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Laser Beam Weapons To Inflict Pain

The US department of Justice has made the future weapons that inflict pain, now a reality. As reported by New Scientist, the research arm of the US department of Justice has been working on two portable non-lethal weapons that inflict pain from a distance using beams of laser light or microwaves, with the intention of putting them into the hands of police to subdue suspects.

The two devices build on the knowledge gained gained from the Pentagon's controversial Active Denial System (ADS), is under development by the civilian National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The device utilizes 2-metre beam of short microwaves that uses microwaves to heat up the skin and cause burn.

While ADS could beam up to meters, this new device can be effective up to only a few centimeters. These weapons are created to induce "repel response", i.e a strong urge to escape from the beam. According to a spokesperson at National Institute for Justice, these devices are meant to evoke the same affects as "blunt trauma" weapons such as rubber bullets.

"But unlike blunt trauma devices, the injury should not be present. This research is looking to reduce the injuries to suspects," he said. The NIJ's laser weapon has been dubbed Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response - PHaSR - and resembles a bulky rifle.

It was invented in 2005 to temporarily distract the enemy, but the addition of a second, infrared laser makes it able to heat skin too. The NIJ is testing the PHaSR in various scenarios, which may include prison situations as well as law enforcement.

The spokesperson declared that a tabletop prototype with a range of less than a meter, a backpack-sized prototype with a range of 15 meters will be ready next year. It has been researched since long about the effect of microwave beams on humans.

However very little information is revealed about the affect of PHaSR-type lasers on human skin. The main purpose of the device is that it is far less heavy than the microwaves devices. AGENCIES

Read more about: war infrared microwave
Story first published: Friday, December 26, 2008, 16:14 [IST]
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