While the painful heat ray gun was still in development, the Israelis began working on a portable pain ray. After more testing, the US Army is now all too happy to use show off their gun in Afghanistan. The company had previously attempted to use it in the US, with the DHS wanting it, but little has come from it. The heat ray gun, as the Army claims, burns the skin, but doesn’t leave any permanent damage. Known as the active denial system (ADS), it has been in development for the military for a few years. The ADS is meant to disperse crowds and beat back the enemy.
It uses a focused invisible beam that causes an “intolerable heating sensation”, but only penetrates the skin to the equivalent of three sheets of paper.
The discomfort causes whoever it’s pointed at to immediately start moving away. They often scream but the US military says the chance of injury from the system is 0.1%.
The beam produced by the ADS can travel more than 500m (1,640ft) and is seen as an important new way to limit unnecessary deaths and minimise war zone casualties.
Developers also say it could also be adapted to other operations, like fighting drug smuggling at sea and general peacekeeping operations.
With all the recent border activity with Mexico, the DHS might be able to try and sell the ADS to the general public again, claiming that it will help in the fight against illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
The BBC also notes that the US is continuing its research into a portable device, such as the one the Israelis have developed. As I wrote three years ago, this device has serious implications for damage and injury to individuals.
What is likely to happen is that your retina is going to be cooked due to the heat if it’s overused. In a short span, it will probably just melt your contact lens onto your cornea. 1/64th inch is more than enough to cause permanent eye damage.
Law enforcement and the military will over use this weapon as they did with the taser. It will be touted as a safe weapon, so, instead of proper policing, they will rely on electrical gadgets that they don’t fully understand.
This is already a long range torture device. One should hope that it never becomes completely portable and backpack sized.