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Running from the fuzz just got a little bit harder thanks to Eureka Aerospace

High-speed police chases are nothing new to Americans these days. Local (and often times national) TV stations are quick to break into regular programming when a high speed chase occurs and will follow the incident to its completion. TV stations know that people are keen to tune in -- just as they are likely to slow down and rubberneck for an accident on the side of the highway.

Criminals and TV stations alike may have something to fear in the future thanks to Eureka Aerospace. Eureka's contraption has nothing to do with the "PIT Maneuver" or spike strips -- instead, it uses microwaves to effectively zap a cars electrical system rendering it inoperable.

The rooftop mounted device in its current version measures 5' x 3' by 1' and weighs roughly 200 pounds. The high-powered weapon operates at 300 MHz and is not harmful to humans.

In order to stop a vehicle, energy for the weapon is amplified using a generator and then converted into microwave radiation. The energy beam is then pin-pointed at the fleeing vehicle using a specially designed antenna.

A burst of energy lasting only 50 nanoseconds can effectively put a vehicle's electrical system out of commission. Eureka Aerospace has already performed four successful tests on donated vehicles at distances of 10 to 50 feet.

"The idea is to warn an automobile some distance away from a high-value target like a military barrack or a communication center. If they don't comply, you just zap them and it prevents them from coming closer," said Eureka Aerospace CEO James Tatoian.

As with most devices, the technology will improve as time progresses. Tatoian projects that his company will be able to shrink the current hardware down to a 50 pound package within two years and disable vehicles from up to 600 feet away.

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Good but
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2007 10:32:51 AM , Rating: 2
You know some civil rights group is going to protest this just like they protest red light cameras. I'm all for it though.

RE: Good but
By retrospooty on 12/5/2007 10:38:10 AM , Rating: 4
I doubt it... The purpose of this is to save lives. So many accidents are caused by cops chasing cars, this can only be a good thing.

I remember an accident a few years back near my house. A cop was chasing a guy who didnt come to a complete stop at a stop sign. For some reason the guy didnt stop when the cop turned on his siren, so began a very short high speed chase. The cop came over an overpass and obliterated a lady and her 2 young kids pulling into traffic. No survivors, except the cop.

There was a big stink in the media that these 3 innocent deaths shouldnt have happened, and many police departments have a no chase policy now, because of many cases like it.

RE: Good but
By Ringold on 12/5/2007 10:44:21 AM , Rating: 3
That's a thorny issue; let the criminal get away to do harm another day, or pursue and subject the public to immediate risk rather then the more obscure longer term risk of allowing the criminal to run?

I'm all for calling in air strikes against fleeing vehicles, but thats just me. :P

RE: Good but
By AntiM on 12/5/2007 11:01:57 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, a helicopter with a highly accurate, Apache style machine gun would be just as effective. Or a large helicopter equipped with an electromagnet. When the fleeing vehicle enters a clear area, swoop down and pick it up. Then fly to 10,000 feet....
But seriously, I think the device is a good alternative. I think the benefits outweigh the risks.

RE: Good but
By cleco on 12/5/2007 11:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
The apache chain gun is only accurate as the gunner is. And if you ever seen any military vids of apache gunners shooting high speed moving vehicles, they miss a good bit ... and less us not forget the 25mm ricoceting on impact.

I like the magnet idea though, Blackhawk with a sling load lol

RE: Good but
By steven975 on 12/5/2007 11:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
Don't mean to nit-pick, but the Apache's gun is 30mm and not 25mm. Doesn't sound like much but I think the bullets weight over 2x more and are made of depleted uranium. Same shells as the A-10 I think.

RE: Good but
By Polynikes on 12/5/2007 1:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
Plus you'd have the brass shells being ejected to worry about. If they're driving over a road, THAT could be dangerous to drivers. (I've been under an Apache firing its gun, it spits out a lot of brass, which isn't small. :D)

That aside, whether a person is fleeing for missing a stop sign or murder, the police's aim shouldn't be to kill them during the chase. They should be arrested and tried.

RE: Good but
By Mongooose on 12/5/2007 2:02:42 PM , Rating: 3
Just to let you know the A-10 and the AH-64 while both being 30mm guns do not fire the same ammunition. The AH-64 fires the "light weight family" of 30mm ammunition which is 30mm x 113mm (a straight walled case much lower velocity) round. The A-10 fires a 30mm x 173mm (bottle shaped case) round which a much higher velocity round.

Also no Armor piercing for the 30 x 113, just HE, Where the 30 x 173 has the velocity for its depleted uranium AP rounds.

For a 25mm gun look at the Bradley fighting vehicles main gun, has a lot more velocity than the Apaches, but yeah the bullet it spits is smaller.

