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New Device Uses GPS Projectile to Track Fleeing Vehicles

October 24, 2005  | 

The StarChase GPS vehicle tagging and tracking system is so new it’s still in the development stages, but it could soon help to reduce the number of high-speed pursuits.

At the heart of the system is an air launcher that propels a projectile from a police vehicle onto a suspect vehicle. The launcher sits behind the grill on the front of the cruiser. An officer making a traffic stop can aim the launcher at the back of the suspect vehicle while still behind the wheel.

If the suspect flees in his vehicle, the officer can use a remote control to activate the system, launching the sticky projectile onto the fleeing car. The projectile contains a GPS receiver, battery, and radio transmitter, all embedded in a specially developed epoxy compound.

The device activates automatically on impact and transmits the vehicle’s location every few seconds to a central location where it is shown on a computerized map display. With this information, police can meet up with a fleeing suspect in their own time, without initiating a high-speed pursuit that can endanger officers and others.

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