DragonEye Laser Gun and DragonCam Explained

DragonEye and DragonCam Laser LIDAR Explained

What is the DragonEye gun?

Simply put, it’s a game-changing, laser-jammer defeating laser gun that you need to be protected from if you drive fast.

In the world of speed enforcement, technology usually moves at a slow pace. Every now and then a new radar or laser gun might be developed, but they generally utilize the same technology as the old ones with just minor improvements. As someone who likes to drive quickly, this is a good thing – it means that for the most part, an investment into laser jammers or radar detectors will last for several years before they are obsolete.

But like with any technology, once in a generation a revolutionary leap will be made that obsoletes everything that came before it. For cell phones it was the iPhone; for laser guns it is the DragonEye. Currently, there is only one laser jammer in the world that can protect against the DragonEye – the RC M AL Priority Laser Defense Kit.

How Old Laser Guns Work

Most laser guns obtain a car’s speed by shooting a regular series of laser pulses, waiting for the pulses to be reflected off of the car, and then measuring how long it takes to get the pulses back. This allows the gun to know the distance of the car, and speed is simply a function of time over distance. Since the gun is constantly bouncing pulses from the car as it drives, it knows the rate of distance change – and that is what speed is!

Laser detection animation by Radenso Radar

Since most laser guns use a constant (fixed) pulse rate (for example, 100 laser pulses per second), it becomes fairly easy for aftermarket laser jammers to confuse the police laser gun. If we know the time in between each pulse – which is easily measured – we can simply return pulses from our own laser diode that confuse the gun. By returning pulses precisely in-between the pulses from the police laser gun, we can make it seem to the laser gun like our car is moving forwards and backwards repeatedly. The gun knows this doesn’t make sense, so it ignores all of the pulses and does not display a reading.

How laser jammers work animation by Radenso Radar

The DragonEye Difference

DragonEye guns work in a completely different manner. Instead of shooting regularly spaced laser pulses, the DragonEye shoots pulses configured in a “variable pulse rate” (also known as VPR). With a variable pulse rate the DragonEye’s pulses are not easily predicted by laser jammers, meaning that the jammers do not know the precise timing to interject jamming pulses. Effectively, the DragonEye has obsoleted traditional laser jammers like those from Blinder, Escort, Stinger, and Laser Interceptor. Not only will these jammers not jam the DragonEye gun, but some of them will not even detect! That’s not a good thing for owners relying on their jammers to protect them.

Some of you might be thinking – “Wait a minute, if a DragonEye shoots out random pulses instead of predictable pulses, how does the gun perform reliable math to tell the speed of the car?” That’s a great question, and the answer is that the pulses are not truly random. They are pseudo-random, generated by an algorithm that only the developers of the DragonEye gun know. The algorithm is sophisticated enough that it appears random to laser jammers, but since the developers of the DragonEye programmed in the code, they can also program in a “key” or “map” to the gun itself. Perhaps we don’t know what order the pulses will be fired in, but with this “key” the gun does. Therefore, since the gun knows the timing of the pulses, it can perform accurate math to calculate distance.

Software Updates

One of the things that makes DragonEye particularly dangerous is that the manufacturer regularly pushes software updates that can change the anti-jamming algorithms of the LIDAR gun. For example, let’s say a certain DragonEye software version has been out already and someone figures out the algorithm to jam it. All the manufacturer has to do is make a few changes to the random pattern generator and update the gun; all of the work the laser jammer manufacturer did would be rendered useless. These frequent software updates are one of the challenges to achieving true protection. Laser jammer manufacturers require huge amounts of money to continually buy new guns each time they are updated; many companies are not willing to make this kind of financial commitment.

AL Priority is the only company that has a bulletproof track record of acquiring, reverse-engineering, and successfully defeating all DragonEye variants – that is why they were the only choice for us to work with on providing the laser solution that integrates with our Radenso RC M.

DragonEye Variants

Unfortunately, there is not just a single type of DragonEye LIDAR gun that you need to watch out for. The manufacturer has three different version, as seen below:

DragonEye Speed Laser

This is DragonEye Technology’s flagship LIDAR gun; the full-size DragonEye Speed LIDAR. The largest gun they make, this gun is equipped with excellent optics that are greater in diameter than on their other models. This aids in long-range acquisition. An earlier version of this gun called the Laser Ally was previously sold by a different distributor, but those guns are functionally identical to the Speed Laser and can be updated to the same software.

DragonEye Speed Laser Gun featured on Radar University

DragonEye Compact LIDAR

The DragonEye Compact operates on very similar principles to its larger Speed Laser relative. Utilizing the same anti-jamming algorithms with slightly smaller optics, the compact is extremely difficult to jam and only moderately worse at long-range acquisitions. The idea behind the DragonEye Compact was to make a smaller, more lightweight gun that was easier for police officers to carry and use. Make no mistake, this gun is a serious threat and capable of obtaining speed readings well in excess of 1500ft.

DragonEye Compact Laser Gun

DragonCam Photo LIDAR

Perhaps the most obnoxious threat of all, the DragonCam Photo LIDAR combines a DragonEye Speed Lidar laser gun with a high-resolution camera. With DragonCam technology, the officer doesn’t even have to get out of his car to issue a ticket – he or she simply pulls the trigger on the gun, and the system automatically takes a picture of your license plate and registers your speed. And unlike automated speed and red-light cameras, since a real, live officer is the one who is witnessing the violation, you usually can’t contest the ticket successfully in court. The only protection against DragonCam is the RC M AL Priority Laser Defense kit.