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View from aircraft

ChrisWhit

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As we were coming to the "final decent" approaching the airport, I couldn't help but to contemplate and imagine. "I'm in the air on the other side of the fence, about where I always see planes fly over coming out of a cloud or treeline."

My curiosity is I wonder what this 5watt 445nm laser with a 3.3x beam expander:





would look like shining from the backyard of the house in yellow circle, straight up into the air from the ground? Shot across the sky, obviously not at the plane. Would it be a big obvious blue beam that draws everyone's attention, or would it be just a little shimmery glittering going on "down there"? I'm just trying to visualize what these lasers really look like from the air. I've actually been snuck up on by a plane right about this same distance while shooting up just above the treeline. Nothing bad happened.. just an OOOPS! moment.

 
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Razako

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Hopefully someone can help you out with this. I don't know personally. I think it would just look like a distant blue or green spotlight depending on the altitude of the plane. In the picture you linked, I very much doubt people in the plane would notice much of anything unless you were aiming at them. They might look down and see a tiny bit of blue light down there.
 

RedCowboy

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Even if you do not illuminate the cockpit of an aircraft, if they see you lasing in their direction or at all it can generate an incident report, coming technology will pinpoint the ground source origination point within feet.

You do not want to let aircraft see you lasing into the sky at all, it could get serious about seemingly nothing, you must not let your laser shine near any aircraft, and if there is a plane over your left shoulder that does not mean you can point to your right, you want to be above reproach, you are not allowed any mistakes, it is serious, just don't let it happen.

You can skip ahead to 22 seconds.


Rewards offered to nosey neighbors who don't now star pointing from aircraft attacks, I am staying out of the sky.


Here you see fireworks on the beach, some of these people waving lasers may not see the airplane and at that distance would not blind a pilot, but it's still a very big deal and plane mounted cameras will document incident reports in the near future, don't be made an example of for not knowing, keep your beans out of sight of aircraft. If you see or hear a plane do not point to the sky at all, it's not worth the risk that your actions may be misunderstood.

 
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ChrisWhit

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Maybe I didn't word the original post properly. I'm not debating whether or not i should shoot lasers while aircraft are flying overhead nor am I looking for confirmation that it's 'really not visible so go ahead and fire away'. I really was wondering what these lasers look like from "up there". More of just mere curiosity.. Just to clarify.. :)
@Red Cowboy: Thanks for the videos
 
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Shakenawake

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um yeah it'd be super visible. especially with corrective optics but even without. about the only ones that couldnt be seen in that situation are low powered reds and violets. redcowboy is right. best not to do when they could be in the sky. only time I point at the sky is when I'm out in BFE with a perfectly clear sky and can see every little star and do a thorough scan of the sky to make sure there are no planes. as red said, even them seeing one constitutes an "incident". you better believe that the news will conflate those incidents with actual attacks, we don't want to give them any more ammo than they have already against this hobby. it's becoming more and more restricted all the time
 

Razako

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Would a plane really be able to see a laser pointing into a totally different part of the sky if they were 5+ miles away and at cruising altitude? Obviously they'd see if you were lasing at them, but it seems really far fetched that they'd notice a random laser beam going into a totally different patch of the sky. Are there any good videos showing what a beam looks like from several miles away? All of the ones I've seen show beams pointing at the viewer.
 
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ChrisWhit

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I was wondering the same thing. And who knows what power those lasers were in the videos.. Most likely were just little less than 100mw 532s if even that. The ones I wanna see are in an entirely different class
 
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Dcrets

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Found this site that shows real time flights worldwide. Private and commercial. There are others that do the same thing which I also checked out that show the same flights. Zoom into your area and it shows everything flying. Click on the plane and it shows what it is, what airline and where it's going and where it came from. Found Learjets, Beechcraft and a bunch of others. Really is pretty neat. Something to check before going outside.
https://www.flightradar24.com/32.8,-97.11/11
 
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Benm

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It would surely be visible, but probably not dangerous in the sence of exceeding MPE.

I live in a highrise and get some solar reflections off lower buildings under various conditions. One of them is a big shiny rotating mercedes benz star on top of a dealership about a mile or so away.

If the angle of the sun is just right i get pulses off light coming off that that are VERY visible, and distracting even when working besides a window. This only happens for something like 10-20 minutes on a sunny day and only during a few weeks since the distance is so large and the solar angle has to be just right to get the effect.

One that is WAY brighter is the reflection from a photovoltaic array installed last year on the rootop of a low building about 150 meters away. When the angle is just right, it's reflection is so bright i can easily see it light up my ceiling, and it's painful to look at (so i dont).

I'd imagine that pilots would encounter things like these quite regularly - sun reflecting of greenhouses and things like that.

The reflection of those solar panels is so bad that it would be comparable to driving towards the sunset with the sun straight in your face, but a bit worse since the sun is actually a lot higher up in the sky and not filtered by the atmosphere that much (it looks white rather than yellow-orange).
 

paul1598419

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The single most important thing I saw from the videos presented here is that the lasers were only visible when pointed at the aircraft, and these were low flying planes. As soon as the pointer was not aimed at, or toward the aircraft, it was no longer visible at all.
 

Razako

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The single most important thing I saw from the videos presented here is that the lasers were only visible when pointed at the aircraft, and these were low flying planes. As soon as the pointer was not aimed at, or toward the aircraft, it was no longer visible at all.
That's what I'm thinking. Doesn't matter if it's a class IV laser, it won't be very visible to an aircraft it isn't aimed at. The beam viewed from the sides is less bright than looking at a little LED. You wouldn't see a LED from miles away.
 
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Dr_Evil

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Found this site that shows real time flights worldwide. Private and commercial. There are others that do the same thing which I also checked out that show the same flights. Zoom into your area and it shows everything flying. Click on the plane and it shows what it is, what airline and where it's going and where it came from. Found Learjets, Beechcraft and a bunch of others. Really is pretty neat. Something to check before going outside.
https://www.flightradar24.com/32.8,-97.11/11
That does not show military aircraft unless they submit their flight plan and/or ask for flight following. They are not required too do that. I have that app on my phone and have seen many aircraft in the sky that don't show up in the app.
 

Dcrets

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That does not show military aircraft unless they submit their flight plan and/or ask for flight following. They are not required too do that. I have that app on my phone and have seen many aircraft in the sky that don't show up in the app.
i had wondered about that. I have a reserve base near me but they seldom fly at night that I've seen. Next time I see a military aircraft take off I'll check. I'm close enough that I can usually hear them.
 
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blasterman

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Find a long stretch of road out in the country with a friend, park your laser (and friend) in one spot, and drive the distance you want to emulate as aircraft altitude. Have your friend shine the laser at your car. That right there will give you a pretty close idea of what the laser will look like shining in a cock pit of an aircraft. You don't need to fly an airplane to simulate the effects of a laser strike.
 

747

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Find a long stretch of road out in the country with a friend, park your laser (and friend) in one spot, and drive the distance you want to emulate as aircraft altitude. Have your friend shine the laser at your car. That right there will give you a pretty close idea of what the laser will look like shining in a cock pit of an aircraft. You don't need to fly an airplane to simulate the effects of a laser strike.
This is a good idea.. Don't risk it with a plane , its riskey in this day and age .. Just My 2c.
 




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