One of the latest non-lethal directed-energy weapons is called a "laser dazzler." These dazzlers are used to disorient (or grab the attention of) people at fairly long ranges by temporarily causing "flash blindness." They are handy for signaling cars to stop at checkpoints (the car's interior lights up all spooky green), or even for distracting a target while you prepare your conventional weapon. The "flinch factor" in your target can even expose vulnerable areas not protected by body armor. Dazzlers will even work on some animals. You can use them to chase coons out of your neighborhood, and even to scare birds or raccoons out of your yard.
Laser dazzlers are said to be a true "multicultural and multilingual" non-lethal weapon as nothing says "Stop right there!" better than a laser in the eyes.
Military versions of the laser dazzler can sell for up to $1,000. These higher-quality versions consist of a high-power 200+ mW 532 nm (green) laser mounted in a nice machined aluminum case complete with MIL-SPEC adjustable optics and power controls.
The laser dazzler in this project consists of a cheap $10 green laser pointer (<5 mW) and the optics from a $5 LED flashlight. This dazzler does work, but isn't perfect - mostly due to the low laser output power and the less-than-ideal plastic optics. You can experiment with different optic systems for overall system improvement, but for inexpense and ease of construction, this setup works quite well.
The stock power switch and battery compartment for the laser pointer will be left intact. You may wish to add an external battery pack to increase the operational time of the laser pointer. It is also possible to add a "flasher" option to the laser dazzler. By flashing the beam at around 7 Hz to 14 Hz you can increase the effectiveness of the dazzler on a human target by making them dizzy as well as blind!
Laser dazzler systems like these have also been proven to be fairly effective against certain remote electro-optical systems (i.e. video cameras, digital cameras, night vision devices, etc.) provided they don't contain any front-end filtering or fancy automatic gain controls.
Pictures & Construction Notes
On top is a model A100G keychain flashlight from Garrity. These are often for sale near the checkout lines at various stores.
The Garrity A100G flashlights themselves are surprisingly bright and well constructed for their size and cost.
On the bottom is a cheap green laser pointer from eBay.
The first modification is to remove the end cap from the laser pointer. This should pull out with just a fairly strong tug.
Next, unscrew the lens assembly from the Garrity flashlight.
Slide the lens assembly from the flashlight over the end of the laser pointer and secure with some electrical tape or epoxy.
The lens assembly is an almost perfect fit. Slide it over the body of the laser pointer until it reaches the internal threads.
An optional 1/2-inch copper pipe hanger was added for mounting the dazzler.
The 1/2-inch copper pipe hanger can be used to hold down the laser pointer's power button while you toggle the DC power via a remote battery pack and controls.
The pipe hanger also acts as an additional heatsink for the laser diode module, possibly extending its lifetime.
Output from the stock green laser pointer from about 10 feet away.
Output from the laser pointer with the "dazzle" lens installed from about 10 feet away.
The beam is more of a distorted rectangle at long distances due to use of the cheap optics, but the dazzler still works overall.
Rudimentary laser dazzler countermeasures consisted of using one of those "auto-darkening" welding helmets from Harbor Freight Tools.
Note that some cheap green laser pointers can pass a fair amount of energy in the infrared region. This could be potentially dangerous to a person's eyes if proper filtering is not in place.
Datasheets & Notes
- Higher resolution pictures and the original project article are available in GBPPR 'Zine Issue #86
- A "MIL-SPEC" laser dazzler project was covered in GBPPR 'Zine Issue #89
- GreenLaserPointer.org Good source for low-priced green laser pointers and beam expanders.
- Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems PD/G-105 Photonic Disruptor (663k PDF)
- Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems Threat Assessment Laser Illuminators
- B.E. Meyers GLARE LA-9/P Non-Lethal Visual Disruption Laser MIL-SPEC laser dazzler. (Datasheet)
- LE Technologies Laser Dazzler (Datasheet)
- Police to Experiment with Blinding 'Dazer Laser'?
- Whaling Protesters Pioneer Non-Lethal Warfare
- Soldiers Blinded, Hospitalized by Laser 'Friendly Fire'
- Are Dazzlers Dangerous?
- Lasers Stop Snipers Before They Fire
- Pain Ray, Sonic Blaster, Laser Dazzler - All in One (Article #1) (Article #2)
- U.S. Cops and Military to Get Laser Guns Dazer laser weapons can dazzle at up to 1.5 miles.
- BAE Systems Develops Non-Lethal Laser to Defend Against Pirate Attacks on Commercial Shipping
- U.S. Uses Laser 'Dazzler' to Stop Iraqis
- Firm Touts 'Safer' Laser Dazzlers
- Industry and Government Applications of the High-Power Semiconductor Lasers Technology Program
- Laser Dazzler Overview by Lt. Col. Doug Thayer (285k PDF)
- Marine Corps Response to Non-Lethal Laser Dazzler Urgent Request (1.3M PDF)
- Laser Dazzler for Non-Lethal Force Applications (213k PDF)
- Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHaSR) (968k PDF)
- Visual Effects Assessment of the Green Laser-Baton Illuminator (GLBI) (3.2M PDF)
- Increasing the Output of the Leadlight Green DPSS Laser Pointer
- Blinding Laser Systems
- Blinding Laser Weapons It is time for the international community to take off its blinders, by Lisa A. Small
- Multi-Wavelength Dazzler from SARA
- BEDAZZLED: "Laser Dazzler" Beams Disorient Enemies
- Battlefield Optical Surveillance System (BOSS)
- Pentagon Said to Lack Understanding of Satellite's Vulnerability to Attack "Myers, who will leave his post at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., next month to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on March 1, said other countries are developing 'laser dazzlers' that could interfere with U.S. satellites. He would not identify these countries, but China is known to be developing such a weapon."
- Eye Safe Illuminators as Non-Lethal Weapons (657k PDF)
- Police Test for Riot Laser That Can Temporarily Blind
- Safe Lasers Neat little website to generate your own laser safety label.
- Compact High-Power Laser Dazzling Device U.S. Patent 7,239,655 (173k PDF)
- Enhanced Non-Lethal Visual Security Device U.S. Patent 6,190,022 (219k PDF)
- Laser Dazzler Matrix U.S. Patent 7,040,780 (275k PDF)
- Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems Personal Defense Laser Pointer A 5 mW, green beam laser pointer. As a presentational aid, the PDLP offers an acute range with a protracted reach of up to 200 meters. Because of the intensity and built-in adjustability of this beam, the PDLP can also be utilized as a potent deterrent against a potential attacker by delivering a disorienting effect from an extended distance. The citizen model PDLP is a practical and convenient tool for the individual with personal safety in mind. (436k WMV)
- First Generation Laser Dazzler Through the Joint Program Steering Group, the National Institute of Justice, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funded LE Systems, Inc., to develop a handheld device that uses random, flashing, green laser light to disorient and distract a subject. The prototype resembled a flashlight with an overall length of 24 inches and a weight of 4.8 pounds. (Transcript) (800k WebM)
- Long Distance Laser Illuminator DIY (YouTube)
- Laser Dazzler 2.0 by DallasGoldBug. Ingenious little project. (YouTube)
- Laser Dazzlers: A Stop Sign in Any Language (YouTube)
- Non-Lethal GLARE Laser Dazzler in Afghanistan (YouTube)
- Laser Energetics Dazer Laser in Action! (YouTube)
- Cops Experiment with Blinding Dazer Laser (YouTube)
- XADS Photonic Disrupter From Future Weapons. (YouTube)
- Dazzler (Weapon) Caution: Wikipedia
- Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser Caution: Wikipedia
Other Related GBPPR Projects:
- GBPPR Active Denial System
- Anti-TASER Clothing Experiments
- GBPPR Mind Control Devices and Experiments
- Laser Bounce Listening Device