Home » Cyber » Lasers and Ray Guns » Laser Rifle Dazzles?

Laser Rifle Dazzles?

by dupont on October 31, 2005

Granted, the thing looks fake. And no, I can’t find this supposed press release anywhere else on the web — which is usually a bad sign.
But… c’mon. How could I resist posting about this alleged Air Force super-duper laser dazzler, especially when it’s called PHaSR? (That’s short for “Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response,” by the way.)
The Air Force Research Lab opens up around 11am eastern time. I hope to have an answer shortly after. But until then… Enjoy!

A laser technology being developed by Air Force Research Laboratory employees at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. will be the first man-portable, non-lethal deterrent weapon intended for protecting troops and controlling hostile crowds.
The weapon, developed by the laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate, employs a two-wavelength laser system and is the first of its kind as a hand-held, single-operator system for troop and perimeter defense. The laser light used in the weapon temporarily impairs aggressors by illuminating or “dazzling” individuals, removing their ability to see the laser source.
The first two prototypes of the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response, or PHaSR, were built at Kirtland last month and delivered to the laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Brooks City Base, Texas, and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico, Va. for testing.
“The future is here with PHaSR,” said program manager Capt. Thomas Wegner. Wegner is also the ScorpWorks flight commander within the Laser Division of the directorate. ScorpWorks is a unit of military scientists and engineers that develops laser system prototypes for AFRL, from beginning concept to product field testing.
The National Institute of Justice recently awarded ScorpWorks $250,000 to make an advanced prototype that will add an eye-safe laser range finder into PHaSR. Systems such as PHaSR have historically been too powerful at close ranges and ineffective but eye-safe at long ranges. The next prototype… is planned for completion in March 2006.

THERE’S MORE: “A task force charged with studying potential directed energy threats to U.S. military aircraft… has sent senior service leaders a plan to ensure next-generation planes protect pilots and crews from laser attacks,” Inside Defense reports. There’s not much detail, however, on what that paln entails, other than more laser-safe eyewear.
AND MORE: Confirmed.

Share |

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Troy October 31, 2005 at 11:15 am

>
OK, so now I can’t see what was there a second ago, so what stops me from shooting at the blank spot?
Did these guys ever hear of glasses that are made specifically to stop laser light? Used by scientists and techs all over the world and readily available…
The cost and deployment of a weapon of this type will be significantly greater than the cost of overcoming it.

Reply

Carne October 31, 2005 at 12:20 pm

Military applications aside, this would be very useful to civilian police and security agencies doing crowd control.
An after though is it would also be a great tool for Guard formations tasked to doing area control after a disaster or situations like WTO Seattle.

Reply

robur October 31, 2005 at 1:54 pm

“Confirmed”…what? That the PHaSR program is real? That is is a hoax? Brevity is good, but let’s be clear, please.

Reply

Noah Shachtman October 31, 2005 at 2:03 pm

Confirmed… that the project (and the press release) are real.
Sorry ’bout that.
nms

Reply

jetsetter October 31, 2005 at 5:21 pm

These are not new. They are atleast 20 years old. The US Army wanted to use a few in Somolia but they were afraid that they would cause blindness.

Reply

Jack Mkay October 31, 2005 at 7:03 pm

Moral of the story, always wear your aviator MIRROR lenses sunglasses…

Reply

DocScience October 31, 2005 at 9:15 pm

Stopping a high-class laser from damaging your eyes is not that easy. My laser lab has dozens of laser filter glasses by the door, one for each frequency of laser.
This laser has two separate wavelengths, making simple filtration a bit problematic unless you have opaque glassed Stevie Wonder on the battlefield.
The shutter-type googles are a bit expensive to carry around and if you hit them with repeating pulses, you are back with Stevie.

Reply

jo poland November 1, 2005 at 5:50 am

why cant they just shut their eyes when they shoot???? (and yes, this is a serious question, im just a little lost….)

Reply

C-Lo November 1, 2005 at 9:28 am

So mount it on the left arm of a robot, and on the right arm a M60.

Reply

zee September 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

cuz m60's jam too often

Reply

former CRC guy February 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

True those M60 rebuilds of WWII german machine guns were bad it’s nice to have saws now even if they don’t chamber the 7.62 mm like those old M60s did. we’re mostly back to pick a caliber now for our forward forces with 5.56 being the front runner unless your are a SOF guy with a SCAR and can take your pick including gleaned ammo from busted old soviet **** in the field.

Reply

James November 1, 2005 at 9:34 am

Sorry for sounding so much like a peace-nik.But, why do we think that inventing another type of weapon will really make a big difference in the longrun? We already have all kinds of things that can harm and mutilate, that doesn’t seem to stop the aggression humans inherently have.

Reply

Chris November 1, 2005 at 10:17 am

Indeed James, but while others continue to do harm we must keep our weapons. The fact that we are looking into non-lethal weapons like this suggests to me something good about the progressing state of the human condition. Of course none of us have the several hundreds or thousands of years it will probably take to get man to live in peace, so the best we can hope for is us finding another lifeform to harm and mutilate for us all to get over our differences… sucks, but that is the nature of the world.

