Army seeks to fit human-immobilizing high-intensity spotlight on unmanned aerial vehicles

FORT EUSTIS, Va., 14 Feb. 2007. U.S. Army researchers want to fit a human-immobilizing searchlight to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to create a remotely operated or autonomous non-lethal weapon system to help insert and extract fighting forces from enemy-held areas.

By John Keller

FORT EUSTIS, Va., 14 Feb. 2007. U.S. Army researchers want to fit a human-immobilizing searchlight to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to create a remotely operated or autonomous non-lethal weapon system to help insert and extract fighting forces from enemy-held areas.

Officials of the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate at Fort Eustis Va., are looking to Peak Beam Systems Inc. in Edgemont, Pa., to modify the company's hand-held Maxa Beam high-intensity light for aircraft use.

The Maxa Beam system is a Xenon based searchlight that can be pulsed with a unique modulation strobe effect that results in immobilization to those within the beam. The super-bright light features a programmable strobe function that will immediately disable and disorient those within its beam.

The light can shift from normal power to high power or strobe, and can spread the beam from a 1-degree spot to a 40-degree flood, and can vary its strobe rate. A computer interface enables operators to control the Maxa Beam remotely.

Army researchers say they would like to use the UAV-based high-intensity light as a non-lethal weapon for light-based immobilization and deterrence.

The Army's one-year contract with Peak Beam Systems, which is to be officially awarded on March 31, also will include any necessary medical research on frequency and amplitude modulation of high-intensity light that will cause immobilization to those within the beam.

More information on this contract is online at http://www.fbodaily.com/archive/2007/02-February/11-Feb-2007/FBO-01229525.htm. For more information contact Peak Beam Systems online at www.peakbeam.com.

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