RE: Good but
By Nanobaud on 12/5/2007 12:11:01 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Good but
By Blight AC on 12/5/2007 1:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
The problem though is the vehicles momentum could throw the helicopter into an unrecoverable state. It's all well and good when it's in the movies, or the vehicle is stopped, but a moving vehicle could have adverse effects on a Helicopters ability to remain stable.

Not only that, it's simply not practical due to other limitations, like power lines, bridges, trees etc.

RE: Good but
By theapparition on 12/5/2007 12:33:49 PM , Rating: 3
let the criminal get away to do harm another day, or pursue and subject the public to immediate risk rather then the more obscure longer term risk of allowing the criminal to run?

If letting the criminal go was standard policy, why would anyone not attempt to run.
Criminals need to be pursued, and any collateral damage incurred should be heaped onto the criminal's penalty.

RE: Good but
By mal1 on 12/5/2007 2:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think that potentially adding vehicular homicide to a misdemeanor traffic offense is reasonable?

It's pretty easy to get a good vehicle description and license plates (especially with better police cameras) and pick up a suspect later on without a pursuit. Everyone has to park eventually.

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 7:38:04 PM , Rating: 4
> "Do you think that potentially adding vehicular homicide to a misdemeanor traffic offense is reasonable?"

Those who flee a minor traffic stop are rarely guilty of just that offense. Normally, the vehicle is stolen, they're already wanted on other charges, or they have controlled substances somewhere in the vehicle.

For that matter, roughly half of all car chases don't even begin with a minor traffic offense, but are initiated because the police recognize a stolen car, a wanted suspect, or something else.

> "It's pretty easy to get a good vehicle description and license plates "

And how does that help you if the vehicle is a stolen car? What if the driver is fleeing because he has a few million in coke in the trunk or, god forbid, a kidnapped college student he's planning to rape? What if its an escaped prisoner, or someone with outstanding murder warrants? How many people will die from letting such criminals escape?

For that matter, anyone who escaped in such manner could easily just park their car somewhere, then claim it had just been stolen from them. Viola! As long as you wear dark glasses or have tinted windows, you're immume to prosecution.

Seriously, no-pursuit policies are the height of folly. If implemented nationwide, they'd be carte blanche for any and all types of criminal activity.

RE: Good but
By Bremen7000 on 12/6/2007 3:41:02 AM , Rating: 1
If the cops zap the electrical system in my car that some guy stole, I'd be pissed!

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/6/2007 9:01:02 AM , Rating: 2
Instead of them blowing the ECU, you'd rather the chase ends by your car ramming into a tree, building, or another vehicle?

RE: Good but
By rdeegvainl on 12/6/2007 2:12:31 PM , Rating: 1
A Tree yes, building or other vehicle no.
I'd hope that they kill themselves and hurt no one else and total my car, so that I can get the insurance to pay for a brand new one!!!

RE: Good but
By ninjit on 12/5/2007 12:39:42 PM , Rating: 3
That's a thorny issue; let the criminal get away to do harm another day, or pursue and subject the public to immediate risk rather then the more obscure longer term risk of allowing the criminal to run?

I think the police need to make better judgement calls as to when to chase/not to.

It really comes down to whether the chase would be more dangerous to the public than the crime.

The "not coming to a complete stop" case certainly does NOT warrant a high-speed chase through a residential neighborhood - that cop caused way more harm to the public than the driver he was chasing could have with his infraction.

A shooting suspect on the other hand should be chased down and caught ASAP - who knows how many others he may kill?

So, with that in mind, I think a blanket no-chase policy is silly - instead they should have better guidlines on when chasing is acceptable

RE: Good but
By ebakke on 12/5/2007 12:57:18 PM , Rating: 1
While running a stop sign might not be cause for a high speed chase, you really have to wonder why the guy didn't just pull over for the cop. You'd be surprised how many criminals are finally caught because of routine traffic stops. To me, anyone fleeing an officer is someone who deserves to be chased.

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 1:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly the point. Someone who flees from a routine traffic stop is almost certainly wanted for more serious crimes.

RE: Good but
By mal1 on 12/5/2007 2:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
Most of your comments are right on the mark but I think you're wrong on this one. A large number of drivers (I believe statistics from police reports show between 1/2 and 2/3) that flee police have not committed any other crime besides the traffic offense they're being stopped for. The others were mostly wanted felons and/or stolen cars. About 1 in 100 police chases end with fatalities (~350/year in the US), many of which are innocent victims.

That said, this is a good way to stop a chase before it gets dangerous.

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 2:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
> "I believe statistics from police reports show between 1/2 and 2/3) that flee police have not committed any other crime besides the traffic offense they're being stopped for"

If you have a link to that, I'd be interested in perusing it.

