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  • Laser maker aims at paparazzi

Photonics Spectra
Oct 1997
Susanna Contini Hennink

MARCOUSSIS, France -- While the world's wrath turned on the paparazzi in the wake of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, one French laser maker has done something about it.
Photographers skulking around hotels or lying in wait to ambush celebrities will have a harder time of it, thanks to CILAS' Sight Laser Detector SLD 400. The product, introduced as a prototype this year, is designed to detect and locate any kind of optical or optronic sight.

Military to royalty
Originally conceived for military purposes, it can be fitted on a tripod or placed in a strategic position to detect optics, or it can be used for active scanning and monitoring of specific areas. It also can be used from a moving vehicle, mounted on a pedestal or integrated into a sight.
While it is not yet suitable for carrying under the arm, the weight of the final product complete with optical head, control unit and rechargeable battery power supply will not exceed 15 kg, said a CILAS representative.
The SLD 400's field of view is adjustable between 4 and 30 degrees, and it has a range of as much as 1000 m. A user also can couple it to other detectors and surveillance systems such as infrared or thermal imaging cameras
or acoustic detectors.
The company reports that by the middle of next year a more compact version will be available that will provide some peace of mind to beleaguered celebrities, and an extra measure of security for those VIPs who feel vulnerable to terrorists or kidnappers.

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