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Microwave brain scrambler?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Winston, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Could you use amplitude modulated microwaves to disable a bad guy?

    Picture this:
    A robber enters a restaurant, swings a pistol around and demands money.

    Secreted in the ceiling of the dining room is a microwave transmitter
    equipped with a parabolic dish that can be aimed to cover any portion
    of the eating area.

    The manager, monitoring the situation from his office, aims the
    transmitter at the robber, dials in an appropriate power
    level and pushes the 'go' button. The pulses of microwave power
    mimic and disrupt normal brain activity through calcium efflux,
    paralyzing the bad guy until police arrive.

    The science appears solid. Have a look at:

    Adey, W. Ross, Neurophysiologic Effects of Radiofrequency and Microwave
    Radiation, Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, V.55, #11, December, 1979

    Volume 5 Issue 1, Pages 71 - 78
    Published Online: 19 Oct 2005

    As the article states, one wouldn't need a lot of power.
    In the cited experiment, 1 mW/g was sufficient to induce calcium
    ion efflux in human neuroblastoma cells.

    The transmitter could pay for itself in no time even if no robber appears:
    * Defusing altercations between customers and wait staff
    * Tailoring the customer demographic
    * Providing entertainment for bored management
    * Exploiting induced suggestibility to enhance performance feedback

    There are some downsides such as eye cataracts, an increase in
    susceptibility to leukemia and bacterial brain damage due to
    violations of the blood/brain barrier. Those are hardly important when
    you consider how funny it would be to watch random customers stand there,
    gobsmacked as you rearrange their brain from the comfort of your office.

    What do you think about this?


  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Have a good^H^H^H^Hexcellent lawyer on retainer.
  3. D Yuniskis

    D Yuniskis Guest

    Why not just use a mass projector? They are available *now*
    and aren't very expensive *or* subject to power outages,
    remote disabling, etc.
  4. Winston

    Winston Guest

    1) Evidence. Some of the targeted customers will be influential.
    Even a medical tech will be able to discern 'mass impingement'
    but no one will be able to prove that the manager targeted the
    customer with microwaves. Better to leave the customer feeling
    as if he had a stroke, rather than have the manager suffer
    ... criticism.

    2) Delay. Mass projectors tend to cause immediate harm that can
    be associated with a particular restaurant and thus a particular
    manager. We don't want that association. The beauty of the
    microwave transmitter is that brain infection, leukemia, cataracts
    take time to develop and cannot be tracked backwards through
    months or years to a specific event or person. If we cannot trust
    a restaurant manager or his assistant to make these medical decisions
    for us, who can we trust?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Winston

    Winston Guest

    What is the customer going to say?

    "You did *something* to cause me to lose voluntary muscle control!"?

    Manager can just smile and say "Now what could I have done to cause

    The customer's lawyer and any prospective judge are both the property
    of the megacorporation that owns the restaurant anyway,
    so what is the concern?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Winston

    Winston Guest

    1) Our customer surely would not *want* to stand in front of the antenna
    if he knew it existed and understood the danger. She has no choice,
    because she cannot even see the transmitter. There is no evidence
    it even exists.

    2) The restaurant manager won't care. He knows there aren't
    any 'rear lobes' to be concerned about. His employees aren't
    aware it exists either. They are 'collateral damage'.
    When they come down with cataracts or leukemia, too bad, yes?

    3) 400 W isn't necessary. About a milliwatt at the target is all that
    is required. Input power to the antenna can be minuscule because
    the radiation between the antenna and customer is going to be 'near
    field' for most of the distance. The real frequency would be some
    harmonic of ~900 MHz anyway because of the skull's cavity resonance.
    If the shape of restaurant furniture causes phase reinforcement
    at the target, so much the better, right?
    Audio is not necessary, or desirable. We aren't attempting to
    discuss anything with the customer. Just controlling his body
    and hopefully causing long term serious illness.
    Sheet metal is cheap and easy to install in the ceiling.
    We're only talking about a few mW of ERP, anyway.

    Thanks, Steve.
  7. Winston

    Winston Guest

    On 3/11/2010 7:42 AM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:

    This is subtle and deniable. Bowling balls, not so much.

