By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
A startup has designed a gun that can nail a perpetrator with a gas projectile from 50 yards away.
Those in the defense business, for obvious reasons, are increasingly getting a lot of flack for producing what some would consider instruments of death. That's why, as of late, there's been a growing emphasis on developing non-lethal weapons that would allow law enforcement to quell dangerous situations such as riots without having to resort to using potentially deadly force.
The vortex ring gun, which fires short, circular pulses of high pressure gas instead of bullets, has long been considered one of the most promising technologies. However, field tests have shown that prototypes lacked sufficient knock-down force to be feasible for the military and other agencies. Now, researchers at a company called Battelle claim they have discovered a new way to enable the technology to be highly effective.
But first, let's take a deeper look at how a vortex gun or cannon works. Instead of bullets, the weapon's firing mechanism forces air or some other gas at high velocity down the cylinder. The ring is generated when the friction of the cylinder wall causes a thin layer of the gas to roll forward on itself like a donut. Imagine a tornado formed into a donut shape. The ring revolves on itself while traveling out the cylinder, maintaining that stability for long distances. Depending on the size of the gun, Battelle says they have data showing that a ring vortex can exit a generator at 90 miles per hour and travel at a constant speed of at least 60 mph for more than 50 yards.
- Related Post: Reporter zapped by military’s ‘heat ray’ weapon
Vortex rings are also extremely stable even in a cross wind. Scientists believe the dynamics of the propagating ring cause it to turn into the cross wind and resist being blown away or broken up, says researcher Lynn Faulkner.
While this doesn't deliver the kind of brute physical force necessary to take people out, it's enough to deliver a projectile comprised of pesticides or mace directly at an intended target. And, by adding an electrical charge, the rings would have a strong "clinging effect" to the surface of objects once it disperses.
"What happens to the electric charge is that it gets attracted to the smoke particles," Jim Dvorsky, Battelle's product development leader, told InnovationNewsDaily. "That makes the smoke particles migrate to any surface that's available — furniture, ceiling, floor."
- Related Post: ‘Silence gun’ leaves talkers speechless — literally
The electrical charge can also cause surrounding smoke to clump up and move away, which means the gun can be useful tool to clear a path for firefighters as they navigate a burning building.
"Firefighters won’t go into a building unless they can see their way," Faulkner said. "So if they could fire a vortex ring of ionized air into a space—down a hallway or up some stairs—and clear smoke rapidly, it would really help."
Battelle, which desribes itself as "committed to using science and technology as a positive force for change," has filed for a patent for the technology and plans to further tweak the electrical charge so that the rings can remain stable over longer distances.
More high-tech guns:
- Russians test a gun that turns people into zombies
- Semi-automatic pistol fires two bullets at once
- Video: U.S. soldiers to get ‘punisher’ super rifle
- ‘Laser rifle’ is latest U.S. weapon against enemies
- Navy shows off supersonic railgun, fires test shots
The latest military tech:
Apr 17, 2012
The article waxes euphoric on the technology, but TOTALLY IGNORES the implications of this weapon. There is a growing tendency in governance (and I cavalierly include the POLICE in that class), to find ways to use technology to CONTROL people FORCEFULLY (as opposed to "controlling" them by, um, DOING WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT YOU TO DO). Don't you get it? This oh-cool tech is meant to SUPPRESS your rights to be heard, to express your (ever greater) grievances against the way we are railroaded and taken advantage of. Hey, let's CELEBRATE our own gagging, why don't we? Look, SOCIAL SCIENCES are just as deserving of press coverage as metal-tech is, so why do we NEVER hear from SOCIOLOGISTS, as to the likely effects of the oh-cool metal- and data-tech gizmos we see here?
- - it???s enough to deliver a projectile comprised of pesticides or mace directly at an intended target. - - Is mace considered a pesticide when used on people that dare to protest against big banks or big government?
The Occupy movements confrontational tactics played right into the governments iron fisted hands for using mace and clubs to breakup protest marches. The more peaceful Tea Party marchers were met with a velvet glove on the iron fist approach of ripping them apart as evil racists in the media. Both tactics are equally appalling from an allegedly tolerant president who won a Nobel Peace prize for doing nothing.