Brooks Air Force Base

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Brooks Air Force Base, TX

Protocol - 2003-12 - Acute Millimeter Wave Exposure on the Development and Reproductive Capability of the Rat



Acute Millimeter Wave Exposure on the Development and Reproductive Capability of the Rat


Research Category:

N1: Physical Protection


FY: 2003 Funding (in dollars):



Responsible Organization:


Primary Contact:

Public Affairs Office


Brooks City-Base






Performing Organization:

See Responsible Organization Information












AFRL/HEDR is investigating the effects of exposure to millimeter wave radiation for use as a non-lethal weapon technology. This technology, the Active Denial System (ADS) involves a brief, intense exposure to 94-GHz radiation such that the skin is heated very rapidly resulting in intolerable pain. In order to ensure that exposure to this type of radiation is safe, we have initiated a number of studies. The study proposed here will determine if exposure to 94-GHz radiation will affect the development of rat fetus or the reproductive capability of the male rat.



The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate are investigating a technology using millimeter waves as a non-lethal weapon against adversaries. This technology will give military commanders an option for force protection that is not currently available. The Air Force is developing a non-lethal technology for force protection that utilizes millimeter wave radiation to rapidly heat the skin of adversaries such that pain is produced with the result that the adversary is turned back or repelled. At the millimeter wave frequency to be used in this technology (94 GHz), penetration into the skin is to a depth of approximately 0.3 mm. In order to determine if this technology is effective and safe so that it can be used in a weapons system, significant knowledge of the biological responses to millimeter wave exposure must be determined. The present protocol proposes to investigate the possibility of reproductive concerns from exposure to 94-GHz irradiation.

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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