Improvised Explosive Device (IED) – Remote Destruction
~ James Dunn

IED’s are used by militants and terrorists to kill people and destroy vehicles. Typically they are positioned adjacent to a roadway and either detonated by proximity sensor and/or triggered by remote control. They can be manufactured and triggered by any number of different methods.

But the ones used in Iraq usually use electrical and/or electronic components to detonate the explosives.

So, how to disrupt the electrical and/or electronic components? From a safe distance!

A Gyrotron is something similar to your microwave in the kitchen; it takes in electricity and emits microwaves. However, commercially available gyrotrons easily produce microwaves at power densities greater than 50 kilowatts per unit, instead of the 1 kilowatt per kitchen microwave. Gyrotrons are available in the tens of megawatts.

Couple a collimator with a gyrotron and you create a MASER. Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emissions of Radiation. Microwaves behave similarly as Lasers; almost all of the propagating energy follows a narrow diameter beam. Thus concentrating the +50 kW on a small area or volume.

Ever hear of what happens when metal is put into a microwave. Metal can act like an antenna and the microwave energy excites the electrons in the metal to flow back and forth in the metal, exciting a charge; lightning like phenomena and intense heating of the metal.

In a 1 kilowatt kitchen microwave, a wire tie becomes red hot in a small fraction of a second. Think of the volume of energy in the microwave being focused just on the wire tie; many hundreds of times more energy focused on the wire tie.

I propose that if a substantial portion of the microwave energy of a 100 kilowatt gyrotron is confined to a square centimeter, that the time duration needed to destroy small metal conductors would be very small.

I understand that a collimator reduces the effective power of a maser by some margin.

The laser like microwave could then be directed at any suspect device from a safe distance and disrupt and/or detonate the IED. Electronic packages neutralized and wires fused.

Robotic aerial vehicles could pace and lead convoys/trains to scan suspect targets adjacent to roadways and disrupt any electrical pathways.

An infrared sensor could automatically search the target area and prevent accidental injury of people and animals.


Laser-Taser – A Non-Lethal Weapon to disable multiple attackers
~James Dunn

In our wicked world, we have increasing needs for non-lethal weapons. The Laser-Taser provides similar protection as a handgun, but is non-lethal.

A standard Taser at a distance uses two small wires attached to a charged high-voltage capacitor. The wires are shot into the individual and the target completes the circuit for discharging the high voltage and subduing the target.

The problem is that this type of Taser can not be used against more than one person. Once the wires are deployed, an additional assailant can attack without fear of being shocked.

My Proposal:

Lasers can easily be produced with sufficient energies to ionize the air when the light is focused. At one time I calculated the energy needed to ionize air and it is surprisingly small compared to what I had previously estimated. The intensity and duration of contact is so small that it poses little danger to the target person.

Ionized air conducts electricity like a wire.

Two lasers can be built side-by-side and shoot their beams through metal eyelets. The high-voltage generator and capacitor would energize the eyelets.

Aiming and pulling the trigger would turn on the lasers and when the ionized beams hit a conductive surface the energy would discharge through the target.

The problem is that as air ionizes, the ionized air scatters the light making further ionization of the air further from the laser unlikely.

Two methods of accomplishing are available.

The first, the lasers are made powerful enough to shine through an elongated lens that focuses a tight beam at the same time along the entire length to the target. The problem with this is that the lasers have to be comparatively larger then the next option, and the precision required extreme.

The second method allows for realatively low powered lasers shining through a dynamically focusable lens. The lens focus would start at 50 feet and then draw the focus in to within a few inches at a rate that allows for ionization of the air, and quickly enough to allow for a latent ionization long enough to create an entire pathway.

The technology for the second method is readily available.

The same safety precaution as with the standard taser applies; either taser will blind the person if hit in the eyes. Because of the precise characteristics of the lasers, the Laser-Taser will have much greater accuracy. With the standard taser, one shot is all you have available. With the Laser-Taser, if the user misses, they can take another shot immediately; perhaps 1,000 shots per charge.

Continued development could utilize the same technology for transferring energy without wires for short periods of time. Once ionized, only a small amount of current is needed to keep the pathways energized.

First conceived in 1996 while attending SFSU.

Unmanned Miltary Supply Vehicle
~James Dunn

A military market that Ford may capitalize upon.

Future Combat Systems (FCS) is a US Government directive for the development of a unified military. All unmanned vehicles shall communicate via a standardized message package; described by the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS).

An immediate need is to have relatively low-cost unmanned vehicles running at high speeds delivering supplies in a wartime environment.

Ford currently has the separate technologies to provide this military and commercial need. This is more of a systems engineering effort rather than research.

