A new Article 222 of UK Air Navigation Order 2009 makes it illegal “to shine any light at any aircraft in flight so as to dazzle or distract the pilot of the aircraft.” The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) hopes the article, coupled with new technology used by police air support units, will increase conviction rates.
Italy’s Elettronica has entered the last phase of development of its directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for the anti-missile protection market, and is due to complete ground tests and flight trials by the end of 2009. The project was launched in 2007 to create a system that would protect aircraft from infrared-guided (“heat-seeking”) surface-to-air missiles, and in particular, man-portable air defense systems.
Airborne Law Enforcement Services (ABLE) of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, Calif., will be the first customer for FLIR Systems’ Ultra 9HD airborne thermal imaging system. An Ultra 9HD mounted on one of ABLE’s EC 120s is on display at FLIR’s Heli-Expo booth (No. 3928).
In response to numerous reports of lasers being pointed at aircraft, the FAA last month issued advisory circular (AC) 70-2 requesting all aircrews to report immediately incidents of unauthorized laser illumination to the appropriate ATC facility. The AC also requires air traffic controllers to notify pilots immediately about laser events.
The House of Representatives passed legislation that aims to punish anyone convicted of knowingly pointing a laser at an aircraft with a maximum of five years in prison. Introduced by Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.), the bill stems from a number of cases over the past few years where pilots have reported lasers being shone in the cockpit, causing temporary loss of vision. To date, no accidents have resulted from laser pointing.
As the aircraft fleet ages and the number of in-flight material fatigue incidents climbs, a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia says he has found a new and reliable method of identifying potentially dangerous cracks in aging aircraft.
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that imposes a $250,000 fine and up to a possible five-year prison term for people who point lasers at aircraft. Sponsored by Ric Keller (R-Fla.), the legislation is the outgrowth of several recent incidents. Laser beams can temporarily blind pilots and, in some reported cases, cause permanent eye damage. The bill now awaits passage by the Senate.
Two new developments from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre promise to markedly enhance performance of aircraft through the innovative use of new-age sensor technologies.
Elbit’s El-Op division has developed a laser radar system capable of detecting obstacles. Called LORD (laser obstacle ranging and display), the system is capable of detecting such obstacles as electrical wires and antennas, thus providing real-time alerts to pilots flying low level in adverse weather conditions. El-Op has built up considerable experience in the development of eyesafe lasers based on optical fibers.
CMC Electronics is here at the Paris Air Show with a compact satcom antenna, an integrated glass cockpit for helicopters, a second-generation electronic flight bag (EFB) and a new line of opto-electronic components.