>Microwave Energy Weapons and Enterprise Architecture

>There’s a new way to stop by the bad guys—with microwave energy!

The problem is that no sooner do we develop the improved technology, then we are already telling the bad guys how to foil it. That’s incredibly self-defeating and stupid!

That’s also the epitome of poor enterprise architecture:

  • good User-centric EA ensures that business drives technology and technology meets user requirements—in this case, the requirement is to be able to stop the bad guys; however, we already know how the bad guys can circumvent the technology and are telling them how— that’s not meeting user requirements, and that’s poor EA!

In this example, MIT Technology Review, 13 November 2007 is reporting that a company called Eureka Aerospace has developed a new “more efficient and compact” electromagnetic system that can send out “a beam of microwave energy [that] could stop vehicles in their tracks.”

“Pulses of microwave radiation disable the microprocessors that control the engine functions in a car. Such a device could be used by law enforcement to stop fleeing and noncooperative vehicles at security checkpoints, or as a perimeter protection for military bases, communication centers” and other critical infrastructure.

Sound good, and the technology is ready for deployment in 18 months. Here’s the catch—the article tells us (and the world) how the state-of-the-art technology is foiled:

  • Metal shielding—“metal acts as a shield against microwave energy.”
  • Older vehicles—“electronic control modules were not built into most cars until 1972, hence the system will not work on automobiles made before that year.”

Some additional snafu’s from the architects who designed this:

  • Collateral damage— nearby electronics will also be taken out; “so if the officer is pointing the device in the direction of the mall, he or she could end up trapping 12 people in an elevator.” Also, it “could cause a huge accident if a car is disabled and a driver loses steering control.” Here’s some more: “radiation can burn human skin and microwaves have long been suspected of being a cancer-causing agent.

So here’s a neat technology that sounds good on paper, until we see (and tell the bad guys) how to defeat our latest gizmo that’s designed to protect our citizen’s and troops. Plus let’s not forget the collateral damage from this “non-lethal” weapon. Architects back to the drawing board, please.

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