Date of Award

Winter 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Barry Fussel


Development of a non lethal method of providing incapacitation of human subjects is of primary importance in both law enforcement and military fields. The proposed Smart White Light Dazzler is such a device that induces flashblindness in the subject using a flash of white light. It is intended to automatically track the retina of a human subject, and then make adjustments to the power of the flash based on factors that affect the susceptibility of the eye. Temporary blindness is induced in the subject without risking permanent tissue damage.

The primary contribution of this research is the design of a single axis tracking mechanism that uses a dual Alvarez lens system to deflect an outgoing probe beam directly onto a subject's retina. The system design uses a 630 nm laser, pulsed at 1000Hz, to locate and track a targeted synthetic retina. The position of the retro-reflection of the probe beam from a synthetic eye is measured with a photo-sensitive silicon quadrant detector. The detected signal is processed to produce an appropriate motion control signal using a TI C2000 microprocessor. The signal processing algorithm employs basic Fourier principles to measure amplitude of signals reflected from the eye and affords the appropriate response signals to the motors controlling the lens position.

Preliminary experimentation shows the ability of the tracking system to deflect the probe beam so that it is able to follow a synthetic eye.