Underwater Laser, Just Add Shark


[iskor12] put together a blu-ray laser that is waterproof and packs quite a punch. At 182 mW there is enough power here to pop dark colored balloons (see the video after the break). To make this happen, he found an LED flashlight that has rubber o-rings for waterproofing. Although small, there is enough space in the case to house the battery, driver, and laser diode. A thick ring of aluminum is placed around the laser diode to act as heat sink.

We’ll admit, we don’t know that much about lasers. This is probably the wrong question to ask, but now that he has this what do you do with it? Leave us a comment about your plans for this diabolical creation.


[Thanks Bob]

30 thoughts on “Underwater Laser, Just Add Shark

  1. This is probably the wrong question to ask, but now that he has this what do you do with it? ” Wear safety goggles. Reflected laser light is not to be screwed with. You get one set of eyes.

    That said, it’s interesting. Red light is absorbed & dispersed ≈100 times faster in liquid water than light approaching UV wave lengths. A blue, violet-blue laser will travel farther than a red laser pointer at the same power. Liquid water reflects and transmits shorter wavelengths of light. It would be a great tool if it can stand the depth for pointing out interesting objects in the water if one were snorkeling or diving.

    Other uses, defeating balloon zombies, balloon vampires, and balloon ravers. Oh, and attaching to ravenous foul tempered bass.

  2. First, I second this “Wear safety goggles. Reflected laser light is not to be screwed with. You get one set of eyes.” And when saying “Safety goggles” that means the goggle has to be rated for the wavelength of laser you are working on. No, you cannot find them at the Home Depot. :)

    What can we do with this? Well, I’ll blind the sharks that would attack me! :P How about underwater Laser Spearing! :P

  3. I hope you have some filter goggles for that thing.

    A similar project measured almost 9mW laser output with 190mW of current draw. Anything near that range is going to burn your eyes out long before the blink reflex kicks in. Even though specular reflection and beam viewing aren’t going to cause eye injury, the pointer form factor lends itself to accidents.

    Keep in mind that were this a commercial laser, it would fall in Class IIIb and be required to have a key interlock and time delay to activate (!)

  4. This would be incredibly useful underwater as a pointing device, particularly with students. I agree, the power is probably a little high. However, a toned down laser would be great.

    The ability to point things out at distance, or even as an attention getter would make this a handy tool. Because of the sediment and other material in the water, this thing will give a decent beam, visible off-axis from the beam. Keep it small, and rugged, and I’d grab one for my kit.

  5. Is this thing strong enough to cut dark colored swimsuits? :)

    Well usage for such a thing… like already said pointing to something as a diver.

    And #1 the blue laser will be even more absorbed than the red light because it swings faster. I mean its the same effect by “why is our sky blue?” :)

    cya chanz

  6. For the record I am well away of all safety percautions for this laser.

    Second. As for my plans with it? Well the main reason why I made this laser water tight was so that it could be used outside in the rain or snow. Plus, blu-ray looks absolutely amazing underwater.

    Third…If you have any questions about the build, just go to the Laserpointer forums website that they linked.


  7. In the lab next to us (underwater robotics) there’s a group performing research on underwater communication via optics and is doing this with the lasers from HD-DVD drives (xbox 360 drives post HD-DVD death) which are also blue laser diodes. It’s a neat project and might one day find a home on our SeaWolf :-).

  8. Pointing things out underwater would be amusing

    “And over here is the rare black puffer fish”
    “oh… here are parts of the now extinct black puffer fish”

    “Hey bob, I think there’s something wrong with your scuba pipe just here…”

  9. 1. turn it into a laser line
    2. attach this and a webcam to the bottom of a rover
    3. do detailed 3d scans of small patches of sea floor
    4. have some good reason why you would do that
    5. profit

  10. these blue lasers are really pretty, but definitely more dangerous than they look. they don’t seem nearly as bright as a red or green laser, but can do a lot more damage to your eyes. i played around with one several months ago, and caught a few blind spots. all it takes is a quick flash from a misaligned mirror or something. it is a little scary how easy these are to get now. especially when you see the stupid things kids do with their cheap red lasers.

  11. Well, the USN has been experimenting with this sort of laser for years, trying to figure out if they can devise a better (more secure) form of real-time communication between subs and surface ships.

  12. Communication would be a great use. This added to the multi color laser that was posted here a few weeks ago would make for a great device to scan liquids in clear containers. Then we’d all be able to bring them on planes again. I’d turn the emitted power down enough that it wouldn’t cause an explosive to detonate. Although, I suppose if the Navy wanted a way to remotely detonate an underwater explosive, this would be it.

  13. If you added enough power I suppose you could cause Hydrogen and Oxygen to separate in sea water. Then you’d have a component of breathable air and something for fuel. Or you could put them back together and have desalinated water. I assume power consumption would be at the ridiculous level and what you’d get out of it isn’t worth it. But if you really wanted to use lasers in the process of creating potable water, I suppose this could do it as well as anything.

  14. I can’t believe nobody has quoted Austin Powers yet:

    “All I asked for was frickin’ sharks with lasers attached to their heads!”

    Now Dr. Evil’s empire can be completed… all thanks to lskor12. Way to go, you’ve now doomed mankind :D

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