Raytheon develops anti-frost system to protect crops

An artist's rendering of the anti-frost system developed by Raytheon.
An artist's rendering of the anti-frost system developed by Raytheon.
Raytheon Company this week unveiled a new system that uses radio frequency technology as a heating system to ward off crop-damaging frost.

Raytheon's Tempwave radiant heating system delivers energy directly to a crop without heating the intervening air, the company announced. The system is silent, uses no water, emits no smoke and does not rely on environmental conditions for its effectiveness, as wind-powered systems do.

"Our expertise in radio frequency has enabled a disruptive product that frees growers from the limits and variations inherent in existing frost protection methods," said Lee Silvestre, vice president of Raytheon's integrated defense systems division. "Tempwave autonomously and precisely delivers energy directly where it's needed to prevent freezing."

The company tested the product concept on citrus crops in California, where Tempwave radiators arrayed on towers and powered by grid electricity successfully protected orange groves from frost damage.

Raytheon, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, develops state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing, effects and command, control, communications and intelligence systems.