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The Active Denial System is a counter-personnel, non-lethal, directed energy weapon. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy strikes the subject and only reaches a skin depth of about 1/64th of an inch, or the equivalent of three sheets of paper. It produces a heat sensation that within seconds becomes intolerable and forces the targeted individual to instinctively move. The sensation immediately ceases when the individual moves out of the beam or when the operator turns off the beam. These non-lethal capabilities are designed to protect the innocent, minimize fatalities and limit collateral damage across the range of military operations. U.S. Air Force photo
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