Officials unveil high-tech ray gun to be installed in county jail!

on . Posted in Patriot News Network

CASTAIC, Kalifornia - August 20, 2010 - A high-tech ray gun built for the military that fires an invisible heat beam capable of causing unbearable pain will be tested on unruly inmates in the sheriff's detention facility in Castaic, officials said Friday at an unveiling event.

The "Assault Intervention System" (AIS) developed by the Raytheon Co. could give the Sheriff's Department another tool to quell disturbances at a 65-inmate dormitory at the Pitchess Detention Center's North County Correctional Facility, said Cmdr. Bob Osborne, head of the technology exploration branch of the sheriff's Department of Homeland Security Division.

The 600-pound, 7-foot-tall device won't replace traditional methods such as tear gas, rubber bullets and batons, Osborne said.

"We're looking to see if we can exploit this science for the benefit of the Corrections Department," he said.
AIS fires a directed beam of invisible "millimeter waves" that cause an unbearable burning sensation by penetrating 1/64 of an inch into the skin, where pain receptors are located, said Mike Booen, Raytheon's vice president of advanced security and directed energy systems.

The beam, which is about the diameter of a compact disc, causes an instant and intolerable burning sensation when it touches skin, but the sensation stops instantly when the device is turned off or the target moves out of the beam.

At a news conference, several people volunteered to feel the effects of the machine first-hand.

Sheriff's Deputy David Judge manned the controls and fired the beam, using a joystick and a monitor, not unlike a video game, to aim the ray gun's camera.

Judge simply aligned cross hairs in the center of the screen with his target and pulled the trigger. The beam can be targeted very precisely, allowing deputies to single out one person or even a specific body part. One volunteer was able to stand in the beam's path for just 1.8 seconds before the heat sensation forced him to step out of the way.

"I don't care if you're the meanest, toughest person in the world. This will get your attention," Booen said.

The machine is designed to emit a burst of no more than three seconds with each trigger pull, but deputies can repeatedly fire the weapon as needed. Similar devices have already been sold to the U.S. military, however the machine demonstrated Friday is the first to be placed in an American correctional institution, sheriff's officials said. It is being installed as a test case at no cost to the Sheriff's Department, as part of a program through the National Institute of Justice, officials said.

"Millimeter wave" devices have been tested on more than 10,000 subjects so far and has been shown to cause no lasting injuries, Booen said.

"It's very, very safe," he said.

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