After dispensing with microwave weapons for decades, microwave weapons began to be seen as a serious military threat – prompting the Department of Defense to issue a request to supply US soldiers with detectors for what it described as the “growing threat on the battlefield.”
These weapons, some of which cause a burning sensation, have already been contemplated for use on US soil. In June, a Federal Police officer ordered a truck the size of a truck Microwave heat rays To disperse protests related to black lives. The Trump administration has considered using the same device Against asylum seekers In 2018.
Now, the Department of Defense wants American soldiers to be equipped with microwave detection devices. This was put in place on December 9th Seek a contract For a “low-cost, low-weight, compact and wearable radio-frequency (RF) weapon exposure detector,” with identification of high-frequency microwaves that came from the Department of Defense Defense Health Program.
The Department of Defense’s interest in the discovery of microwave weapons is like this Israel, China, and Russia They are said to be inventing their own versions of microwave heat.Active reject systemWhich the United States pioneered for two decades. The United States continues to develop technology: The Air Force Research Laboratory is working to launch “Electromagnetic anti-crowd weaponTHOR is called for mid-flight drone frying. Prototype marine microwave weapon Installed on a standard pistol stand It was unveiled in 2018. The need to disable UAVs has become more real with The Fall War Between Azerbaijan and Armenia won the first Drone fleets Destroy the latter’s defenses.
Then, in December, a new report indicated that these weapons could cause nerve injuries. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Critical report It was suggested that weapons are the “most plausible” explanation for the puzzling nerve injuries seen in at least 15 diplomatic personnel and their families in Cuba In 2016 and 2017.
Without known patterns [radiofrequency] Injury to guide the diagnosis, it would be difficult to differentiate [microwave] “Injury from other common sources of illness and injury such as heat stroke,” says the Defense Agency’s microwave detector. Program requestThat shuts down in about two weeks. “These mysterious symptoms are compounded by the transient nature of radio frequency energy. Without a sensor, it is possible that there is no residual evidence of an RF attack.”
The Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the detection device contract. However, experts contacted by BuzzFeed News suggested that the growing military interest in microwave weapons may stem from the advent of drone launch weapons and the NASEM report. They added that this technology is noteworthy as a new concern on the battlefield of the 21st century.
“I assume that although the United States never deployed these weapons in a theater of war, there is a fear that other actors will do so,” Andrew Wood of the Australian Center for Research on Electromagnetic Biological Effects said by e-mail. They can be easily hidden behind cloth curtains, he added, so US military personnel who experience a burning sensation, for example, may need a detector to see if someone else is pointing a microwave weapon at them.
Environmental epidemiologist Marlos Evtens, of the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health, said the contract request for a wearable sensor that can fit in a gun magazine bag and can be clipped into a jacket also indicates concerns about accidental exposure to microwave ovens by workers at military test sites. BuzzFeed News via email.
Despite the burning sensation one might feel when in a “heat ray” weapon beam, Evtens cautioned that it would be difficult to determine if a focused microwave field was the cause. “You’re not going to get any signs, so it’s difficult to objectively determine whether and by how much someone has been exposed to,” she said.
There are detectors for other types of radio-frequency waves other than the microwaves described in the Department of Defense contract application, Paul Elliott of Magnetic Sciences Inc., Inc. in Acton, Massachusetts, told BuzzFeed News. It is usually intended for people who work with electronics.
“The things we sell are about the size of a brick, or at least half a brick,” he said. “You won’t wear one.”
While overheating microwave ovens, such as those in ovens, can cook food and cause burns, the question is whether Health effects It can be produced from the least strength he has Evidence has long been lacking And it underwent sorts The conspiracy theories we see today about 5G cell phones.
US Air Force trials placed restrictions on the Exposure of humans to the microwave In the 1970s during studies of the electromagnetic pulses observed from nuclear explosions. These standards have been widely adopted since then, but A. 2018 NATO Technical Report He described those limits as not scientifically justified, saying that they were not supported by any trials showing infections. French researchers report last year Low-energy pulsed microwaves have been linked to cancer and behavioral changes in mice The question of health effects raised again, Especially with systems like THOR that are now being contemplated for field use against drones.
“I don’t expect major safety issues for people in the bundles, but on the other hand, the amount of research on the biological effects of such pulses is limited,” said bioengineer Ken Foster of the University of Pennsylvania. “If the military is going to provide these weapons, they’d better do good safety studies.”