  8. D Yuniskis

    D Yuniskis Guest

    Hi Michael,
    The bowling ball will *crush* it!! ;-)

    Bowling Ball: 1
    Bad Guy: 0
  9. The paper absrtract says-

    Monolayer cultures of human neuroblastoma cells were exposed to
    915-MHz radiation, with or without sinusoidal amplitude modulation
    (80%) at 16 Hz, at specific absorption rates (SAR) for the culture
    medium and cells of 0.00, 0.01, 0.05, 0.075, 0.1, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5,
    2, or 5 mW/g. A significant increase in the efflux of calcium ions
    (45Ca2+) as compared to unexposed control cultures occurred at two SAR
    values: 0.05 and 1 mW/g. Increased efflux at 0.05 mW/g was dependent
    on the presence of amplitude modulation at 16 Hz but at the higher
    value it was not. These results indicate that human neuroblastoma
    cells are sensitive to extremely low levels of microwave radiation at
    certain narrow ranges of SAR.
    Received: 16 September 1982; Revised: 14 July 1983

    There's a real big difference between illuminating a single layer of
    cells in a cultute & lighting up a brain's worth of cells in some
    numbskull's er, um... skull.

    Ampitude modulation? What's the mechanisum operating to de-modulate
    the signal so it can affect the calcium channels? If there ain't no
    demodulation happenig all you're getting is heating effect.

    I note a distinct lack of corroborating followup studies over the last
    28 years.

    i.e.- Not Much.

  10. Winston

    Winston Guest

    How so?
    All the necessary parts have been on the shelf for decades.
    * Amplitude - modulatable Microwave oscillator up to ~10 GHz at <1W
    * 16 Hz Audio oscillator
    * Small parabolic antenna with pitch and yaw servo system
    * Various waveguide bits

    You don't need to illuminate the entire 3 lbs. at all.
    If it were heat alone, then the effect should be more pronounced at
    higher power levels. Efflux diminishes, instead.
    I don't know *why* swamping the brain with a disingenuous EEG waveform
    causes it to disregard the lower power signals coming
    from the cells it should be listening to. It seems reasonable that
    it would behave in that fashion, given the science.
    Thanks, Howard.

  11. "That big microwave dish that swung round and focused on me".
    Lawyer for perp subpoenas all documentation on installation.
    It's cheaper to hand over a few hundred, or thousand, dollars than get
    involved in the cheapest lawsuit.
  12. What a total fucking idiot.
  13. Winston

    Winston Guest

    At the proper modulation frequency and carrier amplitude,
    one would probably lose all senses. One might move an
    object, say a wallet from one pocket to another without
    being aware of it. If the carrier were turned off soon
    enough, one would remain standing but would be quite
    disoriented and confused, as if waking from sleep.

    It would take a couple minutes before one would be
    completely conscious. Not a painful experience, but
    quite unpleasant.

  14. Winston

    Winston Guest

    I think we agree that one can induce current flow in portions
    of the brain using direct electrodes, magnetic coupling or
    induction from an electromagnetic wave. Of the three methods
    in use, only electromagnetic coupling has any practical
    potential for use as a security / entertainment tool to disable
    bad guys or to seriously injure innocent customers and employees.
    I expect that you understand the reasons why this is so.

    I respectfully disagree about microwave's potential as a
    carrier for the differentiated EMF offset necessary to carry
    out this sort of manipulation. As it says in the article I
    quoted, there is a 'window' of power level and modulation rate
    (~1 mW/cm^2, 6-20 Hz) that swamps out the electrical signals normally
    present in areas of the brain as part of their normal
    function. The R.F. carrier appears to integrate an A.C. offset
    in brain tissue capable of mimicking and replacing valid
    signals of the type one would normally see presented on an E.E.G.

    This is more sophisticated and subtle than mere tissue heating.
    I find it significant, for example that the associated flow of
    calcium in the subject tissue actually decreases as power level
    increases out of the 'window' area of ~1 mW/cm^2 or at modulation
    frequencies below 6 Hz or above 20 Hz.

