New Way to Fight Pirates: With a Laser

Weapon emits harmless but effective green light
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2011 1:49 PM CST
A Kenyan police officer patrols near the British Royal Navy Frigate HMS Northumberland at the port of Mombasa, Kenya, Monday, Jan 26, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Somali pirates, beware: British scientists are developing a laser that works by confusing would-be attackers from more than a mile away, the Daily Mail reports. The laser hides the ship in a veil of green light, preventing pirates from easily steering toward or aiming at their victims. “We are using the laser as a kind of dummy sun that we can hide the vessel behind,” said a rep for BAE Systems.

“As you go up in power with a laser, you get to a point [where] looking at it creates a big bright light that dominates everything in your field of view.” But it will neither hurt onlookers nor damage their eyesight, and it can be used at any hour of the day. Scientists are also working on a high-frequency radar intended to work in tandem with the laser: It can detect small boats—like those used by Somali pirates—then aim the laser at them.

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