Boeing scores patent for blast-inhibiting force fields

Our the-stuff-of-fiction future is becoming ever brighter, and newest to flesh it out is a new patent scored by Boeing, which has apparently set its sights on force fields. The patent details a technology that would create force fields somewhat similar to what we've seen in movies like Star Wars, though they won't work quite the same. Rather than taking the impacts from objects, they'll absorb or otherwise inhibit the shockwaves that result from a blast, helping keep the blast contained while protecting nearby people and structures from the damage that could result.

The patent is for a "method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc", which is a wordy way to say blast-inhibiting force field. The technology will inhibit the shockwaves from blasts via "reflection, refraction, dispersion, absorption and momentum transfer", according to the patent.

The patent goes on to detail a sort of smart technology that would complement the force field using sensors to determine if a "shockwave-producing event' is likely to happen, how far away the event is, and what direction it'll be heading. With this, the force fields could be generated more effectively to protect against such events.

The patent goes on to describe the technology as including:

A shockwave attenuation system, comprising: a sensor for generating a detection signal based on at least one of detecting an explosion capable of producing a shockwave traveling through a first fluid medium to a protected region, and estimating a location and time of the explosion, and detecting an explosive device and estimating a location and time of an explosion .. capable of producing the shockwave ... and an arc generator in communication with the sensor [that will] heat a selected region of the first fluid medium rapidly to create a second, transient medium ... interposed between the shockwave and the protected region such that the shockwave contacts the second, transient medium and is attenuated in energy density before it reaches a protected asset...