Posted on 07 August 2011.
By Amy Miller
Military and law enforcement has a tough job to do. Fighting crime and terror, defeating risks the world over, and creating a safe environment for civilians to raise families and enjoy freedoms. Law Enforcement technology has come a long way since the days of the old west gunslingers. The technology starting to breakthrough and that which is on the horizon is some of the most fascinating that has ever seen. Law Enforcement technology is taking great leaps forward, in some cases literally (see number 3 on the list).
1. Metamaterial cloaking camouflage
Cloak and Dagger is an excellent platform for usage, and maybe even a potential brand name for this technology, which at its current stage employs hundreds of thousands of mirrored holographic discs to blend into an environment. The potential for operatives, snipers and entry teams to avoid detection by sight makes it almost an unfair fight. Law enforcement by fear alone? It’s a distinct possibility that simply knowing law enforcement can act counter to a criminal without their knowledge could decrease criminal activity at even the highest threat levels. Currently only in its infancy, metamaterial cloaking is one of the more widely desired, and closely watched technologies especially in the law enforcement space, as it has the opportunity to have the single biggest impact on human personnel law enforcement procedure of any other conceived technology. Future designs will likely include a combination of shape changing liquids/materials and highly faceted reflective discs which can also absorb color and light to further disguise the user in a more natural way. It has worked for Harry Potter, and within the decade it may provide an amazing supplement to law enforcement agencies in the fight against terror, and all manner of other criminal activity.
In some circles Nanotechnology is being dubbed the future of just about everything; these “critters” have the potential to rule the future of law enforcement in ways that span from the mundane to the inconceivable. From fabrics so slick they can resist and prevent knife thrusts, to nanotech fingerprint rendering from cases decades old, this technology has so many possibilities that it couldn’t possibly be quantified at the current level of understanding. Nanotechnology can improve everything from bullet proof armored fabrics, to the effect bullets have on the body once coming in contact with a target’s flesh, to reproducing latent evidence from crime scenes by using biological remnants of DNA and other particles. Biologically enhanced weapons can further be strengthened and even controlled using nanotechnology, allowing for drastic changes to the cloak and dagger world of spygames. Nanotechnology gives law enforcement hope of one day operating with a lower rate of failure and risk by being able to control outcomes, and protect against changing threats with legions of tiny “bugs” to carry out the dirty work. Nanotechnology-creating a new respect for the scrubbing bubbles in bathrooms all across the United States.
3. Exoskeleton HULC suit/Robocop
Half man, half robot, all cop. Exoskeleton armor has been in existence to brutal effect for thousands of years-Think Cockroaches and Crabs. It’s pretty difficult to mortally wound a cockroach, and even if it happens, the roach can still function with amazing capabilities for up to a few months. The HULC suit is another product in the Military to Law Enforcement distribution model. It’s a power assisted suit of armor which can be combined with other pieces of defensive and offensive technology to make hybrid law enforcement personnel. It can sense the direction that a wearer wants to move in and help propel them forward towards their target. It can prevent muscle strain and over usage by deploying special enhancements to lighten the load on the human inside of it. It runs on jet fuel for 72 hours, and enhances strength, speed; endurance and most likely, morale for all involved on the same side as the suit. The coolest part about the HULC suit? It’s not the only suit on the market, the Sarcos suit is another viable contender for the space, with the only operational difference being the power supply and some additional enhancements. The six million dollar man and Robocop might look cool, but this suit defines cool. It’s the coolest new technology, and probably on the top of every gadget lover’s wish list.
4. Metal storm stacked munitions (MAUL, Firestorm, Redback)
Metal storm weapons may not be true Future Law Enforcement technologies as they already exist. Rather, the “simple” technology behind the complex pieces produced by Metal Storm conceals the future proof capabilities. Stacked munitions allow for rapid deployment of ammunition, accelerated reloading for continued engagement, and the safest, most foolproof operation of a weapon-which is paramount until law enforcement can find a way to take the human factor out of the combat equation. The MAUL is an add-on system which allows law enforcement to add five shotgun shell sized munitions to their current entry weapons. This could facilitate door breaching, riot control, or lethal munitions where before those tools would have been too cumbersome to carry, or require additional personnel. Firestorm is a 40mm stacked munitions grenade launcher which allows border patrol and other remotely operating law enforcement groups a system of backup and protection against larger groups, or high threat targets. The Firestorm can launch 24,000 grenade rounds a minute, operated from safety via an internet connection, rf, and dc power. Redback is a high volume rail gun, the backbone perhaps of the Metalstorm brand, it truly unleashes a storm of metal upon its targets with multiple barrel builds, and stacked in line munitions, this machine rains down hell on its targets.
5. Microwave technologies ADS (Active Denial System)
Has a chicken breast ever gone into a microwave oven without an absolute massacre being the end result? The ADS system aims to do the same thing to pesky rioters, high risk threats, and otherwise heavily shielded and protected targets. Now in its advanced testing stages within the military facilities, it’s entirely likely that Law enforcement will be the number one consumer of this technology for its unmatched abilities within the riot and mob control scenario. High frequency targeted microwaves are projected at an offender sparking a reaction in the water carrying (read: all) molecules and fatty tissues, causing the target to heat up from the inside out. Immediately the target is unable to continue in the same fashion as before, they are in immense pain, and too uncomfortable to continue as a threat. It provides a biological reaction in the body, incapacitating the target and rendering them effectively useless for a longer period of time than other “non-lethal” methods.