Boeing has been issued a patent for devices generating force fields that keep shock waves from harming military vehicles.
In the StarWars science-fiction universe, force fields are shown as impenetrable walls that keep blaster fire from harming the ships.
The “Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc” uses energy to deflect potential damage.
If an explosive detonates near the vehicle, releasing shrapnel and shock waves. Sensors on the vehicle detect the explosion and determine the direction of the explosion, based on the light generated by the explosion.
Immediately, the anti-shock-wave system is deployed. Laser sources send out high intensity laser pulses in the direction of the explosion. The laser pulses ionize the air to form a laser-induced plasma channel (LIPC).
The plasma channel differs from the ambient air in density, temperature and composition. The plasma channel causes some of the shock wave to be reflected, refracted, absorbed and deflected. Thereby, saving the vehicle from considerable damage.
The technique may also be used to protect fixed structures such as bunkers, buildings; marine vessels such as surface ships, submarines, offshore platforms; and aircraft.
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