Could lasers solve the military's friendly-fire problem?
August 9th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Could lasers solve the military's friendly-fire problem?

By Maria LaMagna, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A member of Tom Potendyk's unit in Desert Storm was killed by friendly fire. Keith Kellogg also experienced a blue-on-blue killing while he was serving in Panama during Operation Just Cause.

Now, the pair are executives at Cubic, a company that has developed a device that could significantly reduce military deaths caused by friendly fire. Called the DCID-TALON, or Dismounted Combat ID with Target Location & Navigation, the device incorporates laser technology to combat a lack of situational awareness, which is one of the most common causes of friendly fire deaths.

The DCID-TALON works when its user spots a target in his or her scope. The shooter aims the device, which sends an encoded message by laser beam. If the target is friendly, the message will reflect off of the target’s retroreflectors (they are the size of a postage stamp and can be embedded in the soldier’s helmet and uniform; each soldier would be outfitted with multiple retroreflectors), and the device will display the word “friend.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Military • Science • Tech