Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improved Measurements Could Mean Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons

Date:
November 14, 2008
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Electroshock weapons, such as stun guns and other similar devices that temporarily incapacitate a person by delivering a high-voltage, low-current electric shock, have helped law enforcement officers safely subdue dangerous or violent persons for years. Researchers at NIST are working toward a standard method for accurately assessing the electrical output of these devices, the results of which can be used in establishing baselines for future medical and safety studies.

Electroshock weapons—such as stun guns and other similar devices that temporarily incapacitate a person by delivering a high-voltage, low-current electric shock—have helped law enforcement officers safely subdue dangerous or violent persons for years. The use of these weapons has been challenged, however, by claims that they may have contributed to more than 150 deaths in the United States since 2001.

Related Articles


Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working toward a standard method for accurately assessing the electrical output of these devices, the results of which can be used in establishing baselines for future medical and safety studies.

Groups such as Amnesty International have called for guidelines for electroshock weapons that include "threshold exposures" (the minimum charges that would incapacitate different groups of people without putting them at risk for injury or death). One obstacle to the development of such guidelines is the fact that various reports regarding the output of electroshock weapons—the current and voltage they deliver—are inconsistent.

To address this problem, scientists in NIST's Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) have developed methods for calibrating the high-voltage and current measurement probes used by industry so that any inherent biases in the probes are minimized. By compensating for these probe effects, voltage and current readings were obtained that reflect the energies being dispensed by the weapons.

Next steps in the characterization program for electroshock weapons include implementing a second type of high-voltage measurement to verify the probe calibration system; further refining the uncertainty analysis for the overall measurement method to better define its accuracy and reliability; and, eventually, working with government agencies and the law enforcement community to standardize the method that will facilitate establishment of use guidelines.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Improved Measurements Could Mean Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113140420.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2008, November 14). Improved Measurements Could Mean Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113140420.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Improved Measurements Could Mean Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113140420.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins