Australia's DST develops new laser technology to alert people at checkpoint

Scientists at Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) have developed a new laser technology to safely alert people approaching a checkpoint.

The new Eye-safe Attention Gaining Laser Emitter (EAGLE) is a small device designed to be mounted on to any weapon that has a standard mounting platform using a simple locking system, DST stated.

This low power device can be used by military or police to get a person’s attention who is walking or driving towards a checkpoint.

DST scientist Olivia Samardzic said: “Defence forces wanted to be able to call in people in a slow and orderly fashion so we conducted studies to show that you could use a laser to get someone’s attention at quite some distance even in bright daylight.

“All the commercial-off-the-shelf systems we were evaluating at the time had an associated eye safety hazard distance. In other words, they were unsafe.”

The EAGLE is claimed to be the only option for initiating a natural blink response that is eye-safe at zero range.

The eye-safe laser beam is 70cm in diameter at a distance of 100m.

Samardzic added: “We were concentrating on the needs of our Australian Defence Force (ADF) clients during EAGLE’s development, but police also require non-lethal options if someone is approaching them in a hostile way. They currently have Tasers, which are not always ideal.

“But if police officers can affect the vision and induce a perceived sensation of pain to a hostile person without injuring their eyes, then EAGLE is a good option for subduing someone or temporarily visually disabling them when entering a potentially dangerous situation.

“Border protection officers could also use it, for example, to engage with an unidentified vessel approaching at speed.”

Image: Olivia Samardzic and Michael Gillyon demonstrating EAGLE. Photo: © Commonwealth of Australia.