RE: Good but
By mal1 on 12/5/2007 3:03:44 PM , Rating: 2

This is only for Pennsylvania in 2006 (only stats I could find without digging too deep), it shows 47% of chases were initiated for "Other Traffic Offenses", which would be speeding, running a red light/stop sign, etc.

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 4:15:20 PM , Rating: 3
> "it shows 47% of chases were initiated for "Other Traffic Offenses", "

But that's just the reason the pursuit was initiated, and doesn't reflect whether or not there were more serious crimes involved.

However, if you read further, that link says 74% of all pursuits had additional, "non-pursuit related" charges, such as stolen vehicle, possession of drugs, etc. So this seems to support my original statement that most who flee a routine traffic stop are guilty of something more serious.

RE: Good but
By TSS on 12/5/2007 7:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
yet this is also more thorny then it seems. suppose some kid decides to run from the police because he has some reefer on him. now when caught, that would fall under +1 non-persuit related charge, when he was beeing pulled over for say, running a red light. i doubt that most of them would have an openstanding warrent of which you'd take the 33% chance of causing a crash.

RE: Good but
By ebakke on 12/5/2007 9:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it really depends on how that statistic was calculated.

RE: Good but
By ceefka on 12/5/2007 3:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
Stopping a vehicle this way might be effective, but is it also safe? If it is a modern car it will have no powering of breaks or steering making it an unguided projectile. A "microbeamed" car running over a biker or pedestrian... We would also have to have a tractor beam. Make it so!

I guess you could say that it can be safer than a long wild chase.

RE: Good but
By mal1 on 12/5/2007 3:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of pursuits (around 1/3 I think) end in crashes anyway, at least this device could be used in a place that would minimize the risk of bystanders getting hurt.

RE: Good but
By Keeir on 12/5/2007 4:11:56 PM , Rating: 2
Logically that would be true, but unfortunely many people have an extreme fear or aversion to police officers which makes logic a bad predictor of human behavior.

Its a little bit like a test that is 97% accurate to catch an illness only 1/100 people have. If we tested 100 random people, 4 would likely test postive. 1 real positive and 3 error positives.

I image the same is true with fleeing from the police. The vast majority of people pulled over for speeding and running stop signs etc are "innocent" of any additional crimes. But the 1/100 (random guess) that has the uncontrollable urge to flee may outnumber the actual criminals that do flee.

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 4:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "But the 1/100 (random guess) that has the uncontrollable urge to flee may outnumber the actual criminals "

According to the only hard data posted here in the thread-- that's not true. 74% of those apprehended fleeing were guilty of other, nonrelated crimes.

RE: Good but
By Keeir on 12/5/2007 5:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
If your reading the PA data

"Nonpursuit-related offenses represent those violations which did not occur during the pursuit, but occurred prior to the encounter, during the initiation, or at the apprehension stage of the pursuit. Nonpursuit-related Vehicle Code violations occurred in 74.7 of the reported pursuits; nonpursuit-related Crimes Code in 44.3; and nonpursuit-related Act 64 offenses occurred in 22.98% of pursuits"

So 74% are vehicle related charges and in the notes are concentrated in Unlicensed drivers and DUIs... and the DUI can be reason the chase started!

So, it really doesn't appear from those statistics that a significant percentage of police chases result in additional charges outside of the reason of the pursuit and the pursuit charges.
IE, DUIs, traffic violations, Stolen cars are all consider "nonpursuit" offenses.

I would really like to see the number that result in meaningful charges/apprehensions such as assults/murders/bulgarly

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 8:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
Good catch. However, even if you don't consider DUI or unlicensed drivers as being serious enough to warrant a chase, the summation of more serious criminal offensese (44.3%) and Drug offenses (22.98%) is still more than half.

So my statement that "most" chases involve more serious charges is still correct...especially when one realizes these statistics don't even count the percent of those wanted on preexisting charges. The only crimes tabulated here are *new* charges.

Looking at these stats from a risk benefit analysis, I think its clear chasing pays off. 2,171 chases, hundreds of criminals caught, 11 deaths....and 100% of those deaths were the drivers of the fleeing vehicles. If the state had a no-chase policy, not only would all these people have escaped, but how many more criminals would have been emboldened by the policy?

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 8:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
Correction: 11 deaths, 5 uninvolved.

However, in looking through the crosstab data, I found something pretty interesting. In pursuits begun for minor traffic violations only (regardless of whether or not there were additional charges), crashes occurred in only 26% of the cases. In ones begun for, say, stolen cars, crashes occurred 38% of the time.

Now, a crosstab of total offenses vs. injuries is what we really need, but even this above is a pretty clear indication that those trying to flee most desperately are those involved in the more serious offenses.

