FlyKev
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Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:57 pm

An interesting article from Ars Technica that I read recently:

You may not be the kind of person who gets his kicks by standing at the end of a runway and firing a small laser into the cockpit of jets during their takeoffs and landings—but plenty of other people are. In 2005, the FBI only heard about 283 such incidents; this year, it expects to record 3,700.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/...irplanes-now-an-epidemic-says-fbi/

This is obviously quite a growing concern as it is such a dangerous activity for anyone to be involved with. I know a 14 year old round here who brought a green laser off of eBay so he could shine it on people from afar and annoy them; I just hope he hasn't / doesn't shine it on any aircraft round here given our proximity to LCY.

I'm curious to hear if anyone has experience this first hand or knows of it or what peoples opinions on this activity are.

Kev.
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PHX787
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:03 pm

It's been a huge issue in PHX. At least the police are doing something about it:
http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region...ced-for-pointing-laser-at-aircraft
http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/L...nix-news-helicopter-116919468.html

Quoting USAToday:
This year, Phoenix and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas lead the nation with 45 incidents each.
http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/s...shing-lasers-at-planes-/47854794/1
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:05 pm

This is a big problem. I have seen an uptick of these incidents at work in recent weeks, and I have heard of pilots suffering eye damage and having to be pulled off trips because of this. This needs to be addressed, and it is, but there needs to be much more education of the public on this, because I think most of them are not aware of just how dangerous this is.
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:46 pm

Usually several such reports almost every day in the Transport Canada daily occurrence summary. 51 reports in the past month alone. On a worldwide basis there must be hundreds every day.

A few examples just from the past month involving Canada. There are a few dozen more:

WJA 192, WestJet Boeing 737-700, was en route from Victoria to Edmonton and on descent when the crew reported being struck by a green laser when 45 NM southwest of CYEG at 16,000 feet. The laser appeared to originate from the town of Breton, AB.

The pilot of HAWC 2, a Calgary Police Eurocopter EC-120B helicopter, reported being hit by a green laser 3.5 miles south of Runway 28 and 2 miles east of Runway 34.

The WestJet Boeing 737-600 (operating as flight WJA1236) had just departed on a scheduled IFR flight from Toronto (CYYZ) to New York (La Guardia) (KLGA). NAV CANADA staff at Toronto Tower advised that the flight crew reported that their aircraft had been subject to a green laser strike while climbing southbound through 7,000 feet in the vicinity of 43º39'37"N 079º22'01"W. Peel Regional Police were advised.

The Air Canada Embraer ERJ-175 (operating as flight ACA623) was nearing the conclusion of a scheduled IFR flight from Halifax (CYHZ) to Toronto (CYYZ). NAV CANADA staff at Toronto ACC reported that a laser strike occurred when the aircraft was 10 miles final for runway 06L, descending through an altitude of 3,000 feet. Peel Regional Police were advised.

The Air Canada Embraer ERJ-175 (operating as flight ACA347) was nearing the conclusion of a scheduled IFR flight from Philadelphia (KPHL) to Toronto (CYYZ). NAV CANADA staff advised that the flight crew reported that their aircraft was subject to a laser strike when it was approximately 10NM southeast of CYYZ.

The Government of Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pilatus PC-12/47E (C-GMPO) was nearing the conclusion of an IFR flight from La Grande Rivière (CYGL) to Ottawa (CYOW). The aircraft was on a seven (7)NM final approach for runway 25 when the flight crew advised the Tower Controller that a laser had been directed at their aircraft.

The Air Canada Airbus A330-343 (C-GHKW, operating as flight ACA846) had departed on a scheduled IFR flight from Toronto (CYYZ) to Munich (EDDM). NAV CANADA staff at Toronto ACC advised that the flight crew reported that their aircraft was subject to a green laser strike when it was approximately four (4)NM north of CYYZ at an altitude of 9,000 feet. The laser appeared to originate from a residential building just east of the railway yard.

