Microcontroller Controlled Laser Area Denial (M-CLAD)
Ray Liu
R C Palmer Secondary
Floor Location : S 224 N

The M-CLAD active security system is a non-lethal area denial device which exploits the visual system of humans and animals using a computer controlled 532 nm laser. The device has applications in perimeter security, crowd and riot control, protection of military personnel, neutralizing armed attackers and avian dispersal near airports. M-CLAD provides a non-lethal line of defense and prevents the use of unnecessary or lethal force preventing harm to the attacker and security and military personnel.

The system works by using a camera to detect hostile threats; a control computer then relays the location of the target to a microcontroller that converts the information into positional data for the dual axis servo motors. The servo motors aim a laser emitter at the intended target causing temporary blindness and disorientation, incapacitating the target. The system has multiple safety measures in place to prevent permanent damage to the visual system. This includes an infrared filter which cuts out infrared radiation from the laser that can damage the eye without contributing to disorientation of the target. In addition to the infrared filter, the laser light is sent in short pulses of 50 milliseconds that minimizes heating of the retina to avoid causing thermal damage. The power of the laser also does not exceed the MPE (Maximum Permissible Exposure) defined by ANSI Z136.1. The strobing of the laser also induces Flicker Vertigo, an imbalance in brain-cell activity caused by exposure to low-frequency flickering (or flashing) of a relatively bright light. It is a disorientation, vertigo, and nausea-inducing effect of a strobe light flashing at 1 Hz to 20 Hz, approximately the frequency of human brainwaves. The M-CLAD system exploits this effect alongside temporary blindness to incapacitate the target.

The M-CLAD is the first autonomous security system in the world that prevents unauthorized personnel from entering restricted areas by actively engaging threats in a non-lethal manner. In order for authorized personnel to pass, a key FOB has to be activated to temporarily disable the M-CLAD system.

Aside from security, M-CLAD also has applications in riot and crowd control. The low profile nature of the M-CLAD allows it to be deployed quickly and in large numbers. Multiple M-CLAD units can be set up to form a defensive line; a "Photonic Fence". If a hostile rioter moves into range of the M-CLAD, the M-CLAD will engage and incapacitate the rioter preventing hostile behavior and allowing time for police and security personnel to subdue the threat.

M-CLAD can also be used with a lower power laser to disperse wild animals such as birds near airports or farm fields.

In addition to civil applications, M-CLAD also can be implicated in the military. M-CLAD can be installed in military checkpoints to halt vehicles. The natural reaction to loosing vision while in a vehicle is to stop the vehicle. M-CLAD utilizes this to prevent vehicles from driving past checkpoints and reducing the risk of suicide bombings in military checkpoints by giving soldiers more time to use lethal force if necessary.