Could the Active Denial System be the answer for possible border problems? Conservative commentator Glenn Beck thinks so.
You may not have heard of the ADS, which has been a topic of debate for over a decade now. The non-lethal deterrent system been labeled by both military personnel and press alike as a “pain ray” — which, I suppose, is a catchier way to refer to it than ADS.
The U.K. Telegraph, describing the system back in 2010, said that military officials described it as a “non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel weapon.”
“Compared with most military vehicles, the device looks relatively harmless — like one of the broadcasting trucks you see outside big sporting events: an anonymous-looking military transport with what appears to be a square satellite dish mounted on top. But it contains an extraordinary new weapon, capable of causing immense discomfort from half a mile away without – its makers claim – doing any lasting damage,” the newspaper reported.
“The ADS works by projecting a focused beam of 3.2mm wave electromagnetic radiation at a human target. This heats the water and fat molecules on the skin, causing their temperature to rise by up to 50C (122 degrees Fahrenheit).
“Philip Sherwell, a Sunday Telegraph reporter who tried out the ADS in 2007, describes it as ‘unbearably uncomfortable, like opening a roasting hot oven door.’ The immediate instinct is to escape the beam and seek cover — at which point the effect subsides.”
A Pentagon is description is less dramatic, but just as persuasive.
“The Active Denial System is needed because it’s the first non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system with an extended range greater than currently fielded non-lethal weapons,” a FAQ from the Pentagon reads.
“Most counter-personnel non-lethal weapons use kinetic energy (rubber rounds, bean bags, etc.). A kinetic-based system has a higher risk of human injury, and its effectiveness varies in relation to the size, age and gender of the target. The Active Denial System, however, is consistently effective regardless of size, age and gender and has a range greater than small-arms range. The Active Denial System will provide military personnel with a non-lethal weapon that has the same effect on all human targets.”
The system can hit targets at 700 yards.
That’s impressive, but even more so is how the military says it could be deployed.
“The Active Denial System will support a full spectrum of operations ranging from non-lethal methods of crowd control, crowd dispersal, convoy and patrol protection, checkpoint security, perimeter security, area denial, and port protection, as well as other defensive and offensive operations from both fixed-site or mobile platforms,” the FAQ states.
A Pentago video shows how it works.
That means that it could be used in the event of a large group of people trying to force their way over the border — something that’s always a concern when it comes to caravans. And, as you can see above, this is basically a high-energy invisible wall.
That didn’t escape the notice of Glenn Beck.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) November 13, 2018
So, could this be a tool used for caravans or similar situations involving border incursions?
The Telegraph notes that it can produce second- and third-degree burns if not used correctly and that weather conditions like rain, snow and fog can limit how effective it is. Also, reflective surfaces can limit its efficacy, meaning there are ways to beat it.
However, if you’re looking to mitigate the possible danger from large masses of people trying to make a run on the border — always a possibility with caravans — the ADS could just be the future of dealing with such threats.