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Possible solution to this plane problem

HIMNL9

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Well, no, some utility the Boeing unit may have ..... i mean, set it for reply in automatic against any idiot that shine a pointer in the pilot's eyes ..... i mean, the system detect a pointer shining at pilot, track the target, and reply with a pulse ..... ZOT, one less idiot around ..... :p :D
 

Benm

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cause i doubt that an AR coating AND a wavelenght-selective absorption coating can be done one over the other and still work good, not interferring .....
What would be the problem? The absorbing coating can have the same refractive index as the glass, it could even be done within the glass on new productions. This would in no way interfere with a dielectric AR coating deposited on the surface.

Downside is it will only work for one wavelength, so only green lasers would be blocked. To devise a coating that blocks all commonly available laser wavelengths (660-630, 532, 473?, 400-410) that still passes a usable amount of light would be very difficult.
 

davidgdg

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This is all very interesting but the "plane problem" is only a problem because hysterical journalists, band-wagon-jumping politicians and mendacious law enforcement authorities have made it into a problem. The objective risk posed to an aircraft by a laser pointer being shone from the ground onto the underside of a plane at a distance of hundreds or thousands of feet are for all practical purposes nil.

If somebody can show otherwise, I'd be happy to listen, but basically the whole issue seems to involve a completely disproportionate respone by the authorities to a non-problem.
 
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This is all very interesting but the "plane problem" is only a problem because hysterical journalists, band-wagon-jumping politicians and mendacious law enforcement authorities have made it into a problem. The objective risk posed to an aircraft by a laser pointer being shone from the ground onto the underside of a plane at a distance of hundreds or thousands of feet are for all practical purposes nil.

If somebody can show otherwise, I'd be happy to listen, but basically the whole issue seems to involve a completely disproportionate respone by the authorities to a non-problem.
The risk was never, AFAIK, about actually hurting the plane with the laser, or permanently blinding a pilot. It's flash blindness and distraction during landing. A bright green flash on the cockpit window could be a lot like a camera flash to night-adjusted eyes.

Really, go stand next to an airport sometime. I live under a flightpath, and I could hit the cockpit window of every single plane that lands here with a laser if I wanted to, and I could hit that cockpit window easily within about 15 seconds of when the plane touches down. Easily. Would I be close enough to permanently blind a pilot? No, not likely. Would a bright green produce a bright enough flash to distract the pilot of possibly give him a few seconds of flash blindness a la a camera flash? Absolutely.

People act like it would be impossible to hit the cockpit of a plane with a laser. When the plane is at altitude, sure, they're miles away and it would be basically impossible. But when a plane is on final approach to land, it would be very easy to do, very easy indeed.
 

HIMNL9

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..... the "plane problem" is only a problem because hysterical journalists, band-wagon-jumping politicians and mendacious law enforcement authorities have made it into a problem. .....
I know my words can be seen as "bad", but ..... have you ever seen any politicians / magistrates / journalists that, having the opportunity to choose between a helpful, but anonymous, serious discussion for find a solution to a problem and a practical application of it, and a unhelpful, but with a lot of mediatic resonance and personal promotion, hysterical rush "burn-the-witch" style, have choosed the first one ? .....

Personally, not, but i'm optimist, so i always think that, somewhere in the world, maybe also just for error :p, this can be happened, at least one time ..... :D
 

Benm

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But when a plane is on final approach to land, it would be very easy to do, very easy indeed.
It would, but as you state, you live in the flightpath. Some airports have residential areas not far from the end of the runway, and from there it would be possible. But i suppose it wouldnt be that hard to catch whoever shines the laser in that case - its likely to be visible even from the control tower of the airfield, good enough to take a picture as evidence clearly pointing out even which house the beam is coming from.
 

aryntha

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Just putting in my two cents here: I'm a pilot (as well as a laser enthusiast.. Yeah, I know, rare.) -- Color coming up from the ground, usually at an upward angle,is VERY important, and not just red and white.

Certain approach indicators depend on green; airport beacons themselves are often quite similar to the color of a 532nm DPSS and a pilot could get disoriented and confuse a laser in the distance for an airport location beacon.

Taxiway markings depend on blue lighting, and incidents (very dangerous!) of pilots landing on taxiways instead of runways have happened.

The marker and anticollision lights, yes, there's green and red, and need to be visible to tell at a glance at night which way other aircraft are heading, but IMO those are less of an issue than ground and facility lighting. (Though I may have become complacent and too dependent on TCAS...)

So, really, no, *no* color can be filtered. Filtering green would mess up civilian airport beacons (and determining them from military, closed airports, etc) - PAPI/VASI (certain types) and -- here's one other interesting one to think about:

If your radio is out, the tower has to communicate to you with - yep - light gun signals. These signals can be solid red, flashing red, solid green, flashing green. And are VERY similar in characteristic to a laser pointer.

An example:



Pilots are trained to look for these signals *even if their radio is not out* - so it is VERY possible for a pilot to think that some funboy on the ground with a laser pointer could be the tower sending the plane light gun signals because the tower's radio is out.

So really the talk of filtering would not work. And lasers pointed at planes are dangerous for more reasons than just distraction.

All of the above said: I am a pilot, and I love lasers and am glad I've found this community. I am NOT for any laws banning lasers. I've never been tagged with a laser in the cockpit, (and unfortunately the FAA would probably ground me if I carried my Aq-20 with me to respond in blue from the cockpit to the ground, if I ever got flashed with green. :) )

In any case, there are a lot of reasons why lasers can be a problem for pilots. But I don't think "bans" solve much of anything.
 
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I think the problem doesn't have anything to do with it not working. I think its all a matter of expense....
 

aryntha

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I think the problem doesn't have anything to do with it not working. I think its all a matter of expense....
...Uhh, how do you mean? Pilots need to see red, so red has to pass through aircraft windows. Pilots need to see green, so green has to pass through aircraft windows.

If you mean "a matter of expense" as "changing all lighting and signals to monochrome, filtering everything but that, and retraining every pilot on earth into a less visually certain and much more 'unsafe' system", then... yeah, i guess you're right?

But as a matter of reality, no, there's no way to filter out lasers - no matter how expensive the coatings are - because you'll be filtering out neccessary signals.

PAPI/VASI indicators: Use red, white, amber and green lights to indicate glide slope.
Tower light gun signals: Use red, white, and green lights to indicate emergencies and instructions.
Runway markings and taxiway markings: Use blue, white, and red lights to indicate thresholds, edges, and borders.
Military/civilian aircraft beacons: Use white, green and red lights to indicate type of airport and status.


... So we have signals that pilots need to see that are: Red, white, green, blue, and amber.

So to make filtering "work", -- say money is no object: which ones are you going to filter out? (Seriously... That's not rhetorical.)

I don't think there's anything that could be used as an aircraft glass coating that could *just* filter out 532nm, but not 534 and not 531.
 
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I don't think there's anything that could be used as an aircraft glass coating that could *just* filter out 532nm, but not 534 and not 531.
You make a good point. I think green is the only color they should change on the air traffic controlling color spectrum. Because i'm pretty sure (without any statistical evidence) that 99% of lasers @ aircraft are 532nm. If somebody where so into lasers that they where to obtain a red 200mW+, then that person would most likely be responsible with laser safety, and know the limits on that laser. After all, 532nm is about ~60x more bright then green...
 

VW

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Develop a better society were there are less retards...
 




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