The WestJet Boeing 737-800 (C-GWSR, operating as flight WJA497) had just departed on a scheduled IFR flight from Toronto (CYYZ) to Vancouver (CYVR). NAV CANADA staff at Toronto ACC advised that the flight crew reported that their aircraft was subject to a green laser strike that appeared to originate from a position about five (5) miles distant, at their two o'clock position (near 43º54'06"N 079º29'45"W). At the time, the aircraft was flying northwest on a heading of 330º, having departed off of runway 06L at 0144Z.

The Air Canada Embraer ERJ-190 (operating as flight ACA452) was on a scheduled IFR flight from Seattle-Tacoma (KSEA) to Toronto (CYYZ). NAV CANADA staff at Toronto ACC were advised by the flight crew (at 0021Z) that their aircraft was subject to a green laser strike with it was at 43º27'25"N 080º36'20"W (approximately 45NM from the London VOR/DME on the 040º radial, at an altitude of 17,000 feet). Peel Regional Police were advised.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 inbound to Vancouver (CYVR) from the North reported being illuminated by a green laser originating in the Park Royal (West Vancouver) area.

A Horizon Air DHC-8-401 (operating as QXE380) en route from Seattle-Tacoma (KSEA) to Victoria (CYYJ) reported a laser strike 10 NM southeast of CYYJ. RCMP advised.

The Jazz DHC-8-102 (C-FGRP, operating as Air Canada Express flight JZA8779) was nearing the conclusion of a scheduled IFR flight from Montréal (CYUL) to Ottawa (CYOW). NAV CANADA staff at Ottawa Tower advised that the flight crew reported that their aircraft had been subject to four (4) green laser strikes aimed at the cockpit when the aircraft was approximately six (6)NM final for runway 25 at an altitude of 2,500 feet. The flight crew reported that the source appeared to be at their two o'clock position, approximately four (4) miles away (vicinity of 45º23'N 075º34'W). Ottawa Police Service advised.


Very rarely they catch one. This one from November 2011:

Edmonton Police Eurocopter EC-120B helicopter was targeted by a laser from the ground about 3 miles WSW of Edmonton City Centre Airport (CYXD). No injuries or damage. Perpetrators were apprehended by police ground units.
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:51 pm

I see a demand for a window film that filters out 633nm light (hene laser wavelength is 632.8nm)

Or an auto-target system.  

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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:14 pm

I've been a passenger on five flights which I know were targeted, you can watch the laser light dance around the cabin interior when it travels in through windows. A couple of times I've been looking almost directly at the source when it has happened, never had a direct 'hit' on my eyes though, or if I had I've experienced no affect or damage.

It is completely irresponsible and foolish to carry out this kind of act.


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tdscanuck
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:54 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 4):
I see a demand for a window film that filters out 633nm light (hene laser wavelength is 632.8nm)

Or an auto-target system.

Lockheed has a system to back-trace laser illumination (I think it's intended to defend against laser-guided munitions). Can we slave that to a Nightsun spotlight? Nothing like firing your 1W green laser and getting 40 million candlepower (~1600W) back.
http://www.spectrolab.com/searchligh.../pdfs/SX-16%20020910%20REV%20E.pdf

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 5):
It is completely irresponsible and foolish to carry out this kind of act.

If I need to submit to a proctology exam just to be a passenger and my water bottle is a weapon, anybody firing a laser at a commercial jet should be sent to Guantanamo Bay post haste.

Tom.
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:06 pm

Surely the defense industry could design some gunnery to fix this problem?
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:12 pm

I have commented on this a number of times when I see these threads.
This problem could be easily ended by simply encoding a unique identification number into the laser beam itself. It would be very easy to do. A law or regulation would likely needed (otherwise some would not do it) and the manufacturers would just add the "feature" into the hardware/firmware of the laser. Then a simple detector can be on aircraft and you will know what laser is being used. From that you can determined who bought it and go from there.

