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Old 06-28-2011, 02:32 AM #1
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Default Clouds?

So it's a cloudy night and I just got my 50mW green laser in the mail today. I decided to test it outside. When pointing it towards the sky I stopped because I wasn't sure if the beam travels straight through the clouds and could possibly hit a plane that is in flight.

Since I can't see any planes due to the clouds, there was no way to tell if my beam could go through the clouds whether or not a plane was in my line of sight.


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Old 06-28-2011, 04:08 AM #2
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Default Re: Clouds?

I think it's unlikely that your 50mW green can penetrate a cloud cover to hit something on the other side.
You sound like you're informed and aware, as long as you exercise caution you should be fine.
Read this entertaining thread for more info on the subject: Arrests?
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:29 PM #3
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Default Re: Clouds?

well, I'm no professional but I'd imagine it being difficult to hit a plane with a laser, with instability and all, so if you're just pointing it up in the night sky, I believe the chances of you hitting a plane are one in 1,925,600, chances of hitting the cockpit (where danger comes into play) is one in 6,619,200. This is also assuming you're keeping it perfectly still and you point it on for one second, but these numbers don't really mean anything. Also, just saying a lot of planes around here look like this , so the cockpit window is rather well protected from bottom laser assults. This being said, don't shine your laser at a plane, but shining a laser and seeing a dot on the clouds is one of the coolest things for me. If I look through my glasses, I can see the dot of a 1mw red from 2002 on the clouds on a REALLY dense cloudcover at night.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:23 PM #4
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Default Re: Clouds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenzir View Post
well, I'm no professional but I'd imagine it being difficult to hit a plane with a laser, with instability and all, so if you're just pointing it up in the night sky, I believe the chances of you hitting a plane are one in 1,925,600, chances of hitting the cockpit (where danger comes into play) is one in 6,619,200. This is also assuming you're keeping it perfectly still and you point it on for one second, but these numbers don't really mean anything. Also, just saying a lot of planes around here look like this , so the cockpit window is rather well protected from bottom laser assults. This being said, don't shine your laser at a plane, but shining a laser and seeing a dot on the clouds is one of the coolest things for me. If I look through my glasses, I can see the dot of a 1mw red from 2002 on the clouds on a REALLY dense cloudcover at night.
Just curious where you derived those probabilities from ? I am quite interested in probability theory.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:10 AM #5
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Default Re: Clouds?

As long as the cloud aren't light & wispy I wouldn't be too worried.
Very glad your concerned tho, too many aren't.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:18 AM #6
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Default Re: Clouds?

I was out using my Spartan in the fog, and it was a bit cloudy. I did spot 2 planes in a non-cloudy sector.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:46 PM #7
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Default Re: Clouds?

I am a private pilot with almost 20 years flying experience, as well as an active laser enthusiast. One thing I can tell you is that NO airplane has windows which see straight down. Only when performing steep bank turns can the ground directly below the plane be seen. Helicopters, on the other hand, often do have windows which provide a view of the ground below. What's the significance of this? So long as a laser beam is pointed straight up toward the zenith, it is extremely unlikely that a fixed-wing aircraft could be affected. And since helicopters tend to fly much slower and lower to the ground, they are likely to be heard before they can be seen. I feel comfortable pointing my laser beams straight up into the sky so long as I take a listen first for any whirlybirds.
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