For Laser Owners: A New Problem

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Flomotion
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For Laser Owners: A New Problem

Found this and am sharing it. Yes, I have not posted for a long time, but still among the living, ha!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/pilots-push-to-classify-lasers-at-offensive-...

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mattlward
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That is what happens when morons get things like lasers and guns! I would not dream of shooting a passing car or say, plane! Why point lasers at windshields?

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They need to classify morons as offensive weapons

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as harsh as it sounds, the penalties for these idiots who laser aircraft should be charged with attempted mass murder & terrorist activities, & sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. ( ie: blinding pilots could cause a crash killing hundreds in a worst case scenario.)

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I like the idea of laser homing missiles! That would stop this crap in a hurry! Smile

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DBSAR wrote:
as harsh as it sounds, the penalties for these idiots who laser aircraft should be charged with attempted mass murder & terrorist activities, & sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. ( ie: blinding pilots could cause a crash killing hundreds in a worst case scenario.)

Well not really, planes these days fly and land by themselves, pilot lands only in very windy/bad weather…

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Do those planes have some sort of sensor to indicate if a laser is pointing at it?
From the article: after a Virgin Atlantic plane bound for New York turned around because of a laser beam that caused a crew member to feel sick.
Ths plane was in the air, how can somebody feel sick, are these people staring out the window the whole flight?
If a alarm start buzzing and you see a red light flashing that your plane is being targeted, yes I can imagine a reaction to stress.

Then try to hold a tight beam ponted at any point, it is hard, so now this point to aim is way up in the sky and moving, at such a distance the tiniest movement of the hand will cause the beam to be hundreds of meters off target if you were targetting a plane)

I dont get it other then an warning system onboard.

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^
Some green lasers leak IR, but it is mostly a danger to folks in the near facinity. IR tends to disperse and is hard to focus.

I saw some footage yesterday from the cockpit. Not sure if it was the incident in the OP. The laser was dead pan on a part of the front window. Seems it would need some type of military-grade targeting system to hold it that steady.

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Happy to learn Sharpie thanks, it seems so unlikely these things can be bought ofr ordinary folks so this must be different from all the lasers for sale on budgetsites then.

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I don’t see any reason why Lasers should not already be banned and owning one treated as any other severe crime.

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Maybe we should ban bright lights. My sensitive eyes and all. And sharp objects are dangerous while running. Since we are swinging the ban hammer…

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Dallas wrote:
Maybe we should ban bright lights. My sensitive eyes and all. And sharp objects are dangerous while running. Since we are swinging the ban hammer…

That’s pretty much where I am at with this.

But now I’m borderlining on getting political, so maybe I better not continue

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Sharpie wrote:
The Miller wrote:
Happy to learn Sharpie thanks, it seems so unlikely these things can be bought ofr ordinary folks so this must be different from all the lasers for sale on budgetsites then.

Yes it is serious concern. And rather worrying, if some of it is perhaps practice before a more concerted attack.

The overpowered laser pointers are bad enough for dazzle, but it is the serious stuff that has no legitimate civilian use which is the big worry.

Very difficult to catch the offenders, unless they are really stupid.

I still do not see how an average laser pointer can be an issue. And you seemed to have skipped answering this.

Sharpie wrote:

As for this sort of thing, words fail me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVrJUbeuG44


Words fail me that you can’t comprehend such things. Maybe we should have similar views for shotguns and fireworks too.
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‘oogling the subject turns this up:

the FBI offers a $10,000 reward for information leading to a laser-related arrest.

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If a plane can be brought down by a kid shining a home laser pen at it, then perhaps the airlines should do better training, tech, or system to prevent that. Because, I’m sure a terrorist isn’t going to be shamed into not bring down a plane, if it’s that easy.

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Quote:
If a plane can be brought down

“brought down” is a troll, right? This aircraft was “brought down” by either the pilot or copilot along with air traffic control.

That’s like saying “If my grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon.”

They’re not going to replace every window in the cockpit before every flight.
Plexiglass accumulates scratches in use and lights up like a panel light when brightly illuminated by a laser.
You can see the videos.

There are kids out there with industrial lasers, and any pilot who’s been dazzled doesn’t know how long it will take to recover.
No pilot would continue a transAtlantic flight in that condition — relying on the copilot being able to handle everything that could happen — not on an aircraft loaded with passengers.

A plane can be “brought down” — caused to return and land — in response to all sorts of spurious crap, much of it less actually damaging than a laser strike.

You know why the Strategic Air Command pilots flew with an eye patch, don’t you?

To be able to pilot the aircraft away from the target with the remaining eye.

You don’t want a passenger aircraft operating in that mode.

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Sharpie wrote:
These aren't just overpowered laser pointers being used, they are serious ones with power measured in watts. When they hit the windscreen it is utterly dazzling, similar to a lightning strike.

That is just the visible green light. But these lasers also pump out massive power in infrared, can do and have resulted in serious retinal burns to pilots, sometimes career limiting.
No report about this incident which I've seen even makes a guess about the power of the laser. If fact even when they arrest someone and have the actual laser in hand they still virtually never mention such details. Have you seen anywhere that even identifies it as a green laser?

Morons who aim at planes are not that likely to have green lasers that do over 1W. You need to spend a lot of money and do some research to get over 1W in either DPSS or direct diode green wavelengths. If these people had the brains to do even a tiny bit of research they wouldn't be aiming at planes. The vast majority of morons will just have lasers brought from random sellers. Poor quality DPSS 532nm lasers made in china as quickly and cheaply as possible. Because output power with DPSS depends on careful alignment, what you get from these cheap lasers varies a lot. 10-80mw is the usual range for basic ones. A hundred to a couple hundred mw for more powerful models. With the more powerful models, the advertised mw power is nearly always exaggerated, often greatly exaggerated. The people who buy from these sellers never have a laser power meter so there is no reason for the sellers not to make up random high numbers.

Then there is the fact that when you get into these very high powers the lasers don't do tight beams and the divergence is worse. You can get higher power density W/cm2 from a lower mw laser with better divergence.

Concerning the IR which is present in unfiltered 532nm lasers, as ImA4Wheelr said the divergence of it's IR is high. Even at moderate distances it won't be harmful.

Sharpie wrote:
these lasers also pump out massive power in infrared, can do and have resulted in serious retinal burns to pilots, sometimes career limiting.
Show me even a single report of serious retinal burns in pilots from IR. At the distances that they are hit from the W/cm2 is just not high enough.

Laser visual interference hazard distances

A laser with 1W of actual power would need to be closer than 175ft to potentially cause damage. Not serious retinal burns, not even minor burns but a "minimally detectable change to the retina".  You can't get that close to planes taking off or landing. So it's flashblindness at worse not "serious retinal burns".  Now I am not saying that these laser incidents are not serious. They certainly are. Who here wants to be on a plane with a pilot who is even distracted by a moron with a laser? And flashblindness could result in a cash, kill people.

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Old-Lumens wrote:
I don’t see any reason why Lasers should not already be banned and owning one treated as any other severe crime.

I love my high power lasers. I actually use them for utilitarian purposes too. Just like with my high power flashlights, I don’t use them in a way that can harm anyone. I also carry one when hiking as a back up way to start a fire and signal for help. Guns are much more dangerous than lasers and I don’t want to lose those either.

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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
If a plane can be brought down by a kid shining a home laser pen at it, then perhaps the airlines should do better training, tech, or system to prevent that.
You can’t continue if one of the pilots is flashblinded.
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What do you find if you search for, just for example, “3-watt laser” — anything available?

Spyder 3 Arctic Blue Handheld Laser – Wicked Lasers
www.wickedlasers.com/arctic
Wicked Lasers S3 Spyder III Arctic blue laser is the world’s most powerful … with fully variable power control, feel the power with up to 3.5 Watts of laser energy.

3W Laser | eBay
www.ebay.com/bhp/3w-laser
12V TTL 1W 2W 3W 445nm 450nm Laser Diode LD Driver Power Supply Stage Light … 445nm 9mm G-3 Focusing Lense (3+ Watt) Generic laser from china.

