A lightwave barrier is an energy field which blocks both physical and energy weapons. It is first used to protect an asteroid fortress and is called the "Umbrella of Artemis" and then later, an improved version used by Mobile Suits called "Armure Lumiere" was developed. For both systems, a full 360-degree barrier require multiple emitters and for the latter, a single emitter will produce a triangular beam shield. In addition, a battery powered MS can only sustain a 360-degree "Armure Lumiere" barrier for about 5 minutes.
Unlike the "Umbrella of Artemis", "Armure Lumiere" allows weapon to be fired from within to hit enemy units outside and the beam emitted can also form other shapes and be used offensively. In this form, it can even penetrate other lightwave barriers, positron barriers and possibly beam shields. Lightwave barriers can also be penetrated by weapons with anti-beam properties (e.g. anti-beam coating). Also, one of Canard Pars' opponents in X Astray deduced that the Hyperion's Armure Lumiere emitters were vulnerable as they themselves are not shielded. Canard seems to confirm this by dodging out of the way of his opponent's shots and looking relieved after the bullets bounced harmlessly away on the actual barrier.
Developed by the Eurasian Federation of the Earth Alliance, the lightwave barrier was produced to protect the Federation's asteroid fortress Artemis. This barrier became known as the "Umbrella of Artemis". Despite this powerful defense system, Artemis was considered to be of no important strategic value. The Umbrella of Artemis was eventually breached, when GAT-X207 Blitz Gundam pilot Nicol Amalfi sneaked within the fortress using his suit's Mirage Colloid cloaking system when the shield was down to destroy the emitters for the shield.
Later, a mobile suit-scale version, known as "Armure Lumiere", was developed for Eurasia's CAT1-X Hyperion Gundam series mobile suits. Besides functioning as a shield, the "Armure Lumiere" can also be reconfigured and used as an offensive beam blade. Hyperion Unit One was piloted by Coordinator Canard Pars, who eventually equipped his suit with a nuclear reactor and a Neutron Jammer Canceller, granting it a far longer use of its barrier. Nevertheless the suit was critically damage in a fight against the YMF-X000A Dreadnought Gundam. The Armure Lumiere system was however salvaged and installed on the YMF-X000A/H Dreadnought H. While fighting Canard’s Hyperion, it was Gai Murakumo who discovered the weakness of the system when he used one of the anti-beam coated blades of his MBF-P03 Gundam Astray Blue Frame Second G on the barrier. The "Armure Lumiere" can also be penetrated by another "Armure Lumiere" that is used offensively.
During the Second Alliance-PLANT War, two new version of energy shields were developed. One was the Positron Reflector used by Earth Alliance, the other was the Beam Shields used on ZAFT and Terminal mobile suits.
In CE 73, ZAFT began deploying beam shields, which is derived from the "Armure Lumiere". The ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam, and ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam all utilize this technology, as do the Clyne Faction's ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam, ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam, and ZGMF-XX09T DOM Trooper. Although it is unknown if the beam shield share the weakness of its predecessor, it remains a possibility as the EA’s Positron Reflector which is also derived from the "Armure Lumiere" is vulnerable to the offensive use of the “Armure Lumiere”. The main drawback of the beam shield is its high energy consumption when activated, but this is not much of a problem since most of the suit using the system are nuclear powered. It has been proven that if a beam shield meets another with enough power and force, the two shields can neutralize each other regardless of the shield size. Interestingly, the beam shield is also capable of penetrating the positron reflector.
|Cosmic Era technology|
Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System | Lightwave Barrier | Mirage Colloid | Phase Shift armor | Positron Blaster Cannon | Positron Reflector
|Mobile Suit technology|
DRAGOON system | G Project | METEOR | Second Stage Series | Striker Packs | Voiture Lumiere
Cyclops System | GENESIS | Hyper-Deuterion Engine | Neutron Jammer | Neutron Jammer Canceller | Neutron Stampeder | Nibelung | Requiem
Carbon Human | Coordinators | Extended humans | Newtypes | SEED factor