US military unveils non-lethal heat ray weapon
On-demand hot-flashes. The menopausotron unveiled!
The technology has attracted safety concerns possibly because the beam is often confused with the microwaves commonly used by consumers to rapidly heat food.
“There are a lot of misperceptions out there,” lamented Taffola, saying the Pentagon was keen to make clear what the weapon is, and what it is not.
The frequency of the blast makes all the difference for actual injury as opposed to extreme discomfort, stressed Stephanie Miller, who measured the system’s radio frequency bioeffects at the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The system ray is 95 gigahertz, a frequency “absorbed very superficially,” said Miller.
The beam only goes 1/64th of an inch (0.4 millimeter), which “gives a lot more safety.”
In other words, the heating is all at the surface, not in the interior, so it cooks your skin, not your internal organs. It’s not a direct quote, but one might get the impression that the message is “it’s not microwave, it’s radio-frequency” and playing on the notion that radios are harmless. But AM and FM radio bands are at around 1 MHz and 100 MHz, respectively. However, ~ 1 GHz from microwave ovens is microwave, so 95 GHz is well into the microwave band of the spectrum.