    Adey, W. Ross, Neurophysiologic Effects of Radiofrequency and Microwave
    Radiation, Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, V.55, #11, December, 1979

    I agree that in Adey's experiments, only 147 MHz and 450 MHz RF
    were used as a coupling carrier. That supports the theory that
    carrier frequency itself is unimportant as long as any
    amplitude offset can be integrated in brain tissue to form a
    virtual electrode. At the risk of stating the obvious, a parabolic
    antenna small enough to be concealed above a dropped ceiling
    would be much more directional and effective with increasing
    carrier frequency.

    Thanks, Bill.

  15. Winston

    Winston Guest

    If you mean 'reception' in the sense of the target perceiving
    a sound, I agree. Indeed the subject would temporarily lose
    the sense of vision and hearing, so no new information can be
    received at all.
    The modulation is closer to ~16 Hz (but on reflection is probably
    a complex waveform for maximum effect). The target would lose control
    over muscle movement and lose the ability to see or hear or sense
    the passage of time. If the carrier is turned off within a second
    or so, the subject would remain standing. I imagine that the
    subject would fall to the floor if pushed because of the loss of
    voluntary muscle control.
    Yes, the R.F. field is hazardous immediately and the potential for
    eventual leukemia, brain infection and DNA damage are increased
    as well.

    Why do you make a point about hazard? I don't understand
    how that makes any difference at all.
    The effect I mentioned is not 'microwave hearing'.

    The effect is to temporarily deny a person sight, hearing, conscious
    thought and muscle control. A bonus is to enhance the target's
    susceptibility to disease such as cancer, brain infection and DNA damage.

    This is not about 'clicking sounds'.

    Consumer electronics are of no concern. The person targeted is of
    no concern. Nothing but the entertainment of the restaurant manager
    is of any importance at all.

    You do agree, right?
    How could that possibly happen?

    The megacorporation that owns the restaurant also owns the plaintiff's
    lawyer and the judge. How could such a lawsuit proceed, considering
    that there is no evidence, and all parties are owned by the perpetrator.

    You are confusing me here. Please explain?
    The antenna is a small parabola (ca. 12" or less in diameter).
    It (and the mechanism needed to steer it) fits very neatly above any
    dropped ceiling. It would be effective against anyone in the
    dining area of a typical restaurant. We need only 1 mW/cm^2, after all.
    R.F. Safety:
    I understand that this system would be dangerous to anyone targeted.
    It would deny them control over their own body, at the minimum.

    Physical Effects:
    It has the potential to seriously harm anyone targeted, perhaps
    reducing their immune response to serious illness as time passes.
    It could kill someone easily (if not quickly).
    I understand that.

    I sense that you feel this is somehow improper or wrong in some way?

    I don't understand. What has that got to do with anything?
    Please elaborate.
    It's not a 'super weapon'. Just a little transmitter.

    Thanks, Steve.

  16. Winston

    Winston Guest

    That idea is morally repugnant and inexcusable. :(
    I'm saddened to think anyone would contemplate that.

    I was talking about a tool for use by an organization that
    is incapable of any sort of immorality or crime, because
    they would never be accused, no matter who they attacked.

    I don't own any judges.
    Let's try to stay on the same page here. :)

  17. Winston

    Winston Guest

    On 3/12/2010 10:46 AM, AZ Nomad wrote:

    How could that be? Who is the 'nailer'?
    Are you seriously suggesting that a lawyer or judge would voluntarily
    snuff out their career by prosecuting a case against their owners?

    But this is *so* much more elegant!
    Not only can the manager disable robbers, he can
    use the system on honest employees and customers as well.
    The entertainment is endless because it is completely

    The old guy on table #4. Just as he lifts his coffee cup, zap
    him and he pours hot coffee all over his shirt! He gets up,
    and attempts to get to the bathroom, zap him again so he hits
    his head on the counter and soils himself at the same time.

    I don't think you grasp the hilarious possibilities here.

    There isn't any evidence it was ever used, other than the recollection
    of the victim. Who is going to believe him (or her for that matter)?

    I don't understand your 'anti-business' position at all.

