It produces enough glare inside the eye so that it is impossible to see far enough ahead to drive safely

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

Swarm Troopers by David HamblingLaser dazzlers or “ocular interrupters”, David Hambling explains (in Swarm Troopers), are a good fit with drone capabilities:

They were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as non-lethal weapons, especially for dealing with drivers. Shining the brilliant green light on a car windscreen signaled to a driver approaching a checkpoint that they need to stop; and when you cannot see, you cannot drive. It does not cause flash blindness, but produces enough glare inside the eye so that it is impossible to see far enough ahead to drive safely. The exact effect depends on conditions, but typically a driver would only be able to progress at 20 mph at best. The dazzling laser also prevents the target from effectively aiming a weapon at the source.

The GLARE MOUT made by B E Meyers has been used extensively by US forces in Iraq and elsewhere. It weighs under ten ounces and is normally clipped on the underside of a rifle; effective range is four hundred meters at night and perhaps half that in daytime, even though the output is barely one-eighth of a watt. Aiming it is as simple as pointing a flashlight, and it would be simple enough to link it to a drone’s camera.

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Drones with laser dazzlers could close a road by dazzling drivers, or spread havoc by flying down a freeway and dazzling at random.

Tasers are also a good fit:

Modern Taser-type weapons require very little power. Early Tasers used several AA batteries, but the latest versions only need a couple of lithium batteries to give repeated five-second shocks. A drone equipped with this type of weapon can disable a human target for as long as necessary, for example to keep them out of action while the rest of the swarm completes an attack.

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