Active Denial Technology (ADT) is a non-lethal, counterpersonnel, directed energy (DE) Intermediate Force Capability (IFC) that creates a heating sensation, quickly repelling potential adversaries. ADT provides the Joint Force with an option to stop, deter, and turn back suspicious individuals with minimal
risk of injury or damage to critical infrastructure.
Traveling at the speed of light, an invisible DE beam of radio frequency millimeter waves
engages the subject, penetrating skin to a depth of 1/64th of an inch—the equivalent of three
sheets of printer paper. This repel effect produces an intolerable heating sensation, compelling
the targeted individual to instinctively move. It ceases immediately after the individual moves
out of the beam or when the operator turns off the ADT system. There is minimal risk of injury
due to the shallow energy penetration of the skin, normal human instinctive reactions, and
system engineering controls.
Active Denial Technology systems produce reversible effects at distances up to and beyond
small arms range, providing U.S. forces with additional decision time and space to validate that
a perceived hostile intent/act is, in fact, hostile. ADT may be used to complement force
application and force protection missions.
From 2002 to 2007, the Active Denial System (ADS) Advanced Concept Technology
Demonstration produced two ADT systems: System One, integrated the technology with a High
Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle; System Two was built as an armored, containerized
system transportable by tactical vehicles. Each successfully completed a series of land- and
maritime-based military utility assessments. From 2014 to 2015, System One was refurbished
into a more mobile system transportable by a Marine Corps Medium Tactical Vehicle
Replacement truck. Both prototypes are long-range, large spot-sized systems suitable for
testing, evaluation, exercises, and demonstrations. From 2010 to 2015, a more compact,
shorter-range, solid-state technology-based ADS was built in partnership with the U.S. Army,
and is also available for testing and evaluation.