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EM Pulse RC car

allow law enforcement to stop fleeing vehicles with EMP
  (+9, -3)
(+9, -3)
  [vote for,

I think I have my science right with this one, but if not I'm sure someone here will have the electrical knowhow to either help correct the idea or berate me for getting it wrong.

Most police departments in larger cities in the US have police cruisers equiped with a large front ram/spoiler. My idea is to equip a simple guide and an RC car that are attached to this ram and have it wired to a controller located on the passenger side of the vehicle.

The RC will be a stripped down, wide-built and low to the ground aluminum chasis, light, cheap and easy to replace if/when it gets crushed by a car. It will be equiped cheap electronics and steering mechanism(because they will need to be replaced after every discharge) Also attached to the car is a large capacitor and a one or two model rocket motors. Extending foward are two rods that act as pincers that the electricity arcs across during discharge. While the guide is up, the capacitor charges as long as the engine is running to maintain a full charge.

When engaged in a pursuit the driver's partner(at the most opportune time) will lower the guide so the RC car is almost touching the road. Then, when the user is ready, he hits the ignition and the RC car's model rocket motor/s fire, sending the small vehicle scorching across the pavement towards the suspect's car. The user has a small amount of steering control to help correct the RC on its path to the suspect's vehicle. The goal being to get the RC under the suspects vehicle.

Once the suspect is within the "blast radius" the user discharges the capacitor, thus emitting an electromagnetic pulse to shutdown the electrical systems in the suspects vehicle.

OR it could have a magnetic sensor and simply detonate by itself when it passes under the car. The idea being the car will just quit and coast to a stop.
Another, more pyromaniacal use would be to have two rods extending above it that would arc the electricity across during the discharge and have them arc through the gas tank of the targetted vehicle.

It may be possible to do this with some sort of E-bomb, but like I said, I'm not an electrician and what knowledge I am working with is limited, I'm not even 100% sure capacitors emit EMP when discharged or if size restrictions would allow it to be a feasible idea.

scott_r_uber, Oct 22 2005

Bzzzzt! http://transportati...y/6178631328674953/
ProTech electromagnetic "car chase zapper," under development [magnificat, Oct 28 2005]


       My friends and I had a similar idea of shooting some kind of EM pulse at cars with a directional anntenna. If you did it right, the spark plug wires would pick up the induction and all the spark plugs would fire at once, wreaking havoc on the mechanical part of the car as well as the electronic. I don't know if any of these ideas would work realistically, but who really cares about that?
discontinuuity, Oct 22 2005

       A while ago I saw a very similar idea on tv where a PD was experimenting with a similar rocket propelled device which shoots out the front of the police car when they get behind the offending vehicle, rolls under the vehicle, and there are two wires (like little dodgem car antennae) connected to a high voltage power source. When the antennae brush against the underbody of the offending vehicle it blows all the electrics (efi etc) and shuts the car down.   

       Its a contact-style deactivator as opposed to EMP, which is where it differs from your idea.   

       In my understanding the biggest problem was stability of such a small wheeled device on rough roads at high speeds. Also difficult to release accurately without running over it.   

       So they gave up.
JoeyJoJoShabadoo, Oct 22 2005

       This is baked. I'll look for a link.
zigness, Oct 22 2005

       I know it sounds uptight and all Republicanny, but I'm fully in favor of anything that gives law enforcement the edge. If it means they have to do less shooting to take down bad guys, so much the better.   

       And if it means they get cool Star Trekky doohickeys to take out bad guys' cars, then that gets a big frosty bun!
elhigh, Oct 24 2005

       whoa, you mean I had an idea people like? I didn't know I had it in me..

[JoeyJoJoShabadoo] Well, I had planned its use to be restricted to highways and paved roads where civilian cars maybe too prevailent to risk a pit maneuver. Also, the design's emphasis should be on disposability, I'm counting on it getting crushed more often than not.
[elhigh], right on. Like I've said before: my father's been in law enforcement for approximately 30 years now, and anything that means we can count on him still coming home in one peice at the end of the night sounds great to me [zigness] hope you post the link soon if for nothing else than just to satisfy passing curiousity.
scott_r_uber, Oct 27 2005

       An alternative is to simply "shoot" a pair of wires ahead and over the offending vehicle from the persuit vehicle. Think it might be like a pair of small launch tubes mounted to the front of the police car. The police car approaches the fleeing vehicle, gets within 25 feet and at the opportune time, two little rockets (or perhaps a low powered shotgun type round with rubber carrier projectiles) launch from the tubes, trailing the wires...the pre-set trajectory is ahead and over the fleeing car...when the wires sense contact with the vehicle ahead, they automatically discharge 100,000 volts (low amps) supplied from pre charged capacitors in the police car and the fleeing vehicle gets the jolt...the wires are very light weight and do not cause any entanglement problems or damage to either vehicle or other vehicles. It's cheap, proven technology and pretty harmless to people.
Blisterbob, Oct 27 2005

       I am positive that someone did this idea within the last 6 months, but I cannot find it now. It was a similar scheme to detonate roadside bombs in Iraq. Was it [Pave]'s?
bungston, Oct 27 2005

       I like the idea of anything that's small, rolling, explosive, and that I get to drive from the comfort of a Ford Crown Vic. However, I think a pair of darts with a good battery power source would work better.   

       While this is well-intentioned and probably fun, it's unnecessarily complex, probably expensive.   

       Four points for you [+]
shapu, Oct 27 2005

       I have seen rocket powered RC cars mounted on the bottom of cop cars. They shoot out from the bottom and make their way to the engine compartment, where they discharge a stop electric jolt, thus shutting down the car.
Antegrity, Oct 27 2005

       A good idea, semi-baked.
magnificat, Oct 28 2005

       I'd be concerned that after having done its work at high speed, the spent but still-rolling juggernaught would silently hurtle into someones ankle.
Elitefingerbun, Oct 28 2005

       "A lawsuit was filed today in Kennesaw County Court against the state police, alleging that an anti-chase device used by police caused a nasty welt on a bystander's ankle after rolling down the street. The plaintif, Tom Smith, is seeking fourteen dollars in damages and 35 million in punitive penalties.   

       "The Georgia State Police had no comment."
shapu, Oct 28 2005

       well, I suppose pedestrians would be a liability for something like this.. but wouldn't they also be a liability for the police chasing some crazed driver? Besides, who doesn't love causing a little senseless collatoral damage?
scott_r_uber, Nov 04 2005


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