Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Riot Control: Shock, Awe, and Ow! at 100 Yards

One special SRT projectile under development called ShockRounds™ contains a liquefied compressed gas and activates a high-powered “shock wave” that expands rapidly upon impact and attacks three of the five human senses, disabling the assailant The general rule is that one unit volume of liquefied compressed gas will expand to approximately 800 unit volumes of gas at standard temperature and pressure.

...These MMS (micro-mechanical system) controlled devices act as accelerometers and sense when the round is fired and when it makes contact with its target. It then activates the payload in a millisecond before the round can penetrate the body. _SmartRounds
Nearly instantly, the munition deploys its payload: a liquified, compressed gas that delivers, in Verini’s words, “a shockwave to the system.” For one thing, the compressed gas makes a jarring noise as it exits the bullet. Plus, it’s been formulated to flash brightly and obscure a target’s vision. And, of course, the bullet itself is designed to hurt.

Ouch, yes. But there is some good news for potential targets of the ShockRound’s scourge. Because the munitions can detect when they reach their target, and then shift gears to quickly deploy their payload, there’s significantly less risk of skin penetration — no matter the range. So if the tech works, it’d be a major step toward turning less-lethal weapons into legitimately non-lethal ones.

Now that the Verini’s company has debuted ShockRounds, it’s planning to develop several more munitions with different kinds of debilitating payload combinations. Ideas, of which they’ve already got “around 10,” include combos of chemical irritants, expanding foam, gel and even explosives. _Wired
You can see that these non-lethal rounds would be less than worthless when faced with a massed zombie attack. But ordinary humans can behave much like crazed zombies under certain circumstances, and in general it is easier to deal with the aftermath of a massed civilian human attack if you minimise the death and serious injury count.

More on non-lethal weapons of DARPA:
The U.S. Army is deploying an all-in-one package of nonlethal devices that covers everything from checkpoint control to riot control.
The four modules include: the checkpoint module, crowd control and detainee ops module, convoy module, and dismounted module that includes various non-lethal items troops can use during dismounted patrols.
The kits are put into large, weatherproof containers, and include everything from high-intensity lights to loud speakers. The checkpoint tools, for example, includes "equipment to establish and operate hasty and deliberate checkpoints." That means tire spikes and capture nets.

Other nonlethal sets have been fielded in the past, but the NLCS "includes items not found in the previous sets, such as tasers, Phraselators, Vehicle Lightweight Arresting Devices and Ex-Spray, which allows soldiers to detect explosive residue." _Wired
But the ultimate in non-lethal weaponry is mind control. The ability to either shut down the brains of your target, to overwhelm the autonomy of the target's thinking processes, or to totally take over the target's thinking -- those are the goals. Here is an example of one such approach, "The Voice of God:"
Among those discussed are weapons that could disrupt the brain, as well as my longtime obsession, the "Voice of God" device, which creates voices in people’s heads. As the report notes, "Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. It may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard ‘voices within one’s head.’" _Wired
This is just the beginning.

Probability for large scale civil disorder in the near to medium future is quite high in nations from Russia to China to Iran to France to the US. If regimes resort to lethal force against large crowds, the blowback can be severe enough to knock those regimes out of power. Non-lethal suppression is much safer for everyone concerned -- as long as zombies are not involved.

And what nascent dictator could deny the secret wish to be able to control the thoughts and actions of targeted individuals or groups? No, the temptation is too great to resist, even for leaders as pure and selfless as US President Obama.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. And don't forget your Faraday cage head wear.



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