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NIST assesses electrical output of electroshock weapons.
Press Release Summary:
Nov 14, 2008 - Groups such as Amnesty International have called for guidelines for electroshock weapons that include threshold exposures. One obstacle to development of such guidelines is that reports regarding output of electroshock weapons are inconsistent. To address this, scientists in NIST's Office of Law Enforcement Standards have developed methods for calibrating high-voltage and current measurement probes used by industry so that any inherent biases in probes are minimized.
Original Press Release
Improved Measurements Could Mean Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons
Press release date: Nov 12, 2008
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.
For more information, contact Nicholas Paulter, email@example.com, (301) 975-2405.
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