Reply

Neil November 1, 2005 at 10:49 am

Hey it’s a neurolizer. Seriously though, what if you’re not looking at it? Does the weapon effect sight only? No other physical effects? So would they all have to be looking at the same spot? I just don’t get it.

Reply

ex .mil November 1, 2005 at 11:00 am

I always wondered why they had a whole section on defense versus microwave and laser weaponry in our Army “smart book” we had to carry around. I was like “do they know something WE dont?!”
looks like the did..

Reply

Peter November 1, 2005 at 1:38 pm

It would still be effective along with other means, obviuosly not a stand alone do it all weapon. It would force opponents to take an extra measure of the laser blocking goggles, and discourage those without them. Plus “IF” it disables night vision equipment it alone would be worth the development and deployment cost.

Reply

cory November 1, 2005 at 5:46 pm

WEAK…ill be keeping up with this until they develop a laser rifle capable of incinerating a smoldering hole through the abdominal of a hostile person in as much time as it takes to squeeze the trigger…right now there about as dangerous as a laser show at your local planetarium it seems…

Reply

Pedestrian November 2, 2005 at 1:11 pm

>Did these guys ever hear of glasses that are
>made specifically to stop laser light? Used by
>scientists and techs all over the world and
>readily available…
Anyone in civilian clothes wearing that in a hostile area will be considered likely to be enemy and will be aimed with real guns for any suspicious move. Didn’t you ever think about that, or did you want to just slam the project with a cheap anti-Americanism? How many people will be wearing sunglass in hostile areas like Iraq?
>why cant they just shut their eyes when they
>shoot????
If they see someone with that probably, but only if they are lucky enough to spot one hidding in a hummer from a distant location. By the way, if you close your eyes, what are you supposed to do next? Shoot in the blind and risk chance for a friendly fire?

Reply

Mulder November 2, 2005 at 4:46 pm

>How many people will be wearing sunglass in hostile areas like Iraq?
Hostile as in desert and dazzling sunlight or hostile as in being shot at?

Reply

Ender November 3, 2005 at 8:38 pm

So they invented it.
But will they use it?

Reply

this is stupid November 5, 2005 at 3:47 pm

This is the most ridiculous thing i’ve ever seen. Until power sources are able to supply enough power that the laser could cut through someone its pointless. Look at how big that gun is… it probably weights twice as much as an m16 or more. The only hope for lasers this day in age is for shooting down missles.
“Didn’t you ever think about that, or did you want to just slam the project with a cheap anti-Americanism?”
So, what if you were to just have multi-layered glasses with 5, 6, or 10 layers of laser-stopping treatment. And ontop of that they look like a pair of ray ban’s. I’m still not understanding how he “slammed” the project with “cheap anti americanism”. But hey, thats what the government wants a bunch of people who arent willing to take the risk of thinking critically and just injest information by the scoop full from the guy at the podium.

Reply

bob November 7, 2005 at 7:13 am

When it can cut people to pieces then it becomes just another weapon when it just stuns them it becomes a way of rescuing hostages because you fire it at the person holding the hostage they drop the gun say “arrgh my eyes” then you rescue the hostage if you are that kind of lucky person.

Reply

simon November 7, 2005 at 12:27 pm

Laser weapons capable of blinding enemies have been developed in the past but were banned under a 1995 UN convention called the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons. The wording of this protocol, however, does not prohibit lasers that temporarily dazzle a foe.
The PHaSR may attempt to address safety concerns by automatically sensing its distance from a target. The limited information released by the DoD includes mention of an “eye-safe range finder”, which may mean the laser’s power is adjusted depending on the distance to the target. The system is also said to incorporate a “two wavelength laser system”, which may be designed to counter goggles that can filter out certain wavelengths of laser light.
They already use bright white lights at vehicle checkpoints in Iraq to dazzle drivers who are approaching too fast. This would give them a more effective tool in this and other areas

Reply

Lord Nosferatu November 7, 2005 at 7:58 pm

Actually guys, they HAVE made a laser rifle capable of blasting a smouldering hole through people. It’s called the TIS-1, (Tactical Infanty System), and is currently under more development. Estimated time for it to be incorporated into the U.S. Military is the year 2025.
Oh and one more thing…TIS-1 is NOT a hoax.

Reply

draco November 9, 2005 at 2:23 pm

the waepon is cool but the consept is a little veage. i think if it gets in the wrong hands it can be modified and used by assasins there fore being a large threat to man kind.

Reply

spence November 24, 2005 at 3:22 pm

i am definetly all about the stunning of any foe over killing, however, i would like to have the option of having either a “stun gun” or a “blast the crap outta something” gun at the tip of my fingers. I’d like to have a switch to turn on, or off, the different functions. this thing is pretty far from replacing anything i have.

Reply

Fred November 29, 2005 at 10:44 am

Why the need for the cheap plastic stock and the alien design?

