After decades of research and development, directed-energy weapons (DEW) are here and it is likely they were already secretly tested and/or used as practical, high-performance military weapons. Secret use of such weapons should be considered while trying to explain certain “events” in the world… (e.g. Nashville, Beirut, California Fires, Australia Fires etc. )
The death ray or death beam was a theoretical particle beam or electromagnetic weapon first theorized around the 1920s and 1930s. Around that time, notable inventors such as Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla, Harry Grindell Matthews, Edwin R. Scott, Erich Graichen and others claimed to have invented it independently. In 1957, the National Inventors Council was still issuing lists of needed military inventions that included a death ray.
While inspired by fiction, research into energy-based weapons has contributed to real-life weapons in use by modern militaries sometimes called a sort of “death ray”, such as the United States Navy and its Laser Weapon System (LaWS) deployed in mid-2014. Such armaments are technically known as directed-energy weapons.
A directed-energy weapon (DEW) is a ranged weapon that damages its target with highly focused energy, including laser, microwaves, and particle beams. Potential applications of this technology include weapons that target personnel, missiles, vehicles, and optical devices.
In the United States, the Pentagon, DARPA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, United States Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center, and the Naval Research Laboratory are researching directed-energy weapons and railguns to counter ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles, and hypersonic glide vehicles. These systems of missile defense are expected to come online no sooner than the mid to late-2020s.
Russia, China, India, and the United Kingdom are also developing directed-energy weapons while Iran and Turkey claim to have directed-energy weapons in active service and the first usage of directed-energy weapons in a combat was claimed to have occurred in Libya in August 2019 by Turkey which claimed to use the ALKA Directed-energy weapon.
Directed energy weapons could have several main advantages over conventional weaponry:
- Directed-energy weapons can be used discreetly; radiation above and below the visible spectrum is invisible and does not generate sound.
- Light is, for all practical purposes, essentially unaffected by gravity, windage and Coriolis force, giving it an almost perfectly flat trajectory. This makes aim much more precise and extends the range to line-of-sight, limited only by beam diffraction and spread (which dilute the power and weaken the effect), and absorption or scattering by intervening atmospheric contents.
- Lasers travel at light-speed and have near infinite range and are therefore suitable for use in space warfare.
- Laser weapons potentially eliminate many logistical problems in terms of ammunition supply, as long as there is enough energy to power them.
- Depending on several operational factors, directed-energy weapons may be cheaper to operate than conventional weapons in certain contexts.
Although some devices are labeled as microwave weapons, the microwave range is commonly defined as being between 300 MHz and 300 GHz, which is within the RF range – these frequencies having wavelengths of 1 millimeter to 1 meter. Some examples of weapons which have been publicized by the military are as follows:
- Active Denial System is a millimeter wave source that heats the water in a human target’s skin and thus causes incapacitating pain. It was developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and Raytheon for riot-control duty. Though intended to cause severe pain while leaving no lasting damage, concern has been voiced as to whether the system could cause irreversible damage to the eyes. There has yet to be testing for long-term side effects of exposure to the microwave beam. It can also destroy unshielded electronics. The device comes in various sizes, including attached to a Humvee.
- Vigilant Eagle is a proposed airport defense system that directs high-frequency microwaves towards any projectile that is fired at an aircraft. The system consists of a missile-detecting and tracking subsystem (MDT), a command and control system, and a scanning array. The MDT is a fixed grid of passive infrared (IR) cameras. The command and control system determines the missile launch point. The scanning array projects microwaves that disrupt the surface-to-air missile’s guidance system, deflecting it from the aircraft.
- Bofors HPM Blackout is a high-powered microwave weapon that is said to be able to destroy at short distance a wide variety of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic equipment and is purportedly non-lethal.
- The effective radiated power (ERP) of the EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar makes it a hypothetical candidate for conversion into a directed-energy weapon, by focusing pulses of radar energy on target missiles. The energy spikes are tailored to enter missiles through antennas or sensor apertures where they can fool guidance systems, scramble computer memories or even burn out sensitive electronic components.
- AESA radars mounted on fighter aircraft have been slated as directed energy weapons against missiles, however, a senior US Air Force officer noted: “they aren’t particularly suited to create weapons effects on missiles because of limited antenna size, power and field of view”. Potentially lethal effects are produced only inside 100 meters range, and disruptive effects at distances on the order of one kilometer. Moreover, cheap countermeasures can be applied to existing missiles.
- Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project
A laser weapon is a directed-energy weapon based on lasers. After decades of R&D, as of January 2020 directed-energy weapons including lasers are still at the experimental stage and it remains to be seen if or when they will be deployed as practical, high-performance military weapons. Atmospheric thermal blooming has been a major problem, still mostly unsolved and worsened if there is fog, smoke, dust, rain, snow, smog, foam, or purposely dispersed obscurant chemicals in the air. Essentially, a laser generates a beam of light which needs clear air, or a vacuum to work without thermal blooming. Laser and other directed-energy weapons have been a staple in science fiction since their inception however.
Particle-beam weapons can use charged or neutral particles, and can be either endoatmospheric or exoatmospheric. Particle beams as beam weapons are theoretically possible, but practical weapons have not been demonstrated yet. Certain types of particle beams have the advantage of being self-focusing in the atmosphere.
Blooming is also a problem in particle-beam weapons. Energy that would otherwise be focused on the target spreads out and the beam becomes less effective:
- Thermal blooming occurs in both charged and neutral particle beams, and occurs when particles bump into one another under the effects of thermal vibration, or bump into air molecules.
- Electrical blooming occurs only in charged particle beams, as ions of like charge repel one another.
Plasma weapons fire a beam, bolt, or stream of plasma, which is an excited state of matter consisting of atomic electrons & nuclei and free electrons if ionized, or other particles if pinched.
The MARAUDER (Magnetically Accelerated Ring to Achieve Ultra-high Directed-Energy and Radiation) used the Shiva Star project (a high energy capacitor bank which provided the means to test weapons and other devices requiring brief and extremely large amounts of energy) to accelerate a toroid of plasma at a significant percentage of the speed of light.
The Russian Federation is developing plasma weapons.
Tests performed on mice show the threshold for both lung and liver damage occurs at about 184 dB. Damage increases rapidly as intensity is increased. Noise-induced neurological disturbances in humans exposed to continuous low frequency tones for durations longer than 15 minutes involved development of immediate and long-term problems affecting brain tissue. The symptoms resembled those of individuals who had suffered minor head injuries. One theory for a causal mechanism is that the prolonged sound exposure resulted in enough mechanical strain to brain tissue to induce an encephalopathy.
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