RE: Good but
By murphyslabrat on 12/5/2007 10:56:15 AM , Rating: 2
But I don't get how that's any different from red-light cameras: they impose assured accountability for blowing a light, which increases the risk associated with such action, making it that much less of an option...thereby, potentially, saving lives that could have been lost/impaired by an accident.

Same concept: a device that has the potential to save lives, but also gives the law enforcement more power...which can be seen as a bad thing, even if you aren't a villain.

RE: Good but
By steven975 on 12/5/2007 11:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
Actually unless the red-light camera catches your face, there's no proof it was you.

Also, with many areas making running a red light a misdemeanor, the burden of proof has to be there unlike traffic court where you're guilty if the cop says you are.

RE: Good but
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2007 12:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they take a picture of the driver and your license plate.

RE: Good but
By Drexial on 12/5/2007 2:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
the cameras are only focused on the back plate. where they can assure they have the license plate number.

RE: Good but
By ebakke on 12/5/2007 1:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
It was your car, which you're responsible for. If it wasn't you driving, then it's up to you to get that person to pay the fine / insurance increase.

RE: Good but
By jmunjr on 12/5/2007 4:53:13 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Good but
By Webreviews on 12/5/2007 12:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the increase in rear-end collisions that are an unanticipated consequence of having red-light cams. People realize that there is a red-light cam and stomp on the brakes at the last second to avoid a $75 ticket and end up with a smashed back-end from the yutz behind that didn't anticipate the other car doing a brake-stand.

RE: Good but
By Nightskyre on 12/5/2007 12:16:07 PM , Rating: 4
Too bad, I say.

The person in the front deserves the inconvenience for considering running a red light and the person in the back deserves the insurance bill for tail-gating.

RE: Good but
By aharris on 12/6/2007 10:22:26 AM , Rating: 2
It's nice to live in Texas where it is almost always 100% the person in the back's fault.

Yes, I will brake-check you if you ride too close.

RE: Good but
By Blight AC on 12/5/2007 2:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
Except that surveys are now showing that accidents at Red Light Camera intersections are increasing, significantly:

And that's just the tip of the iceberg:

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 2:36:17 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't trust what you read on that site. I dug up a couple of the actual source studies referenced and scanned through them; their conclusions were almost diametrically opposite of what it claimed.

To summarize briefly, studies seem to generally show that red light cameras increase rear-end accidents (from sudden braking to avoid running the light) but decrease light-running accidents (e.g. being t-boned by a vehicle on the other thoroughfare). The latter tend to be more severe, so there's an overall positive benefit, albeit a very small one. However, the studies didn't seem to correct for the growth rates in the associated areas, which would tend to inflate the negative consequences (more traffic = more accidents).

If you want to read one of the actual studies, its available here:

RE: Good but
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2007 11:36:14 AM , Rating: 3
A red light camera could only be a good thing. It helps cut down on people running red lights because you will get caught. Yet I've heard arguments against them that are complete BS such as what if the photo was used in a divorce trial to show the husband or wife was cheating. So don't run a red light while you're doing it. If you do, tough sh*t. There are many things that would be good for society that don't get done because a small group of people complain about it.

RE: Good but
By retrospooty on 12/5/2007 11:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
I am not sure what you mean here... Red light camera's are in use all over the country. Definitely in my state - and I am not aware of any movement against them, or effective efforts that are stopping them from being implemented. I have one on the main light right up the street from me now. It doesn't bug me.

RE: Good but
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2007 12:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they are in use in some places. But in others civil rights groups have complained saying they're an invasion of privacy and what not. In Orlando, FL the cops planned to put up several at intersections where running red lights was common. But the civil rights groups got the plans scrapped.

RE: Good but
By retrospooty on 12/5/2007 6:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
ack... they should come to Arizona. We have unmanned county sherrif minivan's parked on roads with radar guns and camera's that take pics of your license plate if the speed is too fast (11mph over limit). They come along move the vans a few times daily, so you never know where they will be.

That kind of pisses me off, not because I feel its an invasion of my privacy, but because I love to drive fast, and have too many tickets already. :)

RE: Good but
By Haven Bartton on 12/5/2007 12:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
This happened in my small hometown (only 10,000 people) as well. Police chased a truck down a main road. The truck missed a turn and crashed into a house, right into a couple's bedroom, killing them both.

Could you imagine sleeping in bed and then wham... it's all over. @_@

So yeah, I'm all for this. Though I expect it'd be a while before my little town has access to such tech.

RE: Good but
By svenkesd on 12/5/2007 2:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
It should be: So many accidents are caused by people in cars running from cops, this can only be a good thing.

