Laser

April 1, 2014 - 2:05am

The incidence of lasers being pointed at aircraft is rising at an alarming rate, jumping by more than 1,000 percent since the FAA started tracking data in 2005. Last year, according to FAA data, so-called “lasing” incidents averaged 11 per day. With this proliferation comes greater potential for an aircraft accident, with injury and loss of life both to aircraft occupants and to people on the ground.

April 1, 2014 - 12:59am

The incidence of lasers being pointed at aircraft is rising at an alarming rate, jumping by more than 1,000 percent since the FAA started tracking data in 2005. Last year, according to FAA data, so-called “lasing” incidents averaged 11 per day. With this proliferation comes greater potential for an aircraft accident, with injury and loss of life both to aircraft occupants and to people on the ground.

March 17, 2014 - 10:00am

The U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of California reported March 10 that Sergio Patrick Rodriguez of Clovis, Calif., was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at a Fresno police helicopter in the summer of 2012. Rodriguez’s sentence is believed to be the longest yet delivered for a laser-pointer incident. United States District Judge Lawrence O’Neill said the crime was serious with potentially deadly consequences.

February 21, 2014 - 7:00pm

Revue Thommen’s HSL 1600 searchlight has been selected by Sikorsky for outfitting on S-92 helicopters configured for search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. The HSL 1600 features an integrated IR-filter and laser pointer and a detection range exceeding 1,600 meters.

February 17, 2014 - 2:15pm

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), in collaboration with the FBI and the FAA, on February 11 launched a 12-city public awareness campaign about the safety issues surrounding laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. Reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the U.S. have increased sharply over the past few years–to 3,960 last year from 2,836 in 2010.

February 12, 2014 - 12:20am
Iron Beam can be rapidly deployed in the field on vehicle mounts. The system is currently in the technology demonstration phase .

Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Booth N51) has unveiled a new system to tackle short-range mortar and rocket threats, and close-in air threats such as UAVs. Rather than employing a projectile to destroy incoming threats, the new Iron Beam system uses a high-energy laser (HEL).

February 11, 2014 - 3:28pm

The Air Line Pilots Association International, FBI and FAA have jointly launched a campaign across 12 U.S. cities to raise public awareness about the consequences of illegal laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. Reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the U.S. have increased sharply over the past few years (partially fueled by an FAA website set up to report such incidents), from 2,836 in 2010 to 3,960 in 2013.

June 17, 2013 - 5:25am
MBDA’s high-energy laser weapon uses highly sensitive, four-channel mirror optics to track targets and adjust the laser beam.

MBDA Germany is claiming a world’s first in the development of high-energy laser weapons after coupling together four commercially available 10kW-industrial lasers to achieve a 40kW weapon that can intercept and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM). Small aerial vehicles, such as UAVs, are also on MBDA’s target list, but the company says power supply challenges still preclude adding lasers to aircraft for defensive purposes.

June 13, 2013 - 12:50pm

Night vision solutions provider Night Flight Concepts has released an infographic to teach pilots how to properly prepare for and defend against laser strikes. “As the annual number of laser strikes on aircraft increases, the topic of laser strike readiness [for aircrew] is becoming more pressing,” the company said. Night Flight’s infographic helps arm pilot with the tools they need to “identify, prepare for and recover from laser strikes.”

October 15, 2012 - 3:03pm

In another example of the government’s pushback against laser threats to aviation, a federal grand jury in Jacksonville, Fla., indicted John Tyler Pennywitt on October 5. He was accused of shining a handheld laser pointer at a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office helicopter on the night of June 3, 2012. Pennywitt was indicted under a section of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that makes it a federal crime to aim a laser at an aircraft, or even into the path of an aircraft.

 
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