Wired is carrying a story on the certification of the Active Denial System (ADS) for use in Iraq. The ADS is a millimeter wave weapon that uses a reportedly non-lethal energy beam to inflict short term pain on its targets, encouraging them to leave an area, what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect." Some crunchy bits from the article:
The ADS shoots a beam of millimeters waves, which are longer in wavelength than x-rays but shorter than microwaves -- 94 GHz (= 3 mm wavelength) compared to 2.45 GHz (= 12 cm wavelength) in a standard microwave oven.
...while subjects may feel like they have sustained serious burns, the documents claim effects are not long-lasting. At most, "some volunteers who tolerate the heat may experience prolonged redness or even small blisters,"
There has been no independent checking of the military's claims.
I can see using this in a wartime situation, but how long before we see these things mounted to the top of S.W.A.T. vans for domestic crowd control? And, is that a bad idea? I can't really tell from where I sit.