RE: Good but
By rushfan2006 on 12/5/2007 4:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
So many accidents are caused by cops chasing cars, this can only be a good thing.

While I agree in your general point which is that police chases are dangerous and shouldn't be encouraged, I have a different spin on where the "blame" originates.....the criminal after is the one who is the CAUSE of the chase, the unfortunate reality of sometimes innocents getting killed by an out of control cop car is the EFFECT...but you can't have the EFFECT w/o the CAUSE.

Personally though this all for naught --- we need those vaporizing blasters like on that movie Mars Attacks! -- you know just shot and "PUFF!" criminal gone...just all gone..don't even need expensive costs spent on silly things like feeding the criminal while they wait out their court date in jail....should even be less paperwork. ;)

RE: Good but
By xxeonn on 12/5/2007 9:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine pointing that thing at an aircraft. This thing could be very dangerous, they would have to control its sale and use.

RE: Good but
By lumbergeek on 12/5/2007 11:04:46 AM , Rating: 3
Me too. Especially the military application. Could have prevented Beirut.

RE: Good but
By cleco on 12/5/2007 11:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt it, that was in what '86? correct me if i'm wrong but most cars back then were still running Carbeurators. No ECU. Unless this Microwave like totally fries Electric wiring not just components.

RE: Good but
By cleco on 12/5/2007 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
Well just read the orignal article.... it can fry the wires. so even old cars are rendered useless

RE: Good but
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 2:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously doubt a nanosecond-duration pulse can fry a 16-gauge copper wire, not from anything small enough to mount on a car in any case. An older vehicle without an ECU should be immune.

RE: Good but
By Spuke on 12/5/2007 6:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
Most cars were fuel injected then.

RE: Good but
By feraltoad on 12/5/2007 6:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they have a good policy about use though, fry your electrical system and it might be $3000 to fix it with the computer and labor. Or have it armed from the police HQ wirelessly. Not saying it shouldn't be used but only for high speed chases, and not because Farva got told he was a f*g everyday in high school and now it's payback time.

Also, I have NEVER heard of local police following a no chase policy that was on the books in my area. In fact, police often put themselves directly into harm's way, e.g. jump in front of a moving car, and then cite the perp with trying to kill them, that is if the 20 rounds they fire into the windshield leave a perp alive to charge. Which I don't mind for murderers or at shoot-outs, but nonviolent criminals really shouldn't get shot in the face. Maybe microwave weapons can be the alternative.

By Bioniccrackmonk on 12/5/2007 10:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
I break out my early 20th century model T Ford and go on a rampage with it? Or any classic car that has a very limited electrical system.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By Ringold on 12/5/2007 10:46:24 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. Dedicated terrorists no doubt could harden a suicide vehicle against this sort of thing.

Standard thugs, though, perhaps not.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By TomZ on 12/5/2007 11:00:50 AM , Rating: 2
True enough - enclosure the electronics in a Faraday shield (metal box) and you'll probably have no problems. Heck, a lot of the car's electronics are already shielded in that same way.

By FITCamaro on 12/5/2007 11:31:23 AM , Rating: 2
They're shielded to prevent giving off EM radiation that could affect other components and against the EM radiation generated by other components. But I doubt the shield on components is enough to stop something like this. Now the Faraday cage idea would work, but it seems like it'd be kind of difficult to put that in a car and have it look inconspicuous.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
> "but it seems like it'd be kind of difficult to put that in a car and have it look inconspicuous. "

Not really. 300 mhz radiation has a wavelength of 1m, so you don't even need to use solid metal. Just tie loose wire mesh netting all around the inside of the engine compartment, cut any external wires leading to taillights/whatever, and you should be relatively immune. Might take a bit of ingenuity to work around the dashboard electronics, but it doesn't seem terribly difficult.

By semo on 12/5/2007 12:18:48 PM , Rating: 5
or cover your car in tin-foil. ppl will just think you're hiding from aliens

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By Drexial on 12/5/2007 2:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
now let me see if im missing something here, but the ECU is already SURROUNDED by at least two layers of sheet metal from the car itself..... so please someone fill me in on what adding another small cage inside the already giant chunk of steel that is surrounding the computer would do?

By masher2 on 12/5/2007 2:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
> " but the ECU is already SURROUNDED by at least two layers of sheet metal from the car itself..."

The metal case of an ECU has a nice, fat bundle of conductive wires cutting through it,which negates the shielding. A charge is induced on the wiring, which then flows directly into the ECU.

The situation with the car shell itself is even more problematic. Not only is it cut by various conductors, but the entire bottom is usually unshielded, as well as (depending on make and model) large areas of the rear of the engine compartment.

