Re: Non-lethal protective technologies?

Eugene Leitl (
Sat, 29 May 1999 18:20:22 -0700 (PDT)

Chuck Kuecker writes:

> In order to ionize the air in a column enough to carry a current strong
> enough to be effective against a person the laser will need to be pretty
> powerful in its' own right. How are they going to prevent the laser itself

It is essentially an assisted lightning. UV ionization and electric discharge cooperate to create a directed, conducting channel.

> from doing harm to the target? Powerful UV lasers make great hole drillers.

Organics absorbs UV strongly. However, the inventors claims that no permanent blindness will ensue sounds not quite convincing. They say some recent UV semiconductor laser breakthrough in Poland (?) could shrink the device to the size of a flashlight.

> >From personal experience with the design of a stun gun of similar nature,
> that usd a conductive liquid stream, I think this is a long shot as a
> useable deterrent.

The current design study assumes something mounted on a vehicle, a kind of a crowd control thing. A few cases of "accidently" burned retina could come handy I can imagine. Of course voltage can also be boosted to lethal levels...

> By the way - where is the return path for the stun beam? If it's through
> the ground and back into the wielder's body, this could become a very
> unpopular method of defense.

One could use twin beams. No need for that, if mounted on a vehicle.