From today’s astronotes:
Thanks to the Air Force, you can put your Star Trek phasers on “dazzle”.
A laser technology being developed by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) employees at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico 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, according to a November 7 press release from AFRL noting the work.
Dubbed the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response — or PHaSR – two prototypes of the unit were built at Kirtland last month. The hardware has been delivered to the laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Brooks City Base, Texas, and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico, Virginia for testing.