Force fields become a reality
The use of force fields to protect space craft has long been a feature of sci-fi and a way of explaining how the goodies can live to fight another day despite meeting overwhelming odds.
A British company working in the defence industry, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), has developed a new system to protect vehicles which some are calling a ‘force field’. This is not the first time this company has exploited this idea. In tests in 2002 the company demonstrated how a tank could come under repeated attack from rocket propelled grenades, but by the deployment of an electric field it was able to carry on with just minor damage.
The new system detects an incoming projectile and dumps the charge from a large supercapicitor in to the metal plating on the outside of the vehicle. This forms a very strong electromagnetic field. So strong that it is capable of repelling the incoming projectile. The key to the system is timing, as the charged field must be deployed just prior to impact. It is hoped that this system will allow the heavy conventional armour on military vehicles to be dispensed with, thus making them lighter and more maneuverable. The Ministry of Defense has set the target of a 70% reduction in weight.