Eureka Aerospace have managed to find a way to focus microwave energy and direct it at a moving target, disrupting the electronic impulses in the car’s electronic control unit (ECU) and in some cases even burning out these circuits.
This effectively renders the vehicle dead in the water, all without any shots fired and possibly before a chase can escalate into a situation that puts innocent bystanders in danger.
If the beam is powerful enough to harm electronic equipment, then how safe are the people inside the car that has been targeted? According to company spokesman, there are no biological affects at all.
The electronics in the vehicle are not disrupted by heat, as with the typical home microwave used for cooking. The 300 MHz beam instead works by interfering with so-called ‘vulnerable’ frequencies employed by the vehicle’s ignition and other functions. The beam is focused enough to avoid any collateral damage to passing motorists or the cell phones of pedestrians.
If you are starting to get nervous that you will have your car’s computer fried during a routine traffic stop, you can stop sweating – there are a couple of reasons this is unlikely to happen.
The first is that technology like this will only be deployed strategically in high-risk situations: high-speed chases, hostage situations, etc. The second is that so far, the device itself is too large to be mounted in a standard police cruiser.
3 feet wide, 5 feet long, and weighing in at 200 pounds, this energy bazooka is only mobile when connected to something like a helicopter or armored personnel carrier. Miniaturization efforts are continuing however, and alternate uses for the technology are being explored.
At its current size, it could be practical for Coast Guard use, mounted on a boat to stop smuggler traffic, or as a first line of defense at embassies to protect from car bombs and vehicular attacks.
Another option would be to use it to defend army bases and other military assets from vehicles that refuse to stop when ordered to do so – Eureka eventually hopes to be able to create a 600 range for their device.
While it appears as though this ray gun won’t be standard issue for your local police department in the near future, it’s important not to forget the ubiquity of the previously mentioned police technology.
It wasn’t that long ago that forensic analysis and tasers were also brand new, unproven ideas. And of course, the best response when a police car flashes you with its lights is always to pull over immediately – that way you’ll never have to worry about invisible microwaves cooking your pride and joy.