3 Watt Laser – AliExpress.com
www.aliexpress.com › Popular
Buy 3 Watt Laser from Reliable China 3 Watt Laser suppliers.Find Quality 3 Watt Laser Computer & Office,Laser Pens,Industry & Science,Laser Equipment Parts, …

——ok, that’s 3—-

Now change it to “4-watt laser” — find anything?
Yep. Plenty for sale cheap. A few cautions start showing up, e.g.:

You Probably Shouldn’t Buy This Laser – Built on Facts
http://scienceblogs.com/builtonfacts/2010/06/30/the-laser-pointer-much-b...
Jun 30, 2010 – As a result, the average power of the laser is 1 watt, which puts it solidly in Class 4 territory. The infrared beam in invisible, so while a green 1 …

——ok, that’s 4——

Now change the “4” to “5” and search again. 46 items found for 5watt laser

First one is:
5000mw 532nm Strong power military green laser pointers burn match candle lit cigarette wicked lazer torch 5Watt+5 caps+charger+gift box
US $ 22.51 – 27.37 / Piece
Free Shipping Via ePacket (Standard) Sold: 27

Nah, no kiddie is going to spend that much money, right?

Lather, rinse, recuperate.

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Was that at me?

Wickedlasers is known make crap and lie. 445nm blue is much less bright for an equal amount of power than green wavelengths so it reduces that visual interference hazard distances. And I’ve always hoped their high prices will keep away most people who are stupid enough to aim at planes. But yea, I wish WL would die. That is where the kind of morons who aim at planes could get the worse lasers. And if you check out their advertising they direct it at morons. They use to sell a double sided “lightsaber” laser. One laser aimed forward, one aimed backward. Exactly designed to swing around, easily hitting themselves in the eye.

If you look at the ebay results you’ve linked, almost all are useless to morons who aim at planes. Bare diodes, most IR c-mount or TO3s, horrible divergence. Lab lasers not even suitable to use outdoors. Only see two handheld / “pointer” lasers. A direct-from-china junk one that is certainly lying about being anywhere close to 3W and a “custom made” one that is just too small to handle the heat from a 3W diode plus the 2×10440s couldn’t keep up.

Aliexpress, 95% lies.

5000mw 532nm $22.51 Big Smile
It won’t even be 100mw. Seriously.

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Well, I’m just saying, I see this stuff for sale and people claiming it’s real.
Here’s another example. Does this have to be a “fake moon landing” video, or do you think it could be something that really exists?

https://www.google.com/search?q=laser+shotgun+video

“eight 5W blue lasers that fire in parralel”

Doesn’t sound impossible.

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:
Old-Lumens wrote:
I don’t see any reason why Lasers should not already be banned and owning one treated as any other severe crime.

I love my high power lasers. I actually use them for utilitarian purposes too. Just like with my high power flashlights, I don’t use them in a way that can harm anyone. I also carry one when hiking as a back up way to start a fire and signal for help. Guns are much more dangerous than lasers and I don’t want to lose those either.

I kinda meant high powered lasers that can harm human eyes or blind pilots in the air? I don’t know if stock <.5mw pen lasers can do this? Any how, I imagine it will get political, if lasers are compared to guns. Should guns be banned worldwide? Probably. Should lasers also be banned worldwide? Probably. Will it help? Probably not. It’s people that cause the problems, not objects, but we haven’t solved the people problem in all these thousands of years, so we ban the things instead. Should responsible people be restricted, just because of irresponsible people? No way to ban just a few, so all for one and one for all, even if we don’t like that fact. It’s just another thread going nowhere anyhow, just a place to vent. We don’t control any of the laws anyhow. It’s just words that do nothing except to let us vent a little.

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Koyotee, airplanes can not just fly and land themselves, they can fly a pre-programmed route and vertical profile and at some airports make autolands but they all need to be programmed/set up by the pilots. Also every take off is done by a pilot and not an autopilot.
I have been targeted a few times by some stupid f..k with a laser pointer on final approach/landing, at the moment where the worklevel is at it highest. Its dangerous and very distracting as you loose part of your vision, especially at night, and it takes quite a long time to recover….no fun at all and potentially dangerous and harmfull for cockpit crew and everyone on board.

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Halo… wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
If a plane can be brought down by a kid shining a home laser pen at it, then perhaps the airlines should do better training, tech, or system to prevent that.
You can’t continue if one of the pilots is flashblinded.

From what? A hand-held laser pointer perhaps a couple hundred milliwatts, from miles away? If a pilot is going to crash a plane because someone shined a huge dot on the plane from a long way away (the beam will diverge, scatter, and dissipate), then perhaps the pilot needs better training.

Thankfully, I don’t fly much. I’d hate to be up in a plane with such a poor pilot, considering that terrorists would likely use much better lasers than hand-held cat toys.