The Lexus has shown that steering, braking, and throttle can be coordinated in a commercial product for auto-parking. Add to this a road sensor that can reliably position the vehicle within inches in all-weather conditions, and a supply vehicle costing not much more than a tractor trailer becomes a reality.

Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) transponders cost about $0.20 each, can be embedded in nails/screw heads, have a range of 100 to 600 feet, are the size of a grain of rice, are robust, and can hold about 2kBytes of data. The range and direction of the RFID can be controlled by shielding provided by the nail/screw body.

For geolocation, RFID are better than GPS, 38 bytes of data can uniquely mark every road in the US every 3 feet, one in every lane, assuming that ALL US roads are 4 lane highways. RFID are not affected by any known weather condition and can be encoded for security.

By creating a JAUS compatible interface in two(2) of the basic Ford trucks, 1-ton & tractor trailer, using RFID embedded in roadways with a transponder in each vehicle, vehicles can precisely move supplies from location to location unmanned. Oversight can be accomplished either by a manned lead vehicle, aerial observation, manned check points, or any number of other scenarios.

A simple vehicle could largely automate the insertion and data collection related to the RFID nail/screws. A dGPS would record the exact position, an on-board computer would log the position, roadway type, distance to the curb/ditch, overhead obstacles, and any other information desired for that location.

Because the vehicles are unmanned, this reduces the military target value for the trucks. Because the trucks are low-cost, they can simply be pushed off the road until they can be extracted.

The secondary benefit is that after the conflict ceases, the embedded RFID still exist and Ford can supply that country with automobiles equipped with auto-pilot capabilities. The roadways can be precisely driven upon even in sand storms, flooding, and snow storms.

This also allows for wringing out the bugs related to auto-pilot performance of a variety of vehicles with an exceptionally low risk in liabilities.

Robotic Deveopment & US Borders
~James Dunn

The Army possesses many robotic mechanisms that are intended to be used in Future Combat Systems. There are also a relatively large number of non-lethal weapons in the Army’s arsenal.

Persons entering the United States without passing through an authorized Immigration Control checkpoint, are criminals if they do so as American citizens. Persons entering whom are not American citizens do not have the same rights or protections provided to citizens.

Persons entering the US illegally for work have no intention of paying taxes to fund the various programs to support our way of life, and usually, the majority of all money made is funneled outside of the US which causes a depression in our economy. This is not the fault of the individual, it is simply how our economic system is setup. We have to control the numbers entering illegally because the unemployment rate would rise. However, if parent countries of these persons would allow improve relations with the US to allow business enterprise to be fairly implimented so that these people braving to enter the US for work would have equitable work at home, then there would be no need for borders. But until that time, we must restrict the many millions of people who want to enter the US to work because we can not absorb them into our economy without pushing out those here who are underprivledged. Those who have ADHD, dislexia, and other mental imparements have a difficult time making a living here as it is. So our borders should be protected, not from the individuals, but because of the business practices necessary to maintain the quality of life for our citizens.

I am suggesting that Army military robotic hardware be tested by patrolling the borders of the United States before putting millions of dollars of equipment in harms way in battlefield situations. A robotic device must be able to deal with non-lethal intervention.

Sonic herding of individuals back across the border, using bola or net guns to secure individuals on the run, shooting out tires and wheels to disable vehicles on the run, providing highspeed opportunities for robotic vehicles to overtake and deal with vehicles on the run like latching claws and applying brakes, documenting all scenarios precisely to build stradegies upon, …

Related to patroling the borders, there are so many opportunities for the military to use real people as test subjects. A large portion of the multi-billion dollar budget for securing our borders might go towards using military technologies more productively than could the private sector. Or better, the technology transfers to the private sector and provide greater funding for related military developments. I’m not promoting war, but I am promoting the efficient use of our national resources.

Obviously, the military technologies should be developed to the point of having likely success in implementation.

RFID transponders embedded in roadways along the borders would allow many simple vehicles with surveillance equipment to patrol borders with only one human operator. This system is already largely developed both in the private sector and in military research. The vehicles would investigate anomalies detected by broad coverage surveilance sensors.

All individuals found on the border would have pictures automatically taken of them to determine their identity or to create a baseline. Perhaps an Iris Image could be photographed for positive identification at a later time. More advanced and more expensive robotics could then be deployed to engage situations requiring more than a loudspeaker and a recording.

The border patrol would be called upon to apprehend individuals refusing to go back across the border. Army robotics would standby to support the border patrol in life threatening situations. If the border patrol is fired upon, the Army robots would subdue the assailants while protecting both the border patrol and anyone colocated with the asailant. A robot can take a sniper shot at a 100 yards with almost absolute certainty and is in no way endangered by small ammunition. A heavy rubber bullet delivered by the robot, though it might break the assailants ribs, might save his life.

