From what looks like a page from the latest science fiction novel, Boeing has been awarded a patent for a force-field like defense system, which led excited fans to announce the advent if something previously seen in the realms of science fiction movies. The patent application filed in 2012, the aerospace giant has been granted a patent for a method and system for shockwave attenuation through electromagnetic arc. What it claims is described more in detail below:

“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 from the explosive device that is capable of producing the shockwave traveling through the first fluid medium; and an arc generator in communication with the sensor for receiving the detection signal therefrom, and in response thereto heat a selected region of the first fluid medium rapidly to create a second, transient medium, different from the first 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 in the protected region.”

At first glance, it seems that they are researching into something quite similar to deflector shields seen in the Star Wars movies. The patent is clearly describing a technology that is able to detect a shockwave from a nearby explosion in order to establish a region of ionized air or plasma field between the oncoming blast and the asset it is providing protection for.

By establishing a temporary superheated parcel of air using a laser, microwave or electrical arc, scientists believe that the shockwave would in theory dissipate once it gets into contact with the plasma field, leaving whatever was within to be unaffected.