THIS fall, a joint committee staffed by the Department of Justice and the Pentagon will decide which ``less than lethal'' technologies to develop. Here is a sample of systems the committee may consider:
* Airbags mounted in the ceilings of police cars that can be inflated to subdue aggravated prisoners. The bags are made of a permeable membrane that prevents suffocation.
* Chemical agents that slicken roads and runways, rendering them impassable to ground vehicles and airplanes.
* Combustion inhibitors in aerosol or liquid form that can kill engines by changing the chemical properties of their fuel.
* Giant nets, fired from a gun, that immobilize people or vehicles with adhesive or electric shock. * Holographic machines that can project imaginary images onto streets and battlefields.
* Flickering or alternating lights that can confuse or sicken perpetrators.
* Low-energy lasers that can cause temporary blindness.
* High-power electromagnetic generators that interfere with brain waves and alter behavior.
* Electromagnetic missiles that explode above ground, knocking out electricity over a large area.
* Stun grenades fired from launchers than can deter combatants without hurting them.
* Electronic pulses that can be fired at cars to simulate impact, causing accelerators to shut off.