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Technology Idle

Billionaire Adds Laser Shield To Yacht 16

IamSmee writes "Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich's 557 ft yacht, Eclipse, now boasts a paparrazi-foiling shield of laser beams. From the article: 'Infrared lasers detect the electronic light sensors in nearby cameras, known as charge-coupled devices. When the system detects such a device, it fires a focused beam of light at the camera, disrupting its ability to record a digital image. The beams can also be activated manually by security guards if they spot a photographer loitering.'"


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Billionaire Adds Laser Shield To Yacht

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  • I'll tell ya. Optics systems have a property called retroreflection. Shine a laser into a lens and some of it will return right back to the source. A scanning laser can find the location of an optical system pointed at it quite quickly.

    You could even do it with a bright IR flash and some image processing to look for the focused reflection. Just like spotting a racoon by the side of the road at night. Then you point your disruption laser at the target.

    And in warfare, it's quite easy to use this property to f

    • But my DSLR doesn't expose its CCD to the outside world until I release the shutter. Let's say I set the shutter speed to 1/2000 second. Are you saying this system can detect the CCD, aim the laser and fire a big enough pulse to destroy the image within 500 microseconds? Sounds VERY unlikely.

      And if the glass (the optical lens) itself is being detected (although TFA says it's the CCD being detected), then ALL optics would trigger it, including everyone's eyeglasses. And what about all the taillights (
      • And if the glass (the optical lens) itself is being detected (although TFA says it's the CCD being detected), then ALL optics would trigger it, including everyone's eyeglasses.

        TFA is probably wrong (not that I've wasted time reading TFA ... of course not ; this is SlashDot). I don't know if they've tried to patent this, but the principle is pretty obvious. Most (not all, but most) lens systems have one or more target-facing elements that are curves (almost always spherical, because they're easiest to make)

    • by RMH101 ( 636144 )
      What happens when you point a disruption laser not at a camera, but at a telescope with a human eye on the end of it?
  • If the laser beams only detect and disable CCDs, then, in theory, conventional cameras should be unaffected.

    • I'm pretty sure a traditional film camera would experience similar difficulties if laser light were flooding the lens.
  • ...to get rid of the sharks. Got it.
  • And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here!

  • I wonder what the range is on this thing. I hope they thought to not include the deck in the targetable area, otherwise I'll bet that he has relatives who'll be furious. Then again, he won't have to worry about those pesky family scrapbooks anymore!

We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra