Spencer Ackerman, senior reporter for Wired’s Danger Room, learned what it feels like to take on the Active Denial System, better known as Pain Ray. Twice, he was burned by the energy weapon that converts electricity into radio frequency and generates a lot of heat.
Ackerman recounted his run in with the Pain Ray in a blog post:
When the signal goes out over radio to shoot me, there’s no warning — no flash, no smell, no sound, no round. Suddenly my chest and neck feel like they’ve been exposed to a blast furnace, with a sting thrown in for good measure.
While the heat blast seems to be effective and non violent way to exercise crowd control, there are few problems with the Pain Ray, which had been in development for 15 years:
- In order for it to work, it needs to boot-up for 16 hours
- It would take a lot of gas to keep it in a ready mode
- It doesn’t really work in rain, snow and dust
Ackerman notes that there is currently no real interest in the system, which led to his photo-op. And how does he feel about being used to generate publicity for Pain Ray? “[It] stings worse than my shoulder,” he writes.
The one place to actually put the Pain Ray is the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, reported Noah Shachtman for Wired.
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