Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF) Report 2018


by U.S. Air Force Air University and Curtis E. LeMay Center 


Mention to Cuba and China health incidents and to the necessity for instrumentation allowing to detect targeting of crews.


Press release (includes indirect link to pdf)


(p.23) "As events in Cuba and China demonstrated, personnel can become ill from EMS effects. Although the nature of EMS activities that caused health issues for more than 20 diplomats is not entirely understood, what is well understood are the effects. In short, personnel at those locations are believed to have suffered traumatic brain injury (while in bed sleeping)."
"As EMS technologies proliferate, EMS gray zone strategies that employ aggression to shape and influence the operations area will become more prolific. In fact, due to the difficulties associated with determining where a given waveform originated, EMS may one day be preferable to kinetic weapons for those actors employing from the gray zone."


"In the future, it may also be feasible to incapacitate or kill the crew of a ship or vessel while leaving the vessel intact. Such tactics could be equally applied to airborne assets, albeit without the prospect of equipment preservation. DE weapons, lasers, and other EMS phenomena are often undetectable until the effects are encountered. However, once the effects are encountered, it may be too late to mitigate harmful effects. Consequently, in the future, unmanned aircraft, ships, and other vehicles may be preferable to manned defense mechanisms." 


"As certain military hardware becomes tougher to detect and interrupt due to hardening, humans will ultimately remain the technological Achilles’ heel as adversaries increasingly attempt to target the vulnerable human physiology of operators and crew. Consequently, special consideration should be given to future hardware designs to make them automatic or proactive where the safety of human physiology could be called into question. For instance, a growing threat of laser eye injury to aircrews could be better mitigated by using electro-optically activated window treatments that automatically trigger filters if and when lasers come into contact with aircraft windows."


(p.45) PRIORITY 6: Physical and Biological Impacts 
"Personnel need to be well apprised of emerging risks posed by DE weapons, including those that may harm or injure personnel. In those cases where assets or working locations do not shield personnel, protections should be developed. Where protections cannot be realized, the use of remote or distributed operations technologies should be considered. In any case, assets that may be targeted by DE or HPM weapons should be equipped with instrumentation to allow crews to know when they are being targeted. Moreover, the United States should provide robust research and development alongside space-based platforms to match peer momentum."