Proceedings PaperEye-safe laser illuminators as less-than-lethal weapons
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Law enforcement and military forces are often faced with situations requiring less-than-lethal response options. Low- power, eye-safe laser illuminators have been shown to be effective, non-lethal weapons for a variety of law enforcement and other-than-war military applications. Through the effects of illumination, glare, and psychological impact; lasers can provide unequivocal warning, threat assessment based on reaction to the warning, hesitation, distraction, and reductions in combat and functional effectiveness. This paper discusses ongoing research and development by Science and Engineering Associates into laser illuminator concepts for civilian and military use. Topics include fundamental design and safety issues, laser diode requirements, and laser illuminator concepts, including a grenade shell laser system that converts a standard 40-mm grenade launcher into a laser illuminator.