Active Denial System (ADS)

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The ADS system was displayed by Raytheon at the AUSA Convention in October, 2006 (Photo: Defense Update)The Active Denial System (ADS) developed by Raytheon for the US Air Force Research Labs is a non lethal, counter-personnel directed energy non-lethal weapon which can be used against human targets at distances beyond the effective range of small arms. ADS projects a focused millimeter wave energy beam which induces intolerable heating sensation on an adversary's skin and cause that individual to be repelled without injury. ADS could be used to stop, deter and repel hostile elements without applying of lethal force.

ADS was developed by Raytheon company for the US Air Force Research Laboratory (ARL) and DOD Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. The program is currently in Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD) phase, which is scheduled to continue through the end of 2005. ADS will be operated from HMMWV, equipped with adequate power sources. Another application of ADS is considered for airborne applications, from platforms such as the AC-130 gunship. The development program will use more powerful and lightweight version of the land based system. This project is scheduled to continue through 2008.

ADS is operated from a simple control console, enabling the operator to view the scene and beam's direction and coverage and aim precisely to acffect only the required target (Photo: Defense Update)As of January 2007, the system has entered extended user evaluation phase, and is currently deployed with the Air Force's 820th Security Forces Group (SFG) at Moody air force base in Georgia, USA. 820 is the first unit selected to conduct these tests. The system will be evaluated in assisting troops in securing base perimeters, checkpoints and entry control points during peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, and crowd dispersal.

Airmen from the 820th Security Forces Group are currently evaluating the Active Denial System at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. ADS is a nonlethal weapon designed to engage and repel human targets by projecting a beam of energy that creates an intolerable heating sensation on the skin. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Gina Chiaverotti)
ADS uses high power microwave energy transmission, at a frequency of 95GHz. The emission is focused and directed at the target by a directional planar array antenna. The microwave energy penetrates a living tissue (such as human skin) to a depth of 0.5 millimeter and almost instantly produces a heating sensation that within seconds becomes intolerable and forces the subject to flee. The sensation immediately ceases when the individual moves out of the beam or when the beam is turned off. Despite the sensation, the beam does not cause injury because of the shallow penetration depth of energy at this wavelength and the low energy levels used. It exploits the human natural defense mechanism that induces pain as a warning to help protect from injury.

Human effects experts have determined there are no long-term health effects associated with ADS, and research involving more than 600 volunteers and 10,000 exposures has proven there is a less than a one tenth of 1 percent chance of even a very minor injury.

LRAD and ADS systems are seen mounted on a the General Dynamics Land Systems' force protection Stryker testbed vehicle called "SHERIFF". LRAD is considered to provide, together with the active denial (RF Microwave) system, a non lethal protection segment, while the Trophy active protection system will provide the RPG protection for the vehicle.



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