By Oregonian2 on 12/5/2007 2:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
That brings up the puzzlement of what's 300 Mhz and what's microwave. 300 Mhz isn't anywhere near microwave frequencies. Both terms seem to be used in the article. As Yul Brynner used to say: "A puzzlement".

With all the mass of wires in a car there should be a lot of antenna, and things like oxygen sensor wiring probably don't need to be shielded too much and may be vulnerable. Especially in one of those old plastic body cars (although those may not have oxygen sensors). :-)

To get a high attenuation with shielding, it'd have to be fairly tight in all directions (meaning a sphere or the like, no open ends). When doing EMI testing on what looks like a solid metal box, stuff still leaks out even at 28 Mhz where the wavelength is 10 meters. Where it leaks out it can "leak in".

P.S. - Faraday shields need to be a perfectly conducting material to shield "fully". :-)

By masher2 on 12/5/2007 4:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
> "300 Mhz isn't anywhere near microwave frequencies"

There's no hard and fast definition, but the microwave band usually starts right at 300mhz (1meter).

> "To get a high attenuation with shielding, it'd have to be fairly tight in all directions..."

And without any conduction between the outside shell and the internal components...which lets out most vehicles.

By theapparition on 12/6/2007 8:09:41 AM , Rating: 2
P.S. - Faraday shields need to be a perfectly conducting material to shield "fully". :-)

Not even close. First off, there's no such thing as a perfect conductor, but I'm assuming you mean relatively high conductivity. When your talking about shielding, an enclosure provides a level of attenuation. The attenuation required depends on the strength of the signal your trying to shiel agains. Even conductive filled plastics, which are far from being a great "conductor" can achieve 80-100dB worth of shielding effectiveness.

Also depends on the level of EM radiation that your shielding against. For low levels, thicker denser metals work better, especially when the fields are separate E & H fields. When frequencies increase, plane wave radiation penetration depth is rather minimal, and other materials have better properties.

By Oregonian2 on 12/6/2007 2:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Note the word "fully" (infinite attenuation).

Also note that the mesh talked about has fairly low
conductivity in the air gaps that would be the vast
majority of the mesh's area.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 2:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oops...allow me to correct myself. You can't so easily Faraday shield an engine compartment. The car's drivetrain has to cut through it and, until they start making them out of plastic, is going to offer an easy, conductive route for induced charges.

By theapparition on 12/6/2007 8:18:58 AM , Rating: 2
As you stated before, you don't need to shield the engine compartment, just the ECU (and the other 10+ so computers that are in modern cars). To do this is quite simple as you shield the ECU housing. As you correctly stated, you still have to worry about the wiring, which itself could be shielded (not difficult since .25m ? (1/4 wavelength) has almost no skin coupled radiation) and any conducted EMI could be filtered out.

Not hard to implement in design, a little more difficult (but definately probable) to retrofit existing designs. It will cost, though, and with lack of any real-world necessity for this, we'll never see it.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By rcc on 12/5/2007 12:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how effective a Faraday cage would be on a vehicle as there is no true ground.

By theapparition on 12/5/2007 12:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
You can trail metal chains to disipate charge.

By BladeVenom on 12/5/2007 1:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
Car tires conduct electricity, otherwise cars would develop a rather unpleasant level of static electricity.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 1:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
Car tires are actually good insulators. But a perfect insulator doesn't exist. Static electricity can easily build up to 20K volts or more, and an inch of rubber isn't going to stop that.

By BladeVenom on 12/6/2007 12:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
The carbon black they add to tires make them a semiconductor.

By masher2 on 12/5/2007 1:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
A Faraday cage doesn't work by grounding; the presence or absence of any true ground doesn't affect its effectiveness at all.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By Flunk on 12/5/2007 11:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
Any car that uses spark plugs is effected. It is very difficult to create a vehicle that has no electrical system at all, especially not one fast enough to actually get away from the police/army chasing you.

Also, how many "terrorists" are involved in car chases vs more common criminals such as drug dealers and thieves?

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By Lord 666 on 12/5/2007 11:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
MB E320 CDI does 0-60 in 6.7 and has a range of about 700 miles. However, not sure how the common rail technology would take to the microwave radiation.

By ethies on 12/5/2007 4:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
The electronic fuel injection would be toast. However, any older diesel vehicle with mechanical fuel injection would be truly immune to this device (I think). No spark plugs, no computer, heck no wires! Ah the simplicity of an engine with no throttle.

RE: Nice in theory for todays cars, but what if...
By borowki on 12/5/2007 4:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
You are missing the point completely. We have a pretty sure fire way to stop vehicles driven by real terrorists. It's called bullets. The purpose of a non-lethal system is to reduce the chance of innocent civilians being killed by accident.

