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Old 01-03-2015, 02:33 AM #1
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Default Lasers and proximity to an airport.

I live about 5 miles from an airport. However, there seems to be FAA limits as to what powers of lasers are allowed. However some of these seem very, very low because they are measured in pico and nano watts of power.



So my question is:

How concerned should I be about shining a laser into the sky in my back yard considering the airport is a very small and not busy airport (There's roughly 7000 people in my town total).



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Old 01-03-2015, 02:46 AM #2
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

This is not good, not good, too tight. I've never seen this before.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:50 AM #3
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

In the US if you are within 10 miles of any airport don't even shine a laser outside. You would need a variance from the FAA. At only 5 miles your laser may be easily visible to any pilots taking off or landing and may well be visible from the airport itself. If that happens you will be in big trouble! Also even shining a laser in the flight path of an aircraft is a federal crime, it doesn't have to be pointed at the aircraft. It doesn't matter how small your town or airport are, you would be taking a big risk.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:00 AM #4
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Visible lasers, right?
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:15 AM #5
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan View Post
Visible lasers, right?
That's a good question, I would assume all lasers but I would think only military or law enforcement aircraft or government operated drones would be night vision equipped to see IR, and if you mean UV is there even a way to see it?

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Old 01-03-2015, 03:18 AM #6
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Right, the problem is there are little airports everywhere. I was looking on Google maps and there are literally airports scattered every 25 miles or so. Meaning you would have to drive out to the literal middle of nowhere to find a spot that isn't within 10 nautical miles of some sort of airport. However, most of these airports see less than half a dozen takeoffs and landings per week as they are all very small airports. It's nothing compared to even a semi major airport that might have 500,000 combined takeoffs and landings of aircraft. I'm coming to the conclusion that there are a crapload of airports out there. How many of you guys actually insure that you are indeed 10 miles away from your nearest airport? Most of the time airports are close enough to a town/city that the entire town is within the critical flight zone.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:22 AM #7
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Well, with IR lasers and a video camera you could still have fun watching your beam in the sky that way and not bother any pilots. I believe the laws written for lasers affecting pilots is only for visible lasers.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:26 AM #8
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

The closest airport to me is more like 15 miles and the other one is at least 20, however I frequently have aircraft fly directly overhead including helicopters so I have never pointed one in the sky here.

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Old 01-03-2015, 03:26 AM #9
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

There is an airport two miles (as the bird flies) from my house and I still use my laser outside (1.6w 445nm) although it is probably stupid.

Recently a jet plane crashed while landing at the airport. So I think it may be easier to get bitten. I just use it briefly, like two or three seconds at the most. Usually just pulsing it.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:31 AM #10
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

I've done much worse within about 5 miles to an airport in the past, a busy international airport no less, at a power level I won't say now, but I was completely unaware I was breaking the law, but at the same time, their flight pattern wasn't over where I was doing that either, if it was, I probably would have been in trouble and I was doing it almost every night for months. Shyt!
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:36 AM #11
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

So, I found this:

The Normal Flight Zone covers all other airspace. The light intensity must be less than 2.5 milliwatts per square centimeter (2500 μW/cm²). This is about half of the Class 3R power level, and is not considered hazardous for a brief exposure.

So it must not be legal to shine nearly any laser into the sky without a variance?
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:40 AM #12
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Well, I guess that means you are only OK if you don't miff someone off who has the authority to cite you for it.
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"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness..." - Max Planck. "Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real" - Neils Bohr. "What we call physical things and events do not exist independently of subjective experience..." - Deepak Chopra.

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Old 01-03-2015, 03:45 AM #13
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan View Post
Well, with IR lasers and a video camera you could still have fun watching your beam in the sky that way and not bother any pilots. I believe the laws written for lasers affecting pilots is only for visible lasers.
I remember seeing a YouTube video where some guy with a powerful IR laser was shining it around in some town and at buildings up to a mile or more away and it looked like a really bright spotlight. I think it was in a foreign city though. Not sure if that would be legal either. I suspect one day someone will get caught and prosecuted and there will be a precedent setting case to decide if it's legal or not.

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Old 01-03-2015, 03:49 AM #14
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

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Originally Posted by Pi R Squared View Post
I remember seeing a YouTube video where some guy with a powerful IR laser was shining it around in some town and at buildings up to a mile or more away and it looked like a really bright spotlight. I think it was in a foreign city though. Not sure if that would be legal either. I suspect one day someone will get caught and prosecuted and there will be a precedent setting case to decide if it's legal or not.

Alan
I wonder what the security cameras would see.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:51 AM #15
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

Hummm.... well, I only want to play with IR a little, I don't think I will be doing it enough to get into trouble but if someone were to be malicious and point at aircraft with night vision gear in them, I am sure there are several different laws that would fall under for prosecution, our law enforcements most favorite activity aside from coffee and donuts.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:25 AM #16
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Default Re: Lasers and proximity to an airport.

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Originally Posted by USAbro View Post
I wonder what the security cameras would see.
Enough to triangulate your location? Or am I too paranoid?

It's worth mentioning here too for those in the US that don't know, the list of companies on the import ban was updated one month ago and lists some companies people here buy from. The List also known as the DWPE list or "Detention Without Physical Examination" can be found on the FDA site here: Import Alert 95-04
Our powerful lasers are legal to own but there are plenty of ways to break the law with one. They just don't want too many people to be able to have powerful battery powered lasers they might go around shining outside in a questionable way. So they are making it more difficult to buy them.

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