Boeing gets patent for Star Wars-like force field

Boeing has been granted a patent for a force field-like defense system, leading excited sci-fi fans to herald the advent of something previously seen only in the realms of “Star Wars” or “Star Trek.”

Filed in 2012, the USPTO has granted the aerospace giant a patent for a “method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc.”

On first look, it seems that they’re onto something similar to “Star Wars’” deflector shields. The patent describes a system that would detect the shockwave from a nearby explosion and create an area of ionized air — a plasma field — between the oncoming blast and the vehicle it was protecting.

The method works, says the patent, “by heating a selected region of the first fluid medium rapidly to create a second, transient medium that intercepts the shockwave and attenuates its energy density before it reaches a protected asset.”

By creating a temporary, superheated parcel of air with a laser, microwave or electrical arc, researchers believe that the shockwave would, in theory — it hasn’t been determined how far along Boeing’s research into this has got — dissipate once it hit the plasma field, leaving whatever was on the other side unaffected, or for the blast to at least be mitigated.

“Explosive devices are being used increasingly in asymmetric warfare to cause damage and destruction to equipment and loss of life. The majority of the damage caused by explosive devices results from shrapnel and shock waves,” the patent says.

However, at this stage, Boeing’s force field would be powerless to protect against shrapnel or other debris flung out by an explosion, so the troops of the future would still need to keep their body armor firmly strapped on.

The plasma field would also be temporary — hence the need for sensors to activate it when a blast is detected — so the sort of all-encompassing force field we’re familiar with from the movies seems to be a while off.

Researchers keep going back to the rich seam of innovation that is science fiction, with truck-mounted lasers and working tractor beams among recent inventions that wouldn’t look out of place in a galaxy far, far away.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like