Proving that the fantasy of Sci-Fi can sometimes be closer to reality than one might imagine, Raytheon has produced the Silent Guardian™ protection system that projects a beam of microwave energy at a frequency of 94 GHz up to a range of 250 m to repel individuals or crowds without causing injury. While not quite being a ‘ray gun to zap aliens’ it is a less-than-lethal directed energy system whose antenna emits a focused beam of millimeter-wave energy. This penetrates the skin to a depth of 1/64 of an inch, producing an intolerable heating sensation that causes the targeted individuals to instinctively flee or take cover. The sensation ceases immediately when an individual moves out of the beam or the operator steers the beam away.

The system provides a zone of protection that is aimed at saving lives, protecting assets and minimizing collateral damage. Its employment of millimeter-wave technology to repel individuals without causing injury is said to enable users to stop, deter and turn back adversaries without the use of lethal force and also to disrupt an assailant’s ability to effectively use a weapon.

The system can be operated across a broad range of scenarios, including maritime and desert environments. Various commercial and military applications include law enforcement, checkpoint security, facility protection, force protection and peacekeeping missions.