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ABC News: Microwave 'Gun' Could End High-Speed Police Chases

ABC News
March 1, 2005
by Paul Eng

Microwave 'Gun' Could End High-Speed Police Chases: Company Develops Technology to Zap Fleeing Cars With Invisible Energy Beams.

The idea of a powerful ray gun has been a staple of science-fiction writing for decades. But a "weapon" that shoots invisible beams of energy could be making its way into law-enforcement hands soon.

The technology isn't exactly something that would replace a police officer's handgun. In fact, the system being developed by Eureka Aerospace in Pasadena, Calif., couldn't even be crammed into a standard pistol holster.

But the developers say their device, which uses technology more closely related to flash cooking than Flash Gordon, may help stop criminals and terrorists in their tracks.

James Tatoian, chief executive of Eureka, says the High Power Electromagnetic System is designed to disable cars -- say, those fleeing from police officers -- using bursts of microwave energy.

"Basically, since the 1970s, every car is built with some sort of microprocessor-controlled system -- like the ignition control and fuel pump control a lot of vital car systems," says Tatoian. "If you introduce a parasitic current into their wires, it leads to a power surge which in turn burns out those microprocessors."

Once the car's chips are disabled, the vehicle will gradually slow to a halt, allowing police or other security forces to safely approach and apprehend the driver.

read the entire story at ABC News