Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio
| Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio |
(Weapon, Electromagnetic weapon)
|Microwave-based auditory effect weapon.|
The Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio (short MEDUSA) was/is a US Navy research effort to build a "prototype of a temporary personnel incapacitation system" which operates on the "microwave auditory effect (MAE)" and can "raise the auditory sensation to the discomfort level, deterring personnel from entering a protected perimeter or, if necessary, temporarily incapacitating particular individuals."
Short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. A series of pulses can be transmitted to produce recognisable sounds.
Objective of Phase Effort
The main goal of the Phase I project wad to design and build a breadboard prototype of a temporary personnel incapacitation system called MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio). This non-lethal weapon is based on the well established microwave auditory effect (MAE). MAE results in a strong sound sensation in the human head when it is irradiated with specifically selected microwave pulses of low energy. Through the combination of pulse parameters and pulse power, it is possible to raise the auditory sensation to the “discomfort” level, deterring personnel from entering a protected perimeter or, if necessary, temporarily incapacitating particular individuals.
Summary of Results from the Phase I Effort
The major results of the Phase I effort were that - An operating frequency was chosen - Hardware requirements were established (commercial magnetron, high-voltage pulse former) - Hardware was designed and built - Power measurements were taken and the required pulse parameters confirmed - Experimental evidence of MAE was observed
Potential Applications and Benefits
Potential applications of the MEDUSA system are as a perimeter protection sensor in deterrence systems for industrial and national sites, for use in systems to assist communication with hearing impaired persons, use by law enforcement and military personnel for crowd control and asset protection. The system will: be portable, require low power, have a controllable radius of coverage, be able to switch from crowd to individual coverage, cause a temporarily incapacitating effect, have a low probability of fatality or permanent injury, cause no damage to property, and have a low probability of affecting friendly personnel.
Dr. Lev Sadovnik of the Sierra Nevada Corporation who works on the system has stated there are health risks. The biggest issue from the microwave weapon is not the radiation. It's the risk of brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse.
Sadovnik also makes the suggestion that, instead of being used at high power to create an intolerable noise, it might be used at low power to produce a whisper that was too quiet to perceive consciously but might be able to subconsciously influence someone. The directional beam could be used for targeted messages, such as in-store promotions. 
- Wired (Aug 15, 2007) - Meet the MEDUSA Ray Gun
- The Guardian (Wed 2 Jun 2021) - Microwave weapons that could cause Havana Syndrome exist, experts say