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"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"
10-30-2007, 01:43 AM,
#1
"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"
I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig

by Sharon Weinberger for blog.wired.com (at this link)

October 25, 2007 | 4:20:59 PM

Today, I broke my cardinal rule of defense reporting: never be a test subject for a supposedly "nonlethal" weapon.

I adopted this rule some time back at a trade show, when I saw somebody pick up a dazzling laser from a booth and point it as his own face at close range. Basically, untrained people are prone to do stupid stuff around nonlethal weapons and I'm really fond of my central field of vision, so why take the risk ?

But today, the military offered the second opportunity ever for reporters to be blasted by the Active Denial System [article refers to "wiki" at this link], a millimeter wave beam weapon designed to heat up the very tippy top layer of skin.

Considering that they've blasted the thing some 10,000 plus times, and at several hundred people, I thought, "Oh why not?"

The demonstration was held today at Quantico in Virginia, where a couple dozen reporters -- along with military personnel -- volunteered for a demo [see "YouTube" video at this link].

All you had to sign was a "release of liability" and a "general talent release" that "grants the U.S. Government the right to "use my name, or that of said infant or minor child ... in any matter and for any purpose whatsoever; and to do the same perpetually."

(Note to U.S. government: I may have forgot to sign and turn that second form in. Sorry!)


That's right, I was shot -- not once, but twice -- by the military's oh-so-scary Active Denial System.

Yes, I realize the video is rather undramatic. Let me get to that.

In the briefings leading up to the test, Susan LeVine, of the Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, told us that ADS felt like being burned by a hairdryer at the hairdresser (women will understand this one better than men).

Colonel Kirk Hymes, head of the Directorate, described it like the heat on your face when you open the oven to baste a Thanksgiving Turkey (I guess that's a guy thing, because women don't stick their heads in the oven when they baste a turkey).

Now, here's the immediate reaction of three reporters after going under the beam today:

"Can you do my other side?" one guy asked.

"That felt great," another reporter quipped.

"I want to go, again," a third requested.

Lesson number one: The Active Denial System does not like the rain, or as Air Force Research Lab scientist Diana Loree put it, rain "attenuates the beam."

And it wasn't just raining down at Quantico today, there was water everywhere. On the equipment, on the ground, and forming in huge, muddy puddles. We were all drenched and cold. Frankly, getting that nice blast of heat from ADS was the best part of my day.

Lesson number two: It's hard to say whether the rain issue (which has always been acknowledged as a factor in the ADS beam) makes any difference in the end.

After all, everyone jumped out of the beam within a couple of seconds. And, as the officials at the test noted, in real world operations, we would likely be closer to the beam (we were positioned over 500 meters away from the ADS system).

That said, my initial thought was: If it doesn't cut it as a weapon, it could be a nice space heater in a pinch.
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10-30-2007, 02:11 AM,
#2
"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"
Good read, liked the video too. You've more guts than I.
Reply
11-09-2007, 11:11 PM,
#3
"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"
they'll need it by 2012 lol
[Image: noverichip1ja.gif]
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11-10-2007, 01:39 AM,
#4
"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"
Boy he sure made ADS sound harmless.

Personally I'd rather not have the top layer of my skin melted, microscopically or not.
&We grow to recognize form. We grow to label that form. In doing so, do we become more intelligent? Do we become more awakened?& - Siji Tzu 四季子
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11-23-2007, 05:00 PM,
#5
"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"
Just like the common microwave oven, the ADS only heats the water molecules as they absorb it's specific frequency and get all excited about it. Because it makes no distinction between water in the skin or rainwater, a heavy rain does weaken it's effect by a large magnitude
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