Yes, it could be circumvented and used lasers might be an issue but I suspect the problem would disappear fast. The key thing is if it is a big enough problem for someone to lobby for it and apparently the problem isn't that big at this point.

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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 8):
I have commented on this a number of times when I see these threads.
This problem could be easily ended by simply encoding a unique identification number into the laser beam itself. It would be very easy to do. A law or regulation would likely needed (otherwise some would not do it) and the manufacturers would just add the "feature" into the hardware/firmware of the laser. Then a simple detector can be on aircraft and you will know what laser is being used. From that you can determined who bought it and go from there.

That "simple detector" would cost thousands if not tens of thousands per aircraft.

Requiring an operator's permit for lasers over a certain power would probably help. The owner of the laser would hold the permit. If that laser is found to have been used in an attack, the owner is in hot water.
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:04 pm

Its all about education........The people need to be educated about the dangers posed....that will def reduce the numbers....
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:05 pm

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
I'm curious to hear if anyone has experience this first hand or knows of it or what peoples opinions on this activity are

Yea I've had a green laser shone into my eyes on numerous occasions. It can be very disorientating & annoying. In 1 case we weren't able to look outside as it was that distracting, and this was on a visual approach. That same night they shone it at an air force chopper behind us as well who went and got a GPS fix on the house. Though when the cops showed up they found nothing... go figure
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:13 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):

That "simple detector" would cost thousands if not tens of thousands per aircraft.

No it wouldn't, a laser reader is very cheap and easy to place. Grocery stores have basic versions and the telecoms industry has millions of them deployed across the nation as repeaters for their fiber networks. They are very, very simple actually and easy to make small. It's really just a lens, a reader (CCD type item) and a data storage device.

Just install one behind the windscreen and if a laser hits then download the data. Simple.

Tugg
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:27 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 12):
Just install one behind the windscreen and if a laser hits then download the data. Simple.

After FAA certification and test flights and...
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 12):
Just install one behind the windscreen and if a laser hits then download the data. Simple.

Certify the component to not injure anyone in a 9G crash. Verify the electrical operation meets aerospace codes with compatibility to aircraft electrical supply. Come up with a maintenance plan for said device. Verify materials do not create galvanic corrosion with other air vehicle materials. The begin certification of the V&V flight test plan.

The sensor could be free and it might still cost $15,000 USD per aircraft when done with all the pedigree (e.g., wiring).

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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:36 pm

Sentence the few of these jerks that are caught to very stiff prison stretches. Right now, it's a game for these morons...give them a taste of how serious it is.

The first defense will be windscreen coating or even glasses to protect the eyes. The next is backtracking hardware.

It's time for law enforcement and the courts to get serious about this.
What the...?
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:00 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 15):
The first defense will be windscreen coating or even glasses to protect the eyes. The next is backtracking hardware.

Are you aware if there is a way to protect specifically against laser light without reducing visibility of other lights?
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
After FAA certification and test flights and...

Easy.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 14):
Certify the component to not injure anyone in a 9G crash. Verify the electrical operation meets aerospace codes with compatibility to aircraft electrical supply. Come up with a maintenance plan for said device. Verify materials do not create galvanic corrosion with other air vehicle materials. The begin certification of the V&V flight test plan.

The sensor could be free and it might still cost $15,000 USD per aircraft when done with all the pedigree (e.g., wiring).

No, it wouldn't. And I guarantee you that there are already detectors that are certified for commercial flight. This systems do not interfere with the other systems as they are passive, they just gather "light data". You can naysay it all you want, but if iPads can be certified for flight, so can these. I guess the question is, how valuable is the pilots sight and safety as well as that of the aircraft and passengers. The cost of a detector is low and the technology is safe and proven reliable. it would be an overall easy thing to implement.

In my mind the hard part is actually the other end of the process: Getting regulations or laws passed to require lasers to identify themselves (serial number encoded in the beam).

Tugg
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:11 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
Are you aware if there is a way to protect specifically against laser light without reducing visibility of other lights?

Window film filter
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 18):
Window film filter

The problem is that the lasers in question are "visible light" lasers. So you would be blocking light that pilots need for their jobs. I guess you could screen very specific frequencies but I don't know if lasers are that controlled for exactly what frequency they emit on. I do not know if there are specific frequencies that they are allowed to emit on. And I also suspect it would cost more than what I am suggesting for certification. Of course the only way to know is to look into it I guess.

Tugg
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:38 pm

There was a guy sentenced last month for doing it in Vegas, he got eight months in prison. Hopefully the word gets out to others as we need penalties like this to hopefully make people think twice before doing it.

http://www.lvrj.com/news/las-vegas-m...r-light-at-aircraft-169381346.html
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:50 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 19):
I guess you could screen very specific frequencies but I don't know if lasers are that controlled for exactly what frequency they emit on.

By definition, a laser emits at one and only one frequency. This is determined by the gain medium used in the laser, AFAIK. A 632.8nm laser will emit EXACTLY 632.8 nm wavelength +/- 0.002nm (so sayeth Wikipedia). The doppler effect from the aircraft's movement will have a larger effect than the frequency spread, most likely.

The green lasers that seem to be causing this trouble emit in that frequency. The question is whether a film could be developed that would absorb EXACTLY that frequency (+/- doppler shift) and no others. Or is there a film that might diffract highly collimated light, but not uncollimated light. I'm far from a physicist, so I don't know.
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:56 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
By definition, a laser emits at one and only one frequency. This is determined by the gain medium used in the laser, AFAIK. A 632.8nm laser will emit EXACTLY 632.8 nm wavelength +/- 0.002nm (so sayeth Wikipedia). The doppler effect from the aircraft's movement will have a larger effect than the frequency spread, most likely.

The green lasers that seem to be causing this trouble emit in that frequency. The question is whether a film could be developed that would absorb EXACTLY that frequency (+/- doppler shift) and no others. Or is there a film that might diffract highly collimated light, but not uncollimated light. I'm far from a physicist, so I don't know.

Yes, I do understand that. My concern is that the laser may emit at "634.8" (vs the 632.8 you noted) and not the frequency being blocked. So while a laser may be very specific, is every manufacturer producing the exact same very specific frequency and not drifting a lot (in terms of specific frequencies).

Tugg
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:03 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 22):
Yes, I do understand that. My concern is that the laser may emit at "634.8" (vs the 632.8 you noted) and not the frequency being blocked. So while a laser may be very specific, is every manufacturer producing the exact same very specific frequency and not drifting a lot (in terms of specific frequencies).

That's why a better way to go about solving this problem would be to filter collimated light, but let uncollimated light through.

I'm a math person, not a physicist, so I'm not sure if it can be done (cost effectively), but it would seem to effectively solve the problem in a fairly straightforward way.
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:03 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 8):
This problem could be easily ended by simply encoding a unique identification number into the laser beam itself. It would be very easy to do. A law or regulation would likely needed (otherwise some would not do it) and the manufacturers would just add the "feature" into the hardware/firmware of the laser.

That's not simple at all. Way more effort than you're describing has gone in to serializing and ballistics checks of handguns and they're nowhere close to that working.

The law or regulation wouldn't force anyone to do it. For starters, you've got thousands of lasers out there already without such technology. On top of that, disabling it once installed would be trivial, including in undetectable and reversible ways. And then you've got the folks building their own lasers...the components to do it are too common and easily available to be meaningfully restricted. All this would do is jack up the price for the people who weren't a threat anyway.

Quoting tugger (Reply 17):
You can naysay it all you want, but if iPads can be certified for flight, so can these.

Nobody said you can't certify it. They said you can't certify it and have it be really cheap. You seem to be grossly underestimating what's required to install hardware on a commercial aircraft.

Tom.
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:11 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 22):
Yes, I do understand that. My concern is that the laser may emit at "634.8" (vs the 632.8 you noted) and not the frequency being blocked. So while a laser may be very specific, is every manufacturer producing the exact same very specific frequency and not drifting a lot (in terms of specific frequencies).

As far as I know, the frequency is set by the gain medium used. Whether it is possible to tune a laser I don't know.
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:36 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
If I need to submit to a proctology exam just to be a passenger and my water bottle is a weapon, anybody firing a laser at a commercial jet should be sent to Guantanamo Bay post haste.


Thanks for the moment of levity Tom.

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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:42 am

Quoting iowaman (Reply 20):
There was a guy sentenced last month for doing it in Vegas, he got eight months in prison. Hopefully the word gets out to others as we need penalties like this to hopefully make people think twice before doing it.

Let's hope that approach crosses the Atlantic to the UK before too long.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19398619
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:09 am

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 27):
Quoting iowaman (Reply 20):
There was a guy sentenced last month for doing it in Vegas, he got eight months in prison. Hopefully the word gets out to others as we need penalties like this to hopefully make people think twice before doing it.

I hope that the authorities take steps to raise the profile of this problem and particularly to publicise the harsher sentences meted out to those who have engaged in this highly undesireable activity. Being aware of harsh sentences may not be a big deterrent where there is something to gain (fraud, theft etc) or where people lose control of themselves (domestic violence etc) but I imagine that most people who might like to point lasers at pilots for their entertainment could be deterred from doing so.
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:19 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
Lockheed has a system to back-trace laser illumination (I think it's intended to defend against laser-guided munitions). Can we slave that to a Nightsun spotlight?

I think that slaving it to a 20mm cannon would be far more effective at getting the message across.  



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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:39 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 10):
Its all about education........The people need to be educated about the dangers posed....that will def reduce the numbers....

I think no education can change a total idiot to anything better, no normal people no matter their education would ever do this kind of thing. They know it's dangerous, for them it's a game, or maybe they wish to see an airplane crashing, don't know.

Any over 15 years old who does this stuff should be put to prison or forced labor camp for some years, maybe then they would learn, and if they don't then send them to a jail for rest of their life.
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting StickShaker (Reply 29):
I think that slaving it to a 20mm cannon would be far more effective at getting the message across.  

Sir I like your way of thinking, that should surely bring these incidents to a halt.. lol
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:43 pm

Quoting pvjin (Reply 30):
Any over 15 years old who does this stuff should be put to prison or forced labor camp for some years, maybe then they would learn, and if they don't then send them to a jail for rest of their life.

A little bit more perspective? A legal system that sends people to jail for very long terms for doing something stupid that could potentially kill people would need to send a very large number of people to jail for all sorts of offences eg driving a car with one's faculties significantly impaired due to consumption of alcohol, drugs or even simple tiredness.

By the way, I think it would be a good idea to jail offenders to put out the message that this form of stupidity will not be tolerated. My opinion is that if the number of instances of this behaviour is growing rapidly something should be done urgently "to nip the problem in the bud." It's better to react before a plane is lost. After the event will not bring the victims back to life.
 
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:02 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 24):
Nobody said you can't certify it. They said you can't certify it and have it be really cheap. You seem to be grossly underestimating what's required to install hardware on a commercial aircraft.

I very much disagree. While the process itself of "certifying" anything for flight in a cockpit costs money, and in the thousands of dollars due to the process hours involved, the overall costs would not be that much. Again if an iPad can be certified, if a cockpit video system can be certified, then this type of item can very easily be certified and be done so in a cost effective manner. It is a truly simple idea.

Also if you are concerned about it being in a cockpit, then don't put it there, put it somewhere else. It could also just be for law enforcement systems (mounted on police helicopters for instance).

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 24):
That's not simple at all. Way more effort than you're describing has gone in to serializing and ballistics checks of handguns and they're nowhere close to that working.

The law or regulation wouldn't force anyone to do it. For starters, you've got thousands of lasers out there already without such technology. On top of that, disabling it once installed would be trivial, including in undetectable and reversible ways. And then you've got the folks building their own lasers...the components to do it are too common and easily available to be meaningfully restricted. All this would do is jack up the price for the people who weren't a threat anyway.

With all due respect (and I do respect you, you are very much one the best posters on this site), you really don't know what you are talking about if you are comparing it to ballistics serialization. Among other things Ballistics serialization runs into the entire "guns rights" lobby and issues along with it being a physical process that is applied to millions upon millions of pieces of ammunition that may never be used. This is a simple serialized data stream hard coded into the products firmware. Such a process is already done with many other types of electronic products (how do you think each router has a different ID or computers or cell phones?).

The idea is to stop the normal idiot,or a person with malicious intent, from making it an easy and simple thing to do. If some malicious person is going to do something then that is an entirely different aspect of protection and there are process for that as well. I mean you are talking about someone that is intentionally going to circumvent a protection in order to not be detected. First they need to know what they are doing and then they need to be doing it for a malicious reason (and no it is not just like filing off a serial number from a gun because a laser just isn't as useful as a gun for most malicious people). I know that hobbyists build and adapt lasers, but they are not generally the malicious, stupid, or drunk idiots that have a small flashlight sized laser pointer lying around and just for fun point it at aircraft.

And yes, there are thousands of lasers already out there, that situation exists for most any regulated technology. It doesn't mean you don't address issues and problems with that technology.

Again there are many solutions to this problem, they just need to be reviewed and analyzed and then something done. But just discard options without really investigating them. And I don't think that "just jail time" is adequate as that is something that happens after the event, after the damage has been done to the pilots or passengers or whatever. I think we can find simple proactive systems to alert pilots and law enforcement, I am just offering one option.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
starrion
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:19 pm

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:41 pm

I think several hundred hours of community service wearing prison orange would be a better solution.

make them do something that will make them have to explain what they did over and over.

The message will get out.
Knowledge Replaces Fear
 
speedbird118
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:32 pm

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:44 pm

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 11):
Its all about education.......

Right you are! My university in Singapore issued an email warning way back in July this year regarding Sky Lanterns and other stuff like lasers that pose an hazard to aviation navigation quoting the CAAS website:


As the Mid-Autumn Festival is round the corner, Singapore’s CAAS is advising the public to be mindful of aviation safety in relation to the release of sky lanterns. Once a sky lantern is released, the flight of the sky lantern cannot be controlled.

Students are advised to log on to the following website to know more about the hazards posed by and the requirements imposed on the release of sky lanterns:

www.caas.gov.sg/caas/en/Regulations/...x_Obstruction_Policies/?_locale=en

The aforesaid website also contains information on other air navigation hazards such as:

· Helium balloon
· Hot air balloon
· Remote-controlled model aircraft
· Kite flying
· Fireworks and pyrotechnics display
· Laser and other lights display
· Aerial photography

Under the law, a person convicted of committing an act that endangers an aircraft can be fined up to $100,000 or imprisoned for up to 5 years or both.



[Edited 2012-10-09 08:49:37]

[Edited 2012-10-09 08:56:31]
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2136
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:04 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 12):
No it wouldn't, a laser reader is very cheap and easy to place. Grocery stores have basic versions and the telecoms industry has millions of them deployed across the nation as repeaters for their fiber networks. They are very, very simple actually and easy to make small. It's really just a lens, a reader (CCD type item) and a data storage device.

Just install one behind the windscreen and if a laser hits then download the data. Simple.

Tugg

Sorry Tugger, but you are a bit off in your analysis on this one. I have worked in the laser industry for over 30 years.

First, the green lasers are not at ~638nm, (which is red) but at around 532nm. (Nd:YAG with a SHG crystal usually now, but HeNes can also be made to lase in this wavelength area...we called them Greenies when they came out).

Second, the coding you propose is very costly, would be an administrative nightmare to oversee, and would degrade performance or even make the lasers useless in the lasers legitimate applications..

Third, the laser scanners in supermarkets are not coded in this fashion, they are simple CW lasers (originally CW HeNe lasers, now CW diode lasers).

You know quite a bit about lasers...but there is always more to learn.
 
sejtam
Posts: 85
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RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:50 pm

Penalties for mis-deeds like this (as long as no real damage was in fact done) should be:

a) a painful but not crippling fine (say a few hundred $$$ and confiscation of the laser)
b) a parole-condition for this hat will make any further offence (of any kind other than really minor stuff like parking offences, speeding, violating open container ordinances etc) count triple or so , and furthermore any further offense should result in the loss of some rights (to stand for public office or such)

That way first-timers would get a painful punishment, but nothing excessive, but it would from them on hang over them as an added burden. Something like that should apply to all offences that could potentially harm larger numbers of people but may also ofte turn out harmless and thus be regarded as an 'innocent sport' by unreflecting folks.
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2136
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:13 pm

Quoting sejtam (Reply 37):

I think your approach is well thought out and well stated.

In addition I would add that making the fines and punishments well publicized especially for repeat offenders would be good for educating the public.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:41 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
While the process itself of "certifying" anything for flight in a cockpit costs money, and in the thousands of dollars due to the process hours involved, the overall costs would not be that much.

The "thousands of dollars" is the per unit amortization of the overall costs...overall costs are much much higher.

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
Again if an iPad can be certified, if a cockpit video system can be certified, then this type of item can very easily be certified and be done so in a cost effective manner. It is a truly simple idea.

Simplicity has nothing to do with certification burden. Ask Apple how much they spent to certify the iPad for full-time use on the flight deck (not just the outside-takeoff-and-landing cert they had earlier, which wouldn't work for a device like you're proposing).

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
This is a simple serialized data stream hard coded into the products firmware. Such a process is already done with many other types of electronic products (how do you think each router has a different ID or computers or cell phones?).

Routers and computers and cell phones have to have unique ID's to function on a network...it's integral to their function. A laser doesn't need such fuctionality to do its primary job so you're talking about adding traceable, centrally registered, and tracked hardware to each and every laser.

Tom.
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2136
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:08 pm

Most of these lasers don't even have any computer memory chip, much less firmware. These are basically flashlights when it comes to their electrinic sophistication. Just imagine trying to program a unique ID coding function to simple light switch in your house...and then trying to read by that light.   
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19287
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:22 pm

Quoting sejtam (Reply 37):
Penalties for mis-deeds like this (as long as no real damage was in fact done) should be:

a) a painful but not crippling fine (say a few hundred $$$ and confiscation of the laser)

$5,000 fine for someone in YYC last year.
http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/07/26...or-distracting-choppers-with-laser
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 20142
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 23):
That's why a better way to go about solving this problem would be to filter collimated light, but let uncollimated light through.

Yes, well, that's just the issue. Is there a way to do that?

I think it's simpler to just require a permit for lasers over a certain power and hold the permit holder responsible for that laser. If the laser is stolen, the holder must report it immediately.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2136
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:21 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 42):
Yes, well, that's just the issue. Is there a way to do that?

I think it's simpler to just require a permit for lasers over a certain power and hold the permit holder responsible for that laser. If the laser is stolen, the holder must report it immediately.

Yes, it is possible to filter or reflect very specific individual wavelengths, and multiple wavelengths simultaniously... but it will not be cost efficient and will reduce the pilots visibility overall.

A permit system is overkill for the situation...that would be like requiring a permit for knives or axes or chainsaws. You cannot regulate away stupidity.

Education is the answer.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Laser Strikes Against Airplanes Now An "epidemic"

Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:46 am

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 43):
Education is the answer

Education + *vicious* and *public* enforcement.

Tom.

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