Selective camera jamming

Security and privacy protection from cameras and related optical devices

Photonics Electronics

The military has many reasons to jam or disable third-party electro optic (EO) devices. Such devices include still image cameras, video cameras, mobile tracking devices, binoculars, scopes, retro-reflective identification markers which can be attached to clothing or other articles, optical detection systems, and optical imaging systems.

These devices may utilize the infrared, visible, and the ultraviolet band. But the private sector has similar demands albeit different reasons for identifying, disrupting or disabling these devices. Examples include illegal recording in theaters and stadiums, unauthorized video or camera images of individuals, and illegal surveillance and tracking systems.

Navy researchers have developed an EO identification, jamming and disabling system comprised of an optical source emitting a signal towards an EO device, a detector to capture the optical energy reflected from the EO device, and a controller analyzing the detected optical energy to determine whether the EO device is authorized or not.

The system has a database backend that can be loaded with optical signatures from EO devices such that incoming signals can be compared. The database can contain signatures from “approved” optical devices. The system can send an EO jamming signal to specific devices or a broad signal to jam all devices, with approved devices optionally being sent an electronic authorization key.

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