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ArcticMyst Security by Avery

Is it legal to point a 150mw green laser in the sky? In the US?

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Welcome to LPF! :)

Lasers have come down in price incredibly over the past few years. The kind of power you could produce now is astonishing compared to what was available only 5-6 years ago, from a price point perspective.



That's good to know... I always wonder how inflated the reports are, considering that by the book at least, any time a pilot sees a laser beam, not just direct hit to the cockpit, they are supposed to report it.

I would imagine, unless ground units are dispatched right away, too many people would get away with it though.

Have you heard of any non green laser pointer incidents?


Most of the incidents I have heard about came out of the New York area, specifically LaGuardia (KLGA) - It probably has a lot to do with the density of people. There are other areas that have laser tracking teams ready, and they have the ability to triangulate the location of the laser to within maybe 10-20 feet. Some people have done this from their backyards and of course couldn't run away from the police. But even those on mountain tops, or forest preserves where the population density is sparse get caught because they cant evade the tracking fast enough.

When you fly at night the lights in the cockpit are turned very low, so that you can easily see the ground and other traffic. If a laser hits your eyes and your eyes are in low light (pupil wide open) - it doesn't have to do permanent damage to really cause a problem (especially on arrival and departure).

I have seen lasers pointed at my plane at altitude and never even reported it. At that distance, approximately 7 miles up and from directly above the laser it is difficult to shine into the cockpit. As the laser gets more offset from directly below, the distance increases rapidly. By the time it is at an angle it can even enter the cockpit and reach the eye it may be 100 miles away.. and by even 7 miles up through the haze and pollution layers it is barely even noticeable and the dot is measured in feet not mm's

I look forward to answering more questions, I have to go.

J
 





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IMO every cockpit should have a fairly high power laser for use as self-defence by the pilots against any attempt to disrupt or God-forbid- highjack any aircraft- any lasering like this cannot do any damage to the aircraft(unlike a firearm) and would be very easy to use only on the bad guy(s) and if some lasering happened to hit any of the other passengers it would not be all that harmful and a good trade-off IMO to getting highjacked.

I am also of the opinion that police should be armed with a laser- it would surely be non-lethal, very effective and not all that expensive. I have shown my lasers to several law enforcement friends and every one agreed. Some considered getting one on their own and carrying it.

hak
 
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There are many defense mechanisms in place which I cannot disclose for obvious reasons. If all the other defenses were not effective a laser wouldn't be a good enough weapon unfortunately. It is a very small space and by the time they entered the cockpit only deadly force should be used. Perhaps a built in laser outside the cockpit - but it would not be a last line of defense option.

Despite what you've seen or heard - a bullet hole in the hull of the plane will not be a very big deal. In a small plane like a regional jet - even if it did put a hole it wouldn't cause a rapid decompression. I've had entire door seals fail and we were able to maintain cabin pressure even at high altitude.

Before 911 I would have agreed with you - but now we have to treat any attempt as a suicide attack and not just a diversion to a different destination and being held for ransom. Sad isn't it?

But I digress - back to lasers, while I cannot give you legal advice - I would say to be very cognizant of aircraft and make sure no laser is pointed in the general direction - not even sweeping or for just a second. I have used lasers in the past and used them to point at stars, the moon, etc.

To those thinking that because they got away with it before they are untouchable - I would warn that those caught have been charged with serious crimes including interference with flight crews in flight - a federal (not local or statutory) felony, as well as various other violations under 14 CFR.

I wouldn't mind seeing FA armed with lasers - since they are non lethal - if it were to fall into the wrong hands it wouldn't be too horrible.

From what I have read so far on this site - no one wants to hurt anyone. Keep in mind that when we fly at night we dim our cockpit and instruments to extremely low levels. If hit my even low power lasers the eyes would take a while to see again - and may loose the ability to see other traffic, control the plane or inadvertently creat a CFIT accident. Unlike aircraft enroute - aircraft below 10,000' MSL are at the highest risk. In rare occupancies temporary blindness (like looking into a flashlight at night and being unable to see things for a while)- may last so long it won't dissipate in time for landing - which is really bad. You may not know this but only very large - long range aircraft have auto land capabilities. Most aircraft do not.

