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Guru
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Lasers and Aircraft - Follow Up

02/23/2011 12:10 PM

Recently there have been some discussions here on CR4 about the dangers of laser pointers to commercial aircraft. One of my comments was that there were already goggles used by military pilots to prevent (or at least minimize) the threat of lasers to the pilots' eyes. I thought it would be easy enough for a similar set of goggles (or eye wear of some sort) to be made available for commercial airline pilots.

As it turns out, one of the advertisers on GlobalSpec, Kentek, already makes a set of goggles that could be purchased by the airlines for their pilots to use to prevent any harm from the 'dreaded' green laser pointer. Here is a screen shot from Kentek's website showing goggles that have an optical density of 7+ at 532 nm, which would thus effectively block the light from a green laser pointer. Otherwise, the goggle lenses are essentially clear, and thus would not affect any operations within the cockpit. At $639, they'd be cheap at twice the price. I provide a link, below.

http://www.kenteklaserstore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=KXL-C500C

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Guru
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#1

Re: Lasers and Aircraft - Follow Up

02/23/2011 12:34 PM

Nice detective work! If I was a pilot, I'd invest in a pair, whether the airlines reimbursed me or not.

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Guru
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#2

Re: Lasers and Aircraft - Follow Up

02/24/2011 8:53 AM

Even an attenuated distraction can divert a pilot's attention. I suspect they are more interested in eliminating the threat completely.

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Guru

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#3

Re: Lasers and Aircraft - Follow Up

02/24/2011 10:24 AM

Now to get the cameras mounted to photograph the laser track. Just think of all the excitement and energy involved in finding the apartment and crashing down doors and arresting the ten year old kids involved! How excititing! Might make for a good new reality program! Spawn a whole new industry!

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Guru
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#4

Re: Lasers and Aircraft - Follow Up

02/24/2011 12:41 PM

Many here have disputed that this could cause any problems, due to the angles needed to hit the cockpit, etc. But the fact is... it iS a problem, whether we believe it or not; to the extent that legislation has been passed in several countries. So despite some of us being dubious regarding the validity of the problem, it does exist, it has for a while and it is growing at an alarming rate. These goggles seem like a very good defense.

Here is a section an article referring to the effects it has on pilots:

In 2004, the FAA carried out assessments of how laser lights might affect pilots at various stages of flight. These were performed under simulated conditions and they all involved laser lights beamed at a range of levels that were considered safe for the eyes. The highest beam strength resulted in over 50 per cent of the participating pilots saying that they found it difficult to carry on flying, and some sought to block the light out. Four of the pilots responded by aborting their planned landings, in favour of a second approach, while a further five said that, under real conditions, they would have done the same.

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Guru

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#5

Re: Lasers and Aircraft - Follow Up

02/24/2011 10:08 PM

If they had some that looked like Ray ban's and didn't block out your 'greens', they'd have a winner.

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