Army robotics should definitely play a role in patrolling our borders. The further development of AI in operating defense mechanisms allows for both a real life test bed, and also a great savings in both border patrol costs and increased efficiency.

Fleeing Vehicle Apprehension Device
~James Dunn

I’ve been involved with the military and robotics a bit. So this is not far fetched. But it would need to use some of the present military technology to make it happen. The current use of nail strips is far cheaper to deploy, but if a single patrol car is all that is available, no safe means of stopping a fleeing vehicle currently exists.

Configure a vehicle launched projectile that would be aimed directly at a fleeing vehicle and launched. The projectile would illuminate and track the vehicle so if sudden changes in position took place it would not matter. The projectile would approach the vehicle and then fly up over the vehicle.(already developed) The down looking camera would then identify the forward portion of the cabin of the vehicle (easily done), and then steer the projectile to impact that centered position.(alread developed)

A highly adhesive compound (goo) would hold the projectile in place.(DuPont) The projectile would contain a ballistic net mechanism, a 2-way radio, a GPS, and several ballistic operated chemical agents.(all currently developed)

Upon impact, the two-way radio would insert through the roof to talk with the driver. Letting him know by name perhaps, that there is no where for him to run. A Kevlar plate would prevent the felon from using a gun to do any damage.

To keep from having to chase after felons on foot, when the vehicle speed dropped to 15 mph (GPS) the net would deploy and prevent anyone in the vehicle from escaping. If a hostage situation exists, the police can remotely trigger the release of the netting. If they take off again, the net is a pretty visible marker and the GPS can telemeter the precise position without following too closely. The net material would be cut resistant.

If the person became too dangerous, the police could remotely trigger a variety of capsules balistically through the roof and into the vehicle (tear gas, smoke, foul odor, vomit agent, …).

The package needed to do this is anticipated to be about the size of a soda can.

Innocent people need to be protected and you can’t get information from a dead man. Criminals are going to create havoc, and law enforcement agents have the right to protect themselves. How do you change the mindset of people trained to use lethal weapons? You must give them “more effective” non-lethal alternatives. Notice my proposal only has non-lethal features.

Even though most of the device is a net, the velocity just before impact must be reduced to prevent bouncing off the vehicle. A small parachute or proximity charge would need to be activated to help control the impact pressure. If this is highly controllable, the same or similar unit could be deployed at persons on the run and have the unit decelerate a couple of feet above a runner and deploy the net.
An abort feature would be highly desireable. Have the navigation error handler shut down the projectile mid-flight and deploy its deceleration package. If it loses target-lock or the projectile moves differently and/or in a direction other than expected for a control input, the projectile simply stops, falls to the ground, and incinerates itself. This safety feature might be initiated by ballistically breaching the propellant package housing adjacent to the control and ballistic capsules (tear gas, …). That way the contaminants are burned up, a marker is created to retrieve the package, all explosive materials are destroyed, and it prevents anyone from salvaging the contents for misuse. Incineration would need to be of the smoldering variety, not the hot flame variety. The net surrounding the propellant capsule might facilitate this smoldering incineration.
Regarding technical challenges:
As the cost of nano-tubes continues to drop, a net composed of strands the size of human hair would be much stronger than would be necessary to exceed the force a person could exert to tear the net. The nature of nano-tubes allows them to withstand considerable temperatures. A nano-tube is over 1000 times stronger than steel.

A dedicated control system is already available for projectiles much smaller than a soda can, see Future Combat Systems and their smart bullits.

As for camera recognition of vehicle cabins, as cited earlier, the military already implements a very similar technology for killing tanks. Miniaturizing the technology further would certainly be plausible.

Chemical agents can be employed in ballistic pastes that are smaller than a 22 caliber shell and housed in thermoplastics and detonated by microdetonators (Sandia National Labs).

Radio systems like bluetooth are currently the size of several grains of rice placed side-by-side. RFID commonly transpond up to 600 feet away and they don’t even have an onboard power supply and are only the size of a single grain of rice.

A soda can size projectile was a conservative figure, it could potentially be much smaller.

See the work regarding micro-machines and the cost savings due to automated mass production. Of particular interest, see the micro-machine mirror drives and their implementation in a Texas Instrument display. Millions of small mirrors are driven by micro-machines to create a display by reflecting light from lamps to and away from the observer. This provides many dB of illumination in excess of what is possible with plasma display technologies. You can buy one of these displays for a couple thousand dollars, and there are millions of moving parts.

As for sensors, literally thousands of different sensors can be embedded in an array the diameter of a dime and much less than a tissue in thickness. Sensing electric fields, explosive compounds, infrared, humidity, …. (See Sandia National Labs deep etch sensor technologies).

As for significantly reducing the function of the device, criminals often flee the scene on foot and put officers and the public in harms way. Containing the criminals without harming anyone was of prime importance.