A new device may make car chases a thing of the past.
Eureka Aerospace , a company from Pasadena, Calif., had developed a device that shoots a microwave beam at a speeding car, frying its electrical system and stopping the car dead in its tracks.
To disable cars, the device generates energy that is amplified by a generator, and then converted to microwave radiation. The radiation is then focused with a special antenna into a narrow beam, and aimed at a car's headlights, tail lights, lug nuts, frame bolts, or windshield antenna.
It's essential to hit these vulnerable electrical parts because, especially in newer cars, there are lots of plastic parts and rustproof paint that prevents electricity from conducting, and the computers are designed to withstand high electromagnetic energy. In tests, the beam could hit any of these exposed electrical parts from 10 to 50 feet away.
A pulse lasting just 50 nanoseconds is enough to overload wires or damage the car's central microprocessor. At a high power of 300 megahertz (compared to 2.45 gigahertz in a microwave), the radiation energy is above common radio frequencies, and isn't harmful to humans.
The company hopes the device will help police officers in areas with long flat highways, such as southern California, where car chases are fairly common. The new technology could allow police officers to choose to stop a car in a location where it would be difficult for the driver to attempt to flee on foot.
The current prototype of the device is about 5 feet long, 3 feet wide, and weighs nearly 200 pounds. Since it's too hefty to fit in a car, the researchers tested the device from rooftops. However, in the future, the company hopes to shrink the device to 50 pounds and about TV-size, with the ability to fry a car from up to 600 feet away.
via: Discovery Channel