By ethies on 12/5/2007 4:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
No you're missing the point completely! I like to go on rampages, and don't want the cops to be able to stop me!

Seriously, this system would be great for stopping everyday common police chases. As long as its proven safe.

Ceramic Paint
By AlvinCool on 12/5/2007 11:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
Basically this is a military weapon, not a civilian weapon. I guess my question would be if ceramics can stop airplanes and the space shuttle from being tracked on radar, what would they do to this application? Would it block this wavelength also? I mean I painted my house with ceramic paint 5 years ago. It's easily available world wide. BTW my house looks as good today as it did when I painted it 5 years ago, AND it's been through two tornados. One of them ripped my roof off

RE: Ceramic Paint
By SilthDraeth on 12/5/2007 1:12:32 PM , Rating: 3
So, you think your house looks just as good with no roof, as it does with a roof?

RE: Ceramic Paint
By AlvinCool on 12/5/2007 1:45:53 PM , Rating: 5
I, personally, prefer it with a roof. Although it wasn't as easy as I would have preferred to convince my insurance company that a roof is essential.

RE: Ceramic Paint
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2007 3:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
Worried about the aliens spying on you?

RE: Ceramic Paint
By AlvinCool on 12/5/2007 4:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
Lets see, they painted the light house at Cape Hatteras every two years because of corrosion and fading. Then they painted it with ceramic paint and 10 years later its just touch up. My primer never really dries it's in a flux state so it "moves" under a flexible ceramic paint. My paint keeps it's color and doesn't chip and flake. It costs the same as if I had bought a good commercial paint. I actually get shielding from the outside elements causing my utilitys to drop between $10 and $30 a month. This is a tech forum and this is certainly high tech paint. But in answer to your question, no, the aliens look from above and I just have a standard roof. But if they try to do a thermal look in on me from outside ground level unless I'm standing in a window they aren't gonna see anything.

By SilthDraeth on 12/5/2007 11:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
Are no longer harmful to humans. Like the microwave weapon invented for the military that causes a humans skin to feel like it is on fire, yet it is harmless. And this new microwave for stopping vehicles is harmless as well.

I doubt it. Not that I am against stopping high speed chases.

A few years back I watched a show on technology inventions for cops, and one of them was a rocket engine propelled skate board cable tethered contraption the cop car would launch under the other vehicle and disable its electrical system. This is the same concept, only wireless, and if the effect on humans and short term exposure is very minimal, then I believe it would be a good device to use, espescially if it can be scaled down.

By TomZ on 12/5/2007 12:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
Microwave radiation is only harmful if it heats you up too much. :o)

By Poser on 12/5/2007 12:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to make the claim that 300 Mhz microwaves are harmless -- I simply don't know. I will say that it's seems very feasible, though. The "microwave" portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is pretty low energy (in terms of energy per photon), far lower energy than visible light. As far as I understand it, the only reason that your microwave oven works to heat water is because the particular frequency used matches the rotational energy of water. That is, the particular frequency used is something of a special case.

Also, it's probably worth mentioning that 300Mhz is part of the "Ultra High Frequency" range of microwaves. Also known as UHF, notable for being the range that some TV signals are carried in.

Yay for OJ.
By drebo on 12/5/2007 10:36:50 AM , Rating: 3
Aside from the only concern is who pays for my car when it gets fubared because the evading criminal does just that...evades...and the beam misses into oncoming traffic?

I mean, that would pretty much suck. 600 feet is a long ways and minute adjustments in the car's direction can have big implications. Nothing like a row of dead cars in the oncoming traffic lane.

RE: Yay for OJ.
By GaryJohnson on 12/5/2007 10:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
One of the imperatives when using the device would probably be to get as close to the target vehicle as possible.

who pays for my car when it gets fubared because the evading criminal does just that...evades

Who would pay for your car if it was hit by a police vehicle during a chase?

How to actually stop the car though
By 9ballrun on 12/5/2007 11:42:04 AM , Rating: 3
A 60mph car with no electical power is a 60mph chunk of metal with no power steering or power brakes and a very stunned driver. Not so good for safety of others or controlling the car. Even for things like a military checkpoint where aproach speed may be much slower, if this only works at max. 50ft, momentum would carry the car in a second or less to where it's going. This would have to be used before the chase starts to shut down the car.

Now if they combine this with some type of giant foam hand to catch the car, that's more practical.

By semo on 12/5/2007 2:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
Tatoian projects that his company will be able to shrink the current hardware down to a 50 pound package within two years and disable vehicles from up to 600 feet away.
even more practical

Popcorn my pacemaker?
By bupkus on 12/5/2007 10:36:40 AM , Rating: 4
I hope some poor soul with a pacemaker doesn't become collateral damage.

