Boeing has just been awarded a patent for a force field, yes a force field. The system seeks to disrupt shock waves before they reach soldiers. Seems like an innovative approach and certainly will be the basis for future variations that take us closer to Star Trek.
The patent describes a sensor or array of sensors that reacts to an explosion and then sends an immediate reaction that can come in various modes (laser, microwave, electrical arc, etc…) which generate a hot pocket of air to disrupt the shock wave. The goal is to lessen the number of occurrences of IED related Brain damage and other related traumatic injuries.
The U.S. Military Casualty Statistics related to Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom show a devastating impact. IED’s are a significant tool used by our enemy and I am cautiously optimistic about the Boeing technology and the effect it can have on our soldiers lives.