Also - most small aircraft like pipers and cessnas do not have even a basic autopilot. If a pilot was mistaking lay hit with laser radiation it could be fatal within seconds.

Same goes for low ceilings (low cloud cover) - listen for aircraft before shining into these as well. As you know lasers can penetrate quite far in fog - and clouds are identical to fog except in its height above the ground.

----- by the way ----

If you are looking for fog conditions - just look at the temperature - dew point. If they are within 5 degrees of each other fog is very likely. If you notice these are 10 degrees or so apart and the sun has not yet set. - you know the temperature is about to fall

There are many types of fog. You can look it up on google. Upslope, radiation advection and radiation are a few. If you learn more about them you may better find the condition you want.

Also, with high pressure there is more "dirt" in the air -

If you want more information please ask. I know I need help making or buying my next laser. About 20 years ago I made lasers out of everything I could get my hands on. Hene, jello, co2 etc. I want a 250-500mw green for starters - please help me. Get back into it

J
 
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If you want more information please ask. I know I need help making or buying my next laser. About 20 years ago I made lasers out of everything I could get my hands on. Hene, jello, co2 etc. I want a 250-500mw green for starters - please help me. Get back into it

J

There is a group buy going on right now for skylasers: http://laserpointerforums.com/f55/round-2-skylaser-laserbtb-groupbuy-79091.html

You may want to also check out Jetlasers.

Both of these companies offer great lasers, at good prices. There is simply no comparing them to either the budget laser companies, or the drop shippers who can't tell a a flashlight from a laser.

Edit: As defenses for the cockpit go, I like the El Al approach... :eg:
 
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XAP3X

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I would recommend checking websites that display where planes are live with tracking then you know weather or not to shine above you.
 
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There is a group buy going on right now for skylasers: http://laserpointerforums.com/f55/round-2-skylaser-laserbtb-groupbuy-79091.html

You may want to also check out Jetlasers.

Both of these companies offer great lasers, at good prices. There is simply no comparing them to either the budget laser companies, or the drop shippers who can't tell a a flashlight from a laser.

Edit: As defenses for the cockpit go, I like the El Al approach... :eg:

Omg - I put all this info and all of a sudden the page refreshed and poof - all this great info gone. I will answer later -

In the mean time - this site for burning man posted links to forms that will get you laser show approval from the FAA

ePlaya ? View topic - Who's done a NOTAM at Burning Man?

Jason
 
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I would recommend checking websites that display where planes are live with tracking then you know weather or not to shine above you.

That may work if you live in a rural area, but the position displayed on sites like flightaware.com lags a bit. For security reasons the exact position is never displayed.

Don't forget that military and government aircraft (air force 1 for example) are not always displayed on aircraft tracking websites. Heck, some of the aircraft don't even show up on Radar (F22, B2, etc).

If you see anything in the sky that is moving, it makes sense not to aim directly at it.

Also, when it comes to satellites - many of them have ccd cameras and sensors similar to ccd's - and if you shine even a relatively low powered laser directly into the sensor - it can permanently damage the sensor. You can imagine how much damage could be done in just a few seconds.

I would like to know about warnlaser.com - anyone have any feedback?

J
 
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I would like to know about warnlaser.com - anyone have any feedback?

J

Yup, not a good company. Lasers are overpriced, and typically underspec.

Go with a known company (Laserglow, optronics, jetlasers, slylasers, or on the lower end lazerer, and o-like) or a forum builder instead.
 
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Thanks for the heads up. Was about to get a green laser from them.

I have been thinking about using lasers in the cockpit. I still think it makes a lousy weapon against terrorism, but I see the potential for search & rescue.

In those roles every little bit can help - daylight best wavelength is around 555 and night is 505nm (if memory serves). I would like to test out a double laser in one rig, one for daylight and one for dark.

If anyone wants to make one I can test it and share results

J
 
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IMO lasers make for really crappy weapons. Personally if I was in your position, I would want the following, in order of what is actually permitted; a gun, a tazer, a cattle prod, a bat, a knife.