In addition some Blackwater agents may find they can cut down on their target practice in Baghdad streets. </sarcasm>

Old diesel cars/trucks will be immune, though...
By Krepax on 12/6/2007 2:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
All it takes for a criminal to escape undisturbed is to use an old diesel car from the mid 80's or early 90's.

With their mechanical pumps and no need of using electricity to sustain combustion (unlike gasoline cars which need spark plugs) an old diesl car or truck (pre common rail era) would be completely unaffected by this system.

By masher2 on 12/6/2007 9:09:45 AM , Rating: 2
Not quite. I don't see this system as being nearly powerful enough to damage a spark plug. What it can blow, however, is the car's ECU. Most diesel vehicles from the late 80s on at least have an ECU, so they would be affected.

An earlier model car (gas or diesel), however, should be immune.

"Scott, you just dont get it do dont.."
By BruceLeet on 12/7/2007 8:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
All I see is arguements about immunities, a Model T going on a rampage, Ceramic paint, mesh protection around the engine/dashboard.

Get real you guys I mean COME ON!!!

As with most devices, the technology will improve as time progresses.

JUST A RANDOM ESTIMATE but 70ish% of what I've read under the "Good but.." and "Nice theory for todays cars, but what if.." topics is just a bunch of roaming imaginations, wish they made a Microwave Emitter to zap the Roaming imaginations on this board.

Eureka Aerospace has already performed four successful tests on donated vehicles at distances of 10 to 50 feet.

S U C C E S S F U L tests with this Technology, I seriously doubt some criminal will buy a Model T at an Auction to go on a rampage cause its "immune" to this device, I'll also put my money on the doubt and improbability that organised criminals will 'cocoon' their engines in a protective coat of "mesh"?

"Hey Frank what you doing tonight?...Im gonna paint my car in ceramic paint so that when I get chased by police they can't use their Microwave Beams to kill my engine"

Wow, some of you guys have too much imagination not enough logic.

By BruceLeet on 12/7/2007 8:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
Now, on the subject, Im all for this and I hope this comes to fruition within the next couple of years, I wish they had this tech. back in '97 when some jerk decided to run from the cops, get into a chase and hit the curb losing control then clipping my brother while going 70mph+...he would be turning 27 this year

Hazzard County
By milodog on 12/5/2007 4:32:39 PM , Rating: 3
This is bad news for the Duke boys.

Star Wars
By Spivonious on 12/5/2007 10:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
This reminds me a lot of the ion cannon in Star Wars.

As always, something like this would be great if it was always used properly. I can envision a cop late for dinner with his girlfriend using it to clear a path for him on a busy highway.

what stops them at cars?
By omnicronx on 12/5/2007 10:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
You could take over the world with one of these things. This is essentially does the work of an EMP heh.

limited use for high speed chases
By yoyoma245 on 12/5/2007 11:48:23 AM , Rating: 2
What about if the car being chased is Drive by Wire? Then it would go haywire if it was hit with this beam and possibly slam into other cars.

Enough already
By Chaser on 12/5/2007 12:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
These live cuts by newsies to police chase scenes are getting old. And the perpetrators for the most part know they won't get harmed by the police unless he/she brandishes or uses a gun. In other words they really have nothing to lose since all the cops do is follow them during their 15 minutes of televised fame.

I don't care what the device is, I'd love to see the news copters break to a live pursuit showing the cops using one of these devices a few times and maybe these stupid chases will slowly reduce in number. SOMETHING needs to get done. And these police departments/politicians advocating "no pursuit" policies are imbeciles.

By someguy743 on 12/5/2007 1:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
That is what could be scary. If it can fry the electronics and wires of cars it could do the same thing with planes and everything else. If the range on these things increases it could be a nightmare for the military ... hell all planes.

Too scary to think about if some wacko terrorist got their hands on technology like this. We're really getting into the "Star Wars" technology era now. For every good use of some product, there's bound to be some other use for it that is NOT good.

By Hafgrim on 12/8/2007 1:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
BUT these devices have to be part of the police car
and non-removable. The chances of these very VERY dangerous
devices getting into the wrong hands is to scarey. These
machines have to be accounted for and when the police car is
ready to be junked they need to be removed and disposed of
accordingly or added to a new police car.

The Danger of these machines getting into criminal hands
and stopping people in desolate areas to be robbed or worse
is to great to leave these machines un-regulated. Please
understand the dangers involved here and have strict rules
& laws on these devices implmentation, and records accounting
for each & every one during the devices lifesapan. This is
an absolute must for something so secretly stealthy & dangerous...


Also these devices need to be equiped with a tamper-proof
record of use that clearly logs each time the deivce is used
incase of policemen unlawful use & malpractice so they can
be held accountable aswell.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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