Do you remember the Star Wars movies and all the incredible force field technology that made an appearance in various scenes (and many other movies, besides)?
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has just been awarded a patent for a kind of protective force field that could reduce the amount of damage that vehicles incur from explosions.
Star Wars style plasma force field patented by Boeing
The whole concept sounds pretty hi-tech and futuristic – and it actually is. However, it’s not concerned with actually stopping bullets, or using lasers in some way to create a surrounding, impenetrable field. Instead, it detects explosions close to a vehicle and quickly heats the air (or water) between the vehicle and the blast.
This heat creates a plasma shield that is much more dense than normal air, which adds to the protection afforded the vehicle in question.
Here’s a diagram from Boeing that shows the different parts of the force-field system:
And here’s another image from the patent application showing the force-field technology would work with a military vehicle:
The picture above is a military Humvee with an attached device that lessens the impact of explosions from bombs and other explosives such as IEDs.
However, there may well be other uses for the force-field invention – as Boeing says it could also be used in water, heating up the area around boats or submarines to reduce the impact from nearby explosions.
It’s all very futuristic, and it obviously might be years away from actually being used in reality. But it makes you wonder whether the company has tested the concept at all, for example with the American military. It’s the sort of thing you can imagine going on in the mythical Area-51 (which of course, doesn’t exist, if you believe the official story)…
You can read the full patent details here.
Let us know in the comments what you think about this seemingly far-fetched idea…