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Laser Atlanta Awarded Patent for Nautical Collision Avoidance Technology

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Laser Measurement Systems for Ship-to-Ship Proximity Improves Navigation Accuracy and Safety at Sea

Atlanta, GA -- Laser Atlanta, a leading developer of precision laser measurement products, announced it was awarded U.S. patent 7,286,955 for its proprietary Ship Proximity Measurement System (SPROX) technology.

The SPROX was originally developed for the U.S. Navy for maintaining a safe distance between ships during underway replenishment (UNREP) and other at sea maneuvers. The product was tested and is being approved for use by the fleet by the Naval Sea Systems Command as well as NATO operations. The U.S. Navy, as well as other countries, uses the SPROX and it is approved in NATO’s ATP 16.

"We believe the enthusiastic response to the SPROX product’s performance and capabilities will lead to it becoming the universal standard for proximity and collision avoidance at sea," said James Kelly, Laser Atlanta Chief Executive Officer. "Through rigorous testing, our proximity system has proved the flexibility and inherent value of our core technology as a means to improve safety and protect the environment."

"The U.S. Navy’s interest has also given us visibility into other marine navigation problems that could be solved by our SPROX product. In addition to military applications, we intend to pursue commercial shipping and pleasure cruise industries with similar solutions to improve close-proximity events and maneuvers," Mr. Kelly said.

During naval operations, mobile supply vessels transport supplies and fuel to the ships at sea. The transfer of goods and liquids require sailing along side each other where sea conditions demand careful navigation to avoid a collision during UNREP and other at sea maneuvers. Current UNREP navigation control is a manual process that requires a line strung between the side-by-side vessels to mark inter-ship spacing: a process that taxes captain and deck personnel. The U.S. Navy pursued commercially available technology alternatives to reduce personnel drain and provide along-side positioning assistance. Laser Atlanta’s SPROX incorporates an electronic billboard display that continuously reports the distance between ships to the captains and deck personnel of both ships.

The SPROX system has numerous built in features including operator selectable attenuation sequences, failsafe software, EMS resistant operation and military type power connection. The system is portable and is easily mounted on the rails of different ship styles. There is also a remote bridge display and controller designed for use on all ships but especially for aircraft carriers and such large vessels.

The Department of the Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command is processing the Proximity Measurement System in its Naval Warfare Publication, authorizing the use of the Laser Atlanta SPROX solution for the fleet.

About Laser Atlanta

Since 1989, Laser Atlanta is the authentic original developer of precision laser measurement products for aerospace, land, air and sea applications. Since 1991, Laser Atlanta is the leading innovator for SpeedLaser® LIDAR speed detection devices for law enforcement. We also use our unique laser platform to provide measurement solutions for the military and civil engineering community. Laser Atlanta is a privately-held, debt-free company with a long history of technological strength, planned growth and solid ethics. For more information, visit

SpeedLaser and Laser Atlanta are registered trademarks of Laser Atlanta, LLC.

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