Boeing is Working on Real-Life Star Wars Force Fields

By Gerald Lynch on at

The Force is strong with this future-gazing, sci-fi military idea. Boeing has just secured a patent for Star Wars-like "force field" technology, which could be used in military combat zones to protect vehicles and buildings from explosive shockwaves.

The snappily-named "Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc" (let's just stick with calling it a "force field", yeah?) explains a technology that would generate energy as a means of deflecting damaging explosive blasts.

The system would make use of two primary components -- a sensor that is able to anticipate incoming shockwaves, and an arc generator that reacts to readings from the sensor and produces its own shield-like energy wave to counteract an attack.

"Such embodiments ... may reduce the energy density of the shockwave by creating a second medium in the path of the advancing shockwave that reflects, refracts, absorbs and deflects at least a portion of the shockwave," reads the patent description.

So, while the shield couldn't stop a direct hit or artillery fire, a target could be shielded from an explosion's resulting shockwave blast -- enough, perhaps, to allow those otherwise caught in the blast radius to mount a more effective defense. And make sure the Death Star is "fully operational" for the counterattack, of course.. [Sky News]