> The patent claims are quite interesting. Thanks for the reference
> At 02:33 AM 10/3/1999 EDT, Delvieron@aol.com wrote:
> >A third object of this invention is to provide a non-lethal weapon which is
> >capable of temporarily immobilizing a target subject without causing pain,
> >shock, disorientation, or loss of consciousness.
> This one seems an impossibility. I have never encountered any electrical
> stimulation of the human body that did not entail at least one of these
> effects. The whole idea of a stunner is to STUN...or cause loss of
> orientation and control.
Exactly. Fortunately it's no problem if this particular goal can't be achieved. You just don't want *permanent* damage; some pain & confusion are ok.
> >A fourth object of this invention is to provide a non-lethal weapon which is
> >capable of temporarily immobilizing a target subject without his being aware
> >of the cause.
> Stealthy stun? Why would this be a good thing? Once a person is stunned,
> who cares if they know what hit them? They are out of the fight.
Loss of (short-term) memory can be useful in cases where the attacker might want to take revenge on the victim later.
> >A fifth object is to provide a non-lethal, immobilizing weapon whose range
> >substantially greater than prior related weapons that use wires or
> >liquid streams.
> This is the big problem, as I pointed out in my earlier post. Any stun
> technology that cannot work over more than a few meters is going to be of
> very limited use.
Even if it only has a range of, say, 5 meters, the weapon would still be very useful (and make the standard taser pretty much obsolete, it having an equally limited range plus several other drawbacks).
> I have doubts about how much dwell time is needed to successfully put
> someone out of commission. A slight shock might take the fight out of
> rioters, however - but it might also just make them angrier..
Pump up the voltage to the highest possible (non-lethal) level
between 500,000 and 1000,000 volts)?
> A glow discharge in air at STP requires an enormous electric field, on the
> order of megavolts per meter. The laser provides the initial ionization,
> but unless it is a CW laser, the conducted charge must maintain the path.
> Hence my earlier comments about lightning.
A simple lightning gun could still be useful as a (not-so-nonlethal) means of defense.
> I have a feeling that this is one of those 'ivory tower' ideas that are
> proposed, get a lot of press, and then fade away without producing a
> workable device.
That would really be a shame. Does someone on this list have access to UV (or other suitable) lasers so that the basic idea can tested, i.e. measure what the minimum power requirements are to strike the arc and maintain it at various distances? Note that even if the power requirements are high, the device could still be used on trucks, tanks, ships, to defend fixed structures etc.