Zap me baby

RISKS-LIST: Risks-Forum Digest  Saturday 2 February 2008  Volume 25 : Issue 04 


Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 18:11:31 -0500

From: David Chessler <>

Subject: Technology Review: Stopping cars with microwaves


Zapping the bad guys: Attached to the roof of this police car is a 200-pound electromagnetic system that can quickly bring an opposing vehicle to a stop. The system is six- to eight-feet long (antennae included) and almost three-feet wide.  It works by sending out pulses of microwave radiation that disable the microprocessors that control the central engine functions of a car.  Credit: Eureka Aerospace


Researchers at Eureka Aerospace are turning a fictional concept from the movie *2 Fast 2 Furious* into reality: they’re creating an electromagnetic system that can quickly bring a vehicle to a stop.  The system, which can be attached to an automobile or aircraft carrier, sends out pulses of microwave radiation to disable the microprocessors that control the central engine functions in a car.  Such a device could be used by law enforcement to stop fleeing and noncooperative vehicles at security checkpoints, or as perimeter protection for military bases, communication centers, and oil platforms in the open seas. [Source: Brittany Sauser, Stopping Cars with Radiation: A beam of microwave energy could stop vehicles in their tracks, MIT *Technology Review*, 13 Nov 2007]