Actually a shotgun would probably work best.

Aside from DPSS, there are really no 505nm lasers right now... best you can do is get 532nm, which you already are. Not really sure what you mean by best wavelength.
 

9Ring

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this is a signal to free speech.

i target my lasrs at stars........bullshit i'm trying to interfere with any take off or landing aircraft.

the goverment is being anal......my lasers never come anywayeres near an aircrfaft.


Lasers are the future.....and wy can we not participat in it
 
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this is a signal to free speech.

i target my lasrs at stars........bullshit i'm trying to interfere with any take off or landing aircraft.

the goverment is being anal......my lasers never come anywayeres near an aircrfaft.


Lasers are the future.....and wy can we not participat in it



Howdy,

Seems like you are a little upset at the government - and hey, I don't blame you. But you seem upset at my posts - and I don't know where that came from. I am a laser enthusiast myself - I was building lasers 23 years ago - and continue to use lasers.

You just have to be a good citizen - a fellow human - part of a society. If a plane is flying above just do your best to avoid hitting the plane or coming close enough to alert the pilots or even passengers.

I would venture to say you've done nothing wrong - and I believe you should still be able to do whatever you want to on your property and in general wherever you go as long as you are safe about it.

Just remember while you may be using safety glasses to protect yOurself - the flight crews do not.... And with the power we are seeing today in the watt not mw range.

I can tell you that if someone were to lase a plane. During takeoff for instance - could be fatal!! All I chimed in was about how lasers and aviation mix - I never said that you were doing anything wrong.
 
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Also, when it comes to satellites - many of them have ccd cameras and sensors similar to ccd's - and if you shine even a relatively low powered laser directly into the sensor - it can permanently damage the sensor. You can imagine how much damage could be done in just a few seconds.

I don't think satellites can be damaged by ground-based lasers. Satellites orbit at hundreds of kilometres (minimum ~200km), and a beam from a handheld laser will have diverged far beyond any damage threshold.
 
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I don't think satellites can be damaged by ground-based lasers. Satellites orbit at hundreds of kilometres (minimum ~200km), and a beam from a handheld laser will have diverged far beyond any damage threshold.

Yup, we're not quite there yet. A satellite would be able to detect the laser, if you happen to hit a sensor, but it's not possible for it to sustain any damage.

An experiment was done to shine a laser at the ISS... it was a success, and the blue light was seen on station, but nowhere near the same intensity as say sunlight.
 
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I don't think satellites can be damaged by ground-based lasers. Satellites orbit at hundreds of kilometres (minimum ~200km), and a beam from a handheld laser will have diverged far beyond any damage threshold.

Handhelds - no - but there are lab lasers that could damage something. But I agree that handhelds, at least for the foreseeable future are harmless.

I am new to your site - so I am sorry if this is well known here, but there was a ground based laser called MTHEL (should be declassified by now) that did damage a sky satellite during a test in white sands MR - I'm not sure how much is known publicly. Later, a similar laser was mounted on a rotating nosed 747 as a testbed for the ballistic missile defense system.

both ground and air based systems have the potential to destroy a satellite - but non weapon grade lasers can damage imagery sensors.

Are these lasers discussed at all here? I could be repeating common knowledge unknowingly.

In any rate - to protect from re-occurrence those lasers now focus the beam so that if it misses it would pass through a focal point and disperse to non destructive power well before reaching space based assets. Before the accidental damage the beam was not focused.

But yes. I agree. Handhelds are no threat for that. Sorry for making it seem that way - thanks for correcting me.

J
 
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FYI - I have been in and out of the hospital - I have been home but in a ton of pain. In about 24 hours I have an extremely scary surgery - I hope to be out of ICU within 3 weeks - and when I do I have a long road to recovery and PT.

I got my first relatively high powered laser 3 days ago - 532nm 511mw total power (27mw IR / 484mw vis) - I am stoked. The goggles were absent from shipment and desperately need a few pairs of 532nm and IR for me and a couple of friends. Where is your favorite places to get goggles respectfully.

Are there any goggles that allow you to see the beam/dot?

J
 




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