|Pasadena Star Staff Photo|
CASTAIC – A high-tech ray gun built for the military that fires an invisible heat beam capable of causing unbearable pain will be tested on unruly inmates in the sheriff’s detention facility in Castaic, officials said Friday at an unveiling event.
The “Assault Intervention System” (AIS) developed by the Raytheon Co., could give the Sheriff’s Department “another tool” to quell disturbances at a 65-inmate dormitory at the Pitchess Detention Center’s North County Correctional Facility, said Cmdr. Bob Osborne, head of the technology exploration branch of the sheriff’s Department of Homeland Security Division.
The 600-pound, 7-foot-tall device won’t replace traditional methods such as tear gas, rubber bullets and batons, Osborne said.
“We’re looking to see if we can exploit this science for the benefit of the Corrections Department,” he said.
AIS fires a directed beam of invisible “millimeter waves” that cause an unbearable burning sensation by penetrating 1/64 of an inch into the skin, where pain receptors are located, said Mike Booen, Raytheon’s vice president of advanced security and directed energy systems.
The beam, which is about the diameter of a compact disc, causes an instant and intolerable burning sensation when it touches skin, but the sensation stops instantly when the device is turned off or the target moves out of the beam.
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