Reply

Polly November 29, 2005 at 5:03 pm

I’d think killing a foe becomes the better option than “dazzling” one…with the amount of lawyers screwing America up and all…

Reply

katsesama December 26, 2005 at 2:13 pm

intersting…veerrryy intersting.a good “concept”
for now,its bulk leaves a little to be desired,but
i’m sure with time and further refinement it can be
made a little more man portable.i am amazed however
that such a non-lethal,anti-personel device hasn’t
gotten more press?i can understand the lethality vs
non-lethal argument,as angry humans with guns can
tend to be a little difficult to deal with using a
more passive means of deterance.i am skeptical,but
i’ll keep an open mind on it.who knows,mabye we’ll
be applauded for coming up with a less violent meens
of threat deterance….and then again,we’ll
probably be ridiculed as a bunch of dr frankenstiens.oh well,i hope it gets a fair shake
all the same.

Reply

ross October 30, 2006 at 1:02 pm

that thing looks EXACTLY like the beam rifle from Halo!

Reply

Z DOG November 27, 2006 at 8:35 pm

I THINK ITS COOL BUT ITS NOT A VERY USEFUL THING.

Reply

Z DOG November 27, 2006 at 8:43 pm

2 words sun and glasses.

Reply

Spook December 12, 2006 at 11:59 am

This weapon is not a fantasy. It’s also more then you think. I work with it.
It employs an IR laser (which causes severe pain)in addition to the laser dazzle. The two modes can be selected by the operator and used as necessary to the situation and attacker.
Look up the Joint Non-Letal Weapons Program. This and other technologies are available on the Fact Sheets page.
https://www.jnlwp.com/

Reply

Tom July 30, 2007 at 11:48 pm

We’re steps away from directed energy weapons (probably already working models). God Help us all.

Reply

Dan November 22, 2007 at 4:20 pm

YO, it said that one of the wave lengths is designed to cause straight pain, not just blindness. There exists technology ie: microwave guns, that stimulate the pain receptors by emitting a specific frequency. I sounds crazy, but look it up. because the human nervvous system works on electric impulses, it’s possible to remotely stimulate pain receptors via a directed electro magnetic wave. So, yeah it is a laser in the eye but I think it’s also a all around hurt feeling too.

Reply

mike March 2, 2008 at 9:41 pm

I think you are missing the point.
This is a riot control weapon, they aren’t going to be taking this out on combat missions.
It’ll be used on civilians, not soldiers.
More reliable then tear gas….I guess….

Reply

steven April 2, 2008 at 11:10 am

this weapon is awesome

Reply

James June 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

I can’t wait till they make actual laser rifles. I’ll buy one

Reply

og July 13, 2008 at 10:42 am

waste of taxpayer`s money.

Reply

tracy July 23, 2008 at 4:19 pm

currently the weapons mentioned here are prototypes.
the company i work for is working on a laser weapon system capable of peircing 6″ of reactive armor at a range of 800 yards max, the system is only currently good for around 10 shots per charge.

Reply

GGG August 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm

First off, sunglasses don’t defend against this unless it’s designed to block this weapon’s laser wavelength. Specialty goggles cost around $45 for specific wavelength, and $150+ for multi-wavelength
I can see a lot of people suing due to permanent eye damage.. costing us tax payers money.

Reply

Bob November 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

FYI, the TIS-1 is the concept for a handheld gas dynamic laser. It’s not real, it hasn’t been built and itsn’t feasable with it’s current power supply. Still way too many hoops to jump through even for fielding by 2025. Designed by the Stavatti corporation which is nothing more than three dudes in a garage trying to design flying boxcars. I wouldn’t put much stock in their laser know how.

Reply

In_Awe April 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

I am shocked at how many of you think you are subject matter experts. I don’t want to hear your opinion unless you helped design or test this rifle. Thank you.

Reply

popatnic May 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm

The guy in the picture is obviously left handed (watch on left wrist): will they make an ambidextrous version?

Reply

Jason August 30, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Yall have beem playing too much fallout 3

Reply

??? August 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

So it will be used for antidistablishmentarism reasons,not actual combat.

Reply

laserman February 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

This weapon is meant for riot detirrent and probably will cause a lot of legal headaches when those it is directed against start suing for being blinded or partially blinded (which is harder to prove and still gets a lot of legal sympathy.) If you are really interested in laser mayhem you could always revive the Death ray laser rifle patented by Ma Bell (AT&T) in 1981. For a while there my best friend wore a t-shirt with the logo Death ray laser institute of Wausau Wisconsin on it. As I recall the effective range of that X-Ray laser weapon fell short of the range of an old M-16 with fewer shots for the weight of ammo (the battery packs were said to weigh in at twice the weight for one quarter the shots and required significant time to recharge.) But on the whole I think real powerful lasers will be vehicle mounted for some time before we see any carried models due to the advantages of tapping power from an engine. The chemical laser in the ALTB formerly the ABL has gone throutgh it’s firing sequence and shot a target missile so at least the technical possibility of a laser weapon exists even if it is not in man portable form.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: