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Old 11-16-2008, 06:25 PM #33
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazerGuy
I've done one stupid thing with my X-85. I shone it through a window, with the laser close to the window. I was looking at the things outside (it was dusk) so I didn't notice that the beam reflected back right into my face until I got it in my right eye. I just saw a huge flash of green light, and literally threw the laser away onto my bed.
*As stated earlier in this thread, window reflection is only about 5-10%, so I only got 5-10mW into the eye, but it still seems I got some damage. I don't have a black spot, just a little blur in the center of the eye. It annoyed me in the beginning, but I'm getting used to it. At least I can still see clearly through a rifle scope so it is obviously not that bad, but still bad enough for permanent damage. I'm going to an eye doctor soon, to see if anything can be done.

After this event, I'm very careful with my lasers. Goggles on when using indoors in almost all cases.
Sorry to hear you got Flashed.... :'(

When I shine a laser through a window.... I make a habit of touching the window with the laser
to avoid reflections as much as possible... 8-)


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Old 11-16-2008, 06:36 PM #34
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazerGuy
I don't have a black spot, just a little blur in the center of the eye. It annoyed me in the beginning, but I'm getting used to it.
This is probably one of the best descriptions of what the symptoms of a retina burn are I have seen in these forums. *You only "go blind" if the burn is directly over the optic nerve and massive. *Usually a small area is damaged. *The brain "covers up" the damage by "filling in" what it can. *Finally, the person "gets used to it" so that they don't "notice" it after awhile. *

If you have to focus on a specific thing using that damaged section of the eye, you will notice it again because the brain cannot fill *in with specific or unique information, just sort of camo' color smears. *Also, if the damage is in the center of your vision it is more noticeable because the center is subjected to unique information more often. If the actions that caused the damage continue, eventually the brain can no longer "fill" the blank spots in effectively. *By then the damage is pretty wide spread.

Be careful out there

Peace,
dave
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:57 PM #35
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Default Re: Aircrafts

It IS in the center of my vision. It isn't noticeable if I look with both of my eyes, that may be as I "prefer" my left eye over my right one. The problem only gets noticeable when I try to read small text, or text over a large distance, when only looking with my right eye. I can still see the text (or whatever object that is in the damaged area of my vision), but it's rather blurry. A bit like when looking with open eyes underwater. So my brain does fill in the damaged area, but it's still noticeable if I look with only the damaged eye.

And Laserbee, yeah, if you have a DPSS laser, then it's a good trick to touch the window with the laser to avoid reflections. But don't do it with a diode laser! The light reflects back into the laser, and POP! There goes another diode.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:39 PM #36
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazerGuy
And Laserbee, yeah, if you have a DPSS laser, then it's a good trick to touch the window with the laser to avoid reflections. But don't do it with a diode laser! The light reflects back into the laser, and POP! There goes another diode.
I always try to shine a laser at an angle out a window... and try to stay directly behind the laser..
rather than to the side of it.. This way the beam reflects back at an opposite angle to where I'm located..

Either way we need to be careful... I'd rather have a Diode Laser POP! than get hit in the eyes... :
But I understand what you are saying...
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:25 AM #37
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Regarding airplanes and how visible the beam is, and how dangerous...

Check out a site I helped build, LaserPointerSafety.com. It includes photos from FAA simulators showing what the beam looks like at various powers and distances. For example, a 5 mW green laser can distract a pilot from over 2 miles away; a 50 mW laser can be a distraction over 22 miles away.

Remember that pilots don't necessarily have to see the beam itself. They just have to have the beam be aimed at them, to see a bright light. Depending on the light level, it can be a distraction, can cause glare (so you can't see past the beam) and can cause flashblindness and afterimages (so the vision blockage goes away slowly). Obviously, this is a problem, especially on takeoff and landing.

The FAA studied pilots in simulators who were exposed for just one second (one flash) to laser light while on short-final approach. Roughly 20-25% of the time, they did a missed approach.

The take-away on this is to always know where your laser is going outdoors, and to NEVER aim at aircraft. If you want to aim at a star, don't point right at it -- it could be a faraway airplane moving slowly relative to you. Just circle the object with the laser pointer.

There is more info at the website. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

-- Patrick Murphy, ILDA Executive Director

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Old 11-20-2008, 11:07 AM #38
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ildadirect
Regarding airplanes and how visible the beam is, and how dangerous...

Check out a site I helped build, LaserPointerSafety.com. It includes photos from FAA simulators showing what the beam looks like at various powers and distances. For example, a 5 mW green laser can distract a pilot from over 2 miles away; a 50 mW laser can be a distraction over 22 miles away.

Remember that pilots don't necessarily have to see the beam itself. They just have to have the beam be aimed at them, to see a bright light. Depending on the light level, it can be a distraction, can cause glare (so you can't see past the beam) and can cause flashblindness and afterimages (so the vision blockage goes away slowly). Obviously, this is a problem, especially on takeoff and landing.

The FAA studied pilots in simulators who were exposed for just one second (one flash) to laser light while on short-final approach. Roughly 20-25% of the time, they did a missed approach.

The take-away on this is to always know where your laser is going outdoors, and to NEVER aim at aircraft. If you want to aim at a star, don't point right at it -- it could be a faraway airplane moving slowly relative to you. Just circle the object with the laser pointer.

There is more info at the website. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

-- Patrick Murphy, ILDA Executive Director
Couldn't think of a better person to ask..

Has there been any consideration in the aviation community, to protect pilots by engineering laser absorbing cockpit windows?
With all of the attention and energy involved in the subject, one would think the airline companies would shoulder the costs to protect the pilots, passengers, and the people on the ground from a potential disaster. Itís a thought that has floated on the forum threads in the past, but I havenít read anything that would suggest there is such an approach.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:55 AM #39
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Default Re: Aircrafts

If there was a cabin pressure drop... the pilots would put on oxygen masks...
so why couldn't they just put on Laser safety goggles on take offs and landings... :-?
It would be a simple procedure like passengers are required to attach their seat belts
on take offs and landings.. 8-)
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:50 PM #40
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Default Re: Aircrafts

There are a number of problems with having pilots routinely use laser-protective goggles during takeoffs and landings.

One is that the wavelengths to be defended against are unknown. Yes, today most laser-aircraft incidents involve green pointers around 532 nm. But other wavelengths are available and getting more popular and affordable. After a certain point, goggles are blocking a wide spectrum which means there is a wide spectrum of light that pilots can't see.

Such blocking interferes not only with night vision outside the cockpit, but also blocks many indicator lamps and colors on the CRT or LCD panels used in "glass cockpits". Even blocking just 532 nm would make some green cockpit lights and CRT/LCD colors disappear.

Another problem is the unknown and variable strength of the laser. The irradiance can vary widely, depending on the laser power (1 to 250 mW for hand held pointers) and the distance/geometry to the aircraft. So the goggles can't simply act as OD filters to knock down the power. Too little OD and the light is still too bright. Too much OD and the instruments and the outside disappear.

You really need active goggles which can react to the power (and perhaps wavelength) in order to protect the pilot. AFAIK, such goggles do not exist in an effective and affordable enough form to require every civil aircraft to be equipped with goggles.

Even if goggles worked pretty well, there is still one argument against them which, IMHO, trumps all the other considerations. Pilots rightly ask "why should I have to wear goggles every time I take off or land?" This is a reasonable question. The routine use of goggles in today's cockpits would probably be more dangerous (due to limiting some vision) than the current situation. Pilots and regulators correctly feel that the burden should be on laser users not to lase aircraft, and on police to find and prosecute those who might do so.

If regulators are asked to choose between pilots and airlines sayiing "ban laser pointers", and laser pointer users saying "wear goggles on every flight", well ... guess who is going to win.

And (unfortunately) it does not matter whether a ban would be effective. At least The Authorities Have Done Something.

My view is that the best solution is to try to get the word to laser pointer users to NEVER aim at aircraft. The idea is to make it uncool, similar to how MADD turned drunk drivers from being amusing, into social pariahs.

LaserPointerSafety.com emphasizes the hazards to pilots; the possibility of arrest, fines and jail for the laser user; and the fact that lasers will be banned if these incidents don't go WAY down right away. This may be a quixotic quest, but it is worth a try before the U.S., Canada and other countries go the way of Australia and the U.K. in banning or severely restricting laser pointers.

I know most of you reading already know not to lase aircraft (or annoy strangers). These incidents -- about one per day in the U.S. -- are adding up to strong pressure for a ban. If you can get the word out to others, that would be greatly appreciated. We need to change peoples' behavior, before it is too late.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:05 PM #41
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Default Re: Aircrafts

I think we all have accidentally "beamed" ourselves from an unexpected reflection at one time or another while playing around with out lasers. That instantaneous "flash" can leave your vision impaired for several minutes. Pilots do not have minutes to recover from these "flashes" upon take off or landing, and could very easily end up with deadly consequences. Pointing any type of bright light/laser at an aircraft should never be tolerated. If you know of someone that does this for fun, it IS your responsibility, in my opinion, to prevent that person from doing it again. If educating them of the consequences does not stop the behavior, then report them to the police. Failure to address that behavior, makes you just as guilty as the person "beaming" the aircraft. Can you live with yourself, knowing that many people lost their lives from something you could have prevented? I know i couldnt!

Good ole common sense goes a long ways!!!!

Ted 8-)


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Old 11-20-2008, 04:42 PM #42
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ildadirect
Regarding airplanes and how visible the beam is, and how dangerous...

Check out a site I helped build, LaserPointerSafety.com. It includes photos from FAA simulators showing what the beam looks like at various powers and distances. For example, a 5 mW green laser can distract a pilot from over 2 miles away; a 50 mW laser can be a distraction over 22 miles away.

Remember that pilots don't necessarily have to see the beam itself. They just have to have the beam be aimed at them, to see a bright light. Depending on the light level, it can be a distraction, can cause glare (so you can't see past the beam) and can cause flashblindness and afterimages (so the vision blockage goes away slowly). Obviously, this is a problem, especially on takeoff and landing.

The FAA studied pilots in simulators who were exposed for just one second (one flash) to laser light while on short-final approach. Roughly 20-25% of the time, they did a missed approach.

The take-away on this is to always know where your laser is going outdoors, and to NEVER aim at aircraft. If you want to aim at a star, don't point right at it -- it could be a faraway airplane moving slowly relative to you. Just circle the object with the laser pointer.

There is more info at the website. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

-- Patrick Murphy, ILDA Executive Director
Hi Pat,
Welcome to LPF. I looked over the website and found it very informative. There is a lot of good information that every laser enthusiast should be required to read. Hopefully, the laser manufacturers will begin including the Laser Safety handout with every unit they sell. Nice Work!
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:43 PM #43
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ildadirect
There are a number of problems with having pilots routinely use laser-protective goggles during takeoffs and landings.

One is that the wavelengths to be defended against are unknown. Yes, today most laser-aircraft incidents involve green pointers around 532 nm. But other wavelengths are available and getting more popular and affordable. After a certain point, goggles are blocking a wide spectrum which means there is a wide spectrum of light that pilots can't see.

Such blocking interferes not only with night vision outside the cockpit, but also blocks many indicator lamps and colors on the CRT or LCD panels used in "glass cockpits". Even blocking just 532 nm would make some green cockpit lights and CRT/LCD colors disappear.

Another problem is the unknown and variable strength of the laser. The irradiance can vary widely, depending on the laser power (1 to 250 mW for hand held pointers) and the distance/geometry to the aircraft. So the goggles can't simply act as OD filters to knock down the power. Too little OD and the light is still too bright. Too much OD and the instruments and the outside disappear.

You really need active goggles which can react to the power (and perhaps wavelength) in order to protect the pilot. AFAIK, such goggles do not exist in an effective and affordable enough form to require every civil aircraft to be equipped with goggles.

Even if goggles worked pretty well, there is still one argument against them which, IMHO, trumps all the other considerations. Pilots rightly ask "why should I have to wear goggles every time I take off or land?" This is a reasonable question. The routine use of goggles in today's cockpits would probably be more dangerous (due to limiting some vision) than the current situation. Pilots and regulators correctly feel that the burden should be on laser users not to lase aircraft, and on police to find and prosecute those who might do so.

If regulators are asked to choose between pilots and airlines sayiing "ban laser pointers", and laser pointer users saying "wear goggles on every flight", well ... guess who is going to win.

And (unfortunately) it does not matter whether a ban would be effective. At least The Authorities Have Done Something.

My view is that the best solution is to try to get the word to laser pointer users to NEVER aim at aircraft. The idea is to make it uncool, similar to how MADD turned drunk drivers from being amusing, into social pariahs.

LaserPointerSafety.com emphasizes the hazards to pilots; the possibility of arrest, fines and jail for the laser user; and the fact that lasers will be banned if these incidents don't go WAY down right away. This may be a quixotic quest, but it is worth a try before the U.S., Canada and other countries go the way of Australia and the U.K. in banning or severely restricting laser pointers.

I know most of you reading already know not to lase aircraft (or annoy strangers). These incidents *-- about one per day in the U.S. -- are adding up to strong pressure for a ban. If you can get the word out to others, that would be greatly appreciated. We need to change peoples' behavior, before it is too late.

If you search this forum with the term pilot, airplane, aircraft etc. you will find that active members in this community commonly refer to anyone in the news who have shone a laser at an aircraft as 'idiots' and discourage the behavior.

There will always be idiots who find it amusing to do such things, and it will be interesting to see what the outcome in AU will be, post banning.

I would have figured that the airline companies would take a proactive approach, and retro fit the planes with some sort of broadband coated windscreens to avoid such incident all together. I havenít heard much of anything involving lasers other than 532nm, and am guessing that they make up more than 90% of the reports. There are only 3 main colors that are readily available in high power at prices that appeal to the average 'idiot'. Would it not be a good idea for the airline companies to investigate possible solutions?

There are concerns in this world today with terrorist acts, and the airline industry. Knowing this should be more than enough reason to take a proactive stance, and eliminate the risk,period.

I would agree that itís not a feasible idea to expect pilots to wear goggles during critical points in flight. But we are not necessarily speaking of the hazards of the ignorant, rather the potential threat of the ones who have malicious intent.

I'm not sure how much they cost, but when purchasing a jumbo jet, the cockpit windows are worth pennies in comparison to the rest of the plane. So why havenít the big companies who own them take a proactive approach? We can educate and pass the word till we are blue in the face, but these incidents will still occur, and nothing seems to be getting done offensively.

Continue to arrest and prosecute the idiots of society, this is most definitely one of the logical steps to be taken, but putting the burden completely on law enforcement and the general public will most likely not solve this issue.

I would suggest that the airline companies shoulder some responsibility in this matter, as it is not impossible to protect their pilots, nor the hundereds of passengers in a single craft.

http://www.newport.com/Lab-Windows/5...3/catalog.aspx

"Product Description
Newport is pleased to offer lab windows from Glendale Laser one of the largest manufacturers of laser protective products. Their full range of polymer and glass filters are designed to meet the most demanding laser safety requirements for industrial, military, telecommunications, medical, R&D and specialty markets.
Glendale's polymer Diffused Viewing Only (DVO) designed lab windows maximizes visibility, while providing unsurpassed attenuation for today's most common lasers such as NdYag, CO2, Argon, 532 nm and YAG. These windows come in 2x3 ft or 3x4 ft sizes.
Their Laminated Glass Technology (LGT) lab windows are designed to provide highest visible light transmission with multiple wavelength coverage. Sizes for the glass windows are 100 mm x200 mm and 210 mm x297 mm. "



Just a thoughtÖ

*Edit* -Pilots rightly ask "why should I have to wear goggles every time I take off or land?"

My response would be, you should not have to. But if wearing a pair of goggles will save lives, why shouldnt you? If equipment is introduced to the industry that will not hinder the performance of their duties, and effectively protect them, why would they even question it? Thats just silly
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Default Re: Aircrafts

I personally agree about the term "idiots" for those who aim lasers at aircraft. The LaserPointerSafety.com website in part is geared towards them so I don't want to use it at the site, if you catch my drift.

Regarding active or broadband coated windscreens, I am not qualified on details of technology, cost, effectiveness, etc. I work with people who do (the SAE G-10T) so I can find out more.

I can say that the airline industry, which removes peanuts and magazines to save costs, will never voluntarily put an un-flight-tested coating on every cockpit window that will dim or block certain colors such as 532 green. I would like to see the bandpass on such a windscreen, to allow 530 and 534 but not 532.

I can also say that when it comes to political and economic pressure, the airlines will always win over laser pointer interests. Air travel is vital to how America works and vacations. Laser pointers are vital to just about no one, sorry to say. (We seemed to get along well without them up until the 1980s.)

So as interesting as it is to talk about the technology of giant bandpass coatings traveling at 700 mph, its not going to happen for civil aircraft under the current situation. Obviously this does have military applications so maybe we will see something there.

The aviation industry could be more proactive by training pilots in how to recognize and recover from a laser incident. It is relatively easy to recover from most incidents if you know what to do. ILDA has pressed for this for years. It is important not so much as a "solution" to the laser pointer problem. I agree with pilots they shouldn't have to put up with this s***. Pilot training is more important in case of a deliberate laser attack, or an accidental hit from a large multi-watt laser.

To cut down the number of laser incidents, the main solutions are either a ban or a quick and drastic behavior change on the part of laser pointer users. I'm afraid there is no cockpit technology or pilot training that would let aviation officials feel comfortable with the current number of idiots who aim lasers at aircraft.

PS: I put a FAQ at the website about goggles. And please go back and reread my previous discussion. I do not think it is correct to say that "goggles save lives". The drawbacks of routine wearing, such as limiting color vision, and the fact that no one goggle can adequately protect against the range of possible powers encountered, mean that goggles are a big frigging waste of time. Finally, in a practical sense, pilots and airlines are never going to agree to routine goggle wearing so there is no practical point in discussing this. (It may be interesting from a technical standpoint; I'd like to see three-wavelength bandpass goggle
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:45 PM #45
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Believe it or not, my cat activated the Post button before I finished typing or editing my last post. I was going to say, "I'd like to see the three-wavelength bandpass goggles that allow unencumbered viewing of indicator lights and CRT/LCD screens, and can also effectively protect against, say, a 60-watt YAG at a range of less than a mile (e.g., a deliberate attack)."

I will leave it at that for now since the cat wants to go out for a walk.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:52 PM #46
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Treat the kitty right, and it will treat you right! : :-X 8-)


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Old 11-21-2008, 12:25 AM #47
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ildadirect
Believe it or not, my cat activated the Post button before I finished typing or editing my last post. I was going to say, "I'd like to see the three-wavelength bandpass goggles that allow unencumbered viewing of indicator lights and CRT/LCD screens, and can also effectively protect against, say, a 60-watt YAG at a range of less than a mile (e.g., a deliberate attack)."

I will leave it at that for now since the cat wants to go out for a walk. *
I wasnt insinuating that goggles will save lives, but if they could (example) and "not hinder the pilots duties", why would they question it? *Iím not pushing the goggle idea, just curious why they would question a good solution (if it was). Itís not like their flight is 10mins having to fumble with goggles a hundred times a day...

I think that a solution on the airlines end is critical, especially if someone has a 60W YAG in their possession and bad intent. The fact that 5mW pointers are causing such chaos only serves as a prequel to the real hazards that exist.

Itís typical of the airlines to ignore a problem until itís too late. Given the gravity of the situation, it should not be taken lightly by them. And for those caught outside of an airport trying to down a plane, should be treated as if they were firing a gun at a school bus, swift and harsh..

Being a step ahead is something that should be forced by the government, and make the airlines do their part. I canít seem to find any statistics from AU since the ban was put in place. But people are still importing 3b lasers in AU and I canít see the problem completely disappearing.

Do you have stats on any incidents since the ban? I donít think anything has been posted on the forum, usually the threads are titled 'idiots made the news again' or something to that effect. And searching laser ban in AU on google returns article after article swamped with old news.

BTW this is a great addition to the forum for n00bs and awareness in general, thanks for your posts and links
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:45 AM #48
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Default Re: Aircrafts

Quote:
Laser pointers are vital to just about no one, sorry to say. (We seemed to get along well without them up until the 1980s.)
Yeah and we got along fine without computers until the 1980s as well....
and way... way...*before that we got along well without cars.... :-?

Do you go to work on your horse.... :

With out laser pointers to verify... the LaserBee I Laser Power Meter would
probably never have been designed...

Boy... you're on the wrong forum with Anti-Laser-Pointer statements like that.... *:P
maybe an Amish forum.... 8-)

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