target. Laser, lightning, destruction of target–in that order.
Of all the next-generation weapons, lightning is not one I imagined that could be implemented so soon.
There is a quote on the official homepage of the United States Army from the lead scientist that reads, “We were all proud to be serving our warfighters and can picture the LIPC system saving U.S. lives,” Fischer said. Source
Take note he said U.S. lives. Enemies of America beware!
This computer-controlled drone looks like a small helicopter and has already been out since mid 2011. It is currently being used in crime-stopping measures but is being considered for use by Homeland Security. This smooth looking vehicle has got to be a nightmare for criminals because the only thing worse then hearing that god-forsaken siren is hearing the whirring of helicopter blades and the zap of a taser going off.
Randy McDaniel, Chief Deputy of the Montgomery County, Texas Sheriff’s Office, also weighs in on the Shadowhawk drones in the clip. Shadowhawk drones armed with an array of non-lethal force options–including impact rounds, chemical munition rounds, and tasers– could save lives in McDaniel’s opinion. Source
Visit the Vanguard Defense Website for full features of the ShadowHawk® Unmanned Aerial System
Laser Weapon Systems Capable of Downing Drones
Most recent of the four weapons, articles started surfacing about 3 weeks ago, but trending in the last several days, about a weapon system specifically designed to take down drones.
The kicker? It is a giant laser cannon.
“The German defense electronics firm Rheinmetall recently tested a pair of high-powered lasers in Switzerland. They look kind of like giant CCTV cameras, but they’re actually designed to beam a 50-kilowatt laser at drones flying through the air at 110 miles-per-hour. (It’s actually a double-barrelled device with one 30-kilowatt laser beam and one 20-kilowatt laser beam. In this case, you should cross the beams.) In case you’re new to laser specs, 50 kilowatts is strong enough to burn through a steel girder a kilometer away. The laser is unphased by bad weather, and soon, Rheinmetall plans to have a truck-mounted version that can ramble through Alpine roads, shooting drones on-the-go.” Source
Attempts have been made in the past by the United States and other countries to harness lasers as weapons such as the US firm Raytheon which released a similar system in 2010 called The Laser Close-In Weapon System (CIWS). There is a video below of it in action but the footage is a little grainy and it’s almost impossible to see the laser so just picture a beam of light the colour of your choosing. BBC article about Raytheon: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10682693
Active Denial System
You know when you’re on riot control duty and those unruly protesters are being simply unreasonable, don’t you just want to microwave them a bit? Well then the Active Denial system is for you.
Once again we have Raytheon to thank for this ingenious crowd-control device, designed to “zap angry mobs with microwaves, in 2000. Since then it’s been tested over 11,000 times on human targets. It penetrates 1/64 of an inch below the surface of the skin, creating a temporary burning sensation.” Source
Or if you wanted the more toned down model for those early prison hours, “Raytheon developed a lower power version of the system, called Silent Guardian, which it sent to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department last year for possible use on unruly inmates.” Source
Is there something a little twisted about microwaving protesters/prisoners or is it being responsible as peace-keepers to use less-lethal forces?
You decide, let me know in the comment area what you think of any of the weapons listed here or if you know of another that rivals these.