Defence scientists have developed a device that can identify snipers, providing a boost to security agencies. “This new-age device can detect passive or active optical threats like telescopes, binoculars or the telescopic sight of a sniper rifle, and has proven effective for VIP security,” a source said. Not surp risingly, Delhi police, who protect the most number of the country’s VVIPs and VIPs, will be the first to equip itself with this new-age device. Called the Optical Target Locater (OTL), it has been developed by defence scientists at Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC), primarily for the armed forces. Sources in LAST EC, a DRDO lab, said: “It is a laser-based portable surveillance device which functions on the cat’s eye effect,” adding that the device releases a laser beam which scans a designated area and as soon as it hits any of the targets (anything optical) some bac k-scattered energy is received and the target is detected. “This retro-reflected energy helps in locating optical targets against a static background. Any surveillance device with front-end optics and a sensor at the focal plane, whether biological, like eye, or passive sensors like binoculars, day sight or night vision device (NVD), or electronic sensors as in Laser Range Finders (LRFs) can be detected by this approach,” he explained. The threat could be in terms of a sniper equipped with a day sight or a NVD, or any other optical/electro optical surveillance device, like binoculars, surveillance cameras, LRF, designators, etc. Confirming to TOI on Delhi police’s interest in the device, special commissioner (security) SBK Singh, said: “There is certainly a requirement for this and we’ve raised it.” Two variants Sources in LASTEC said Delhi police are looking at procuring OTL 300. “It will have a range of 300 metres, which they will buy,” a source said. It is effective in scanning and monitoring of specific areas, VIP security and detection of pointed optics. Another long-range device, OTL 1500, is undergoing test and optimization process, and will be used by the Indian Army, National Security Guards and other agencies.