    Thanks, AZ

  18. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Only the owner and installer are aware the transmitter exists at all.
    They aren't about to zap themselves with it.
    So, who cares? In either case, there is no evidence, no foul
    no crime.
    There would be no crime because no judge would ever prosecute.

    He places judgment against say, "Allied Domestic Sandwich", he knows it's
    all over for him. Finito. No more robes. Venality is not stupidity.
    Be serious. This machine is completely undetectable.
    Anyone who knows of it's existence will remain piously quiet about it.
    That is what they are paid to do.

    This country was built by people who believed in the sanctity
    and grace of big business. Let's not backslide here.

    Thanks, AZ

  19. Winston

    Winston Guest

    On 3/12/2010 11:23 AM, Dave Platt wrote:

    1) The transmitter is not immediately deadly. Eventually, perhaps.
    By then, there's even less evidence that it was ever used.

    2) I was not talking about individuals or small business owners
    for whom the law applies and is generally enforced. I was talking
    about a completely different business scale, for whom the law
    does not apply and is not enforced. Two completely different
    See section #2 above. The transmitter wouldn't be used by people
    who are subject to law. Only subsidiaries of Big Business for
    whom there is no risk of prosecution attached.
    No evidence, no crime perpetrated by an un-prosecutable.

    That is a bad corner to be playing in.

    "Sorry, thanks for the info but you are deluded to think
    we would ever do such a thing."
    Attempted murder is permissible and a valid management technique,
    if you are a large enough corporation. It just does not get

    It is not considered to be as serious as your parking ticket.
    No, the robber would only 'collapse' if he was off - balance
    when zapped. He would remain standing otherwise.
    Blind and deaf, with a vacant expression on his face,
    but still standing.
    No collapses. Just frozen with temporary blindness and deafness.
    See, we are overwhelming a very complicated system with
    a bunch of 'nonsense data'. It is a 'Denial Of Service'
    attack, with the brain as a target instead of a computer.
    Yes but a powerless 'somebody'. Who cares? The cops? The courts?

    Seriously. No authority is going to give a flying guacamole even if
    a witness were brave enough to risk being called 'delusional'.

    (I do admit that it's a matter of time before a technically hip LEO
    gets zapped by one of these transmitters. Then we will see some
    very nuanced criticism, which will also not be detected, prosecuted
    or reported.)
    In application, yes. The crime didn't occur unless a judge said
    it did, yes? Hey, 'suspect' all you want because the judge will
    say *anything* the corporation wants him to say. I do admit that
    this gives the courts pretty good leverage. The bad news is that
    such leverage will result in more generous contributions, but not
    an improvement in behavior on the part of the corporation.
    Of course it would be small and easy to hide. Pick a frequency that
    beams well using a <12" diameter parabola yet still easily penetrates
    through a couple inches of cranium to deposit 1 mW/ cm^2 in the brain
    over a distance of say 20 feet.
    Pretty cheap and easy with suspended ceilings being as ubiquitous as
    they are.
    Back up here, please. Your scenario posits three individuals who
    wake up from an artificially - induced frozen, unconscious state.
    They are dazed and confused but regain full use of their senses and
    muscles within a couple minutes. One of them is on the ground being
    cuffed by security; #2 is dabbing at some coffee he spilled on his
    shirt. #3 is wondering if it was apparent that she fell asleep during
    #2's monologue.

    No evidence that anything out of the ordinary happened.

    No 'Crime Scene' tape. No nothing.
    With whom? Not the courts, not the cops. Just who is the source
    of this Trouble?
    The manager is an employee of a Large Corporation. He cannot be touched,
    even if the cops were inclined to arrest. They won't be because
    there is no evidence any crime occurred and no budget and even
    less motivation to develop the expertise to detect this kind of thing.
    The FCC does not care. Who is going to enforce that law?
    As long as the target is customer, a waitress or a bad guy, who cares?
    There's no evidence. No crime to investigate.

    Here is a real opportunity for some enterprising company to make several
    tons of money. Not a competitor in sight and plenty of powerful,
    very well financed companies with which to become Very Friendly.


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