Re: Should we be developing nonlethal means

Chuck Kuecker (
Sat, 02 Oct 1999 21:46:52 -0500

At 09:12 PM 10/2/1999 EDT, Glen Finney wrote:

> Hmmm, I wonder if the UV laser causes some ionization of the air to
>the current? Does anyone know more about this? If you could use a laser
>instead of wires, it would be a major innovation to my way of thinking,
>you would be able to hit your target pretty quickly....I just wonder how
>voltage you would need to get through any clothing enough to stun.

Speaking as one who actually tried building a wireless stun gun, I have two comments about the 'UV laser' approach:

First, any laser powerful enough to ionize air is a weapon all in itself. Even if it was only breifly pulsed, it takes quite a bit of energy to ionize a column of air.

Second, to maintain the ionized channel long enough to conduct current will take a large voltage to strike the plasma arc, and a large discharge current to keep it lit. I doubt it will be possible to send the 'T-wave' pulses as used in the original Taser product through this channel - it will be more like a lightning bolt. Also, the fact that a return path is required would either put the operator at risk in becoming part of the circuit, or would require two ionized paths, parallel to each other and fairly close together. What's to keep the current from taking the easy way out and arcing right at the projector?

Before patent research found that I had been scooped by Jaycor (check out their webpage for some really DUMB idea), I built and tested a stun gun using two conductive streams of water. Due to breakup of the streams, the best range I got was just over three feet - but I was able to light a neon target reliably at that distance. The obvious problems with this approach are that a raincoat completely defends against either conductive streams or any 'UV' approach that does not incinerate its' target.

Chuck Kuecker