I’m not saying it’s a smart thing to do (to shine lasers at planes). It is illegal. But, like cell phones and electronics that must be shut off on planes, it’s unlikely to cause any real problems. Because, if it did cause real problems, terrorists would be dropping planes out of the sky like rain.

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hank wrote:
Does this have to be a “fake moon landing” video, or do you think it could be something that really exists?

https://www.google.com/search?q=laser+shotgun+video

“eight 5W blue lasers that fire in parralel”


Oh, I know who that is without even clicking. Styropyro from LPF. Wish the damn guy would stop making public show off videos. Not helping. He could post private videos to LPF if he must.

Yea, it’s real. It’s the diode module from a casio projector. But you’re looking at ~$1000 just to get the module. Then you need to build drivers to power each one. And I believe divergence using the stock lenses isn’t very good. He calls it a “40W laser” but you’d need a single beam for that to be true. They aren’t combined or even brought really close through knife edging. It’s just for youtube views.

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Sharpie wrote:

Perhaps you would be prepared to be a guinea-pig in some trials ?

Meanwhile I suggest you do some research on actual incidents, there is plenty of information out there.. . . .

LOL, you do realize who you’re saying that to?

Halo… is a highly respected member on LPF. In my books, Halo is likely an expert in the field of lasers.

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rvr, thanks, good to hear from a pilot.

There are more reports going back several years at this site, from mostly commercial pilots:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/349414-l-ser-attacks-aircraft.html

Note the lasers have improved over even that short span of years, and continue to improve.

“only a madman would give a loaded revolver to an idiot.” — Fredric Brown, The Weapon

I’m done in this thread for now, I think it’s been as informative as it’s likely to get by attracting some accounts of first hand experience.

“In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they’re not.”

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I guess this thread will go no where. Just like gun owners don’t want their guns taken, us laser hobbyist don’t want our hobby taken. There are a lot less of us, so us laser hobbyist will surely lose our rights.

Just keep in mind that it is a very short step from that point to regulating high power flashlights.

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Thanks ImA4Wheelr


Sharpie wrote:
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/asma/amhp/2016/00000087/00000001/a...
This report is disturbing. It’s not just a subjective report as most others are. But a real article from a peer reviewed journal which lists objectively seen eye damage. And the worse part is that the pilot reported that it happened at 1300 ft. It appears he was looking right at the laser’s direction when the flash happened so it was able to get straight his right eye instead of at an angle. Still, to cause that damage this had to be an uncommonly powerful laser. The authors mention that as well. “with the distance involved, we suspect the laser had a radiant power of several watts”
This was not something that is available at WL or some other chinese sites. This had to be a semi-custom made laser 5-7W. Unfortunately there is a seller with a whole laser website who has an easy no soldering kit for a 7W 445nm laser (priced over $1000). He sells them as “kits” specifically to avoid being shut down for selling complete lasers. Which is what they really are.

I love “news” reporters, only incidents that make good headlines are reported about. A real documented incident of eye damage, at 1300ft no less, and not a peep from reporters.
I wish the article wasn’t behind a paywall.

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koyotee wrote:

Well not really, planes these days fly and land by themselves, pilot lands only in very windy/bad weather…

Actually there are some “ifs” involved, but generally pilots land the plane visually below 500 ft, unless the visibility does not allow that, the airport has the correct equipment and it’s operational, and the plane is equipped and certified to use that equipment. The ‘self-landing’ stuff ain’t cheap, ain’t legally required, and because of that the close finals are flown by hand while the rest of the flight is automated.

WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
If a plane can be brought down by a kid shining a home laser pen at it, then perhaps the airlines should do better training, tech, or system to prevent that. Because, I’m sure a terrorist isn’t going to be shamed into not bring down a plane, if it’s that easy.

It’s not that simple. First the problem here is not so much the pilot’s eyes but their ability to see through the windshield. Many laser hits simply turn the winscreen into a glowing green mass nothing and nobody can see through. The tiny scratches there from cleaning, bug inpacts, etc act like prisms and spread the ‘green’ all over the window instead of in just one spot. They are taught to not look at the laser directly and there are laser filtering glasses but those only work on part of the spectrum and there are 3 different ones you’d need to filter all green lasers (though one covers the most commonly found wavelengths). Now the pilot can’t see greens well which can throw off their depth perception, make it hard or impossible to read instruments and messages on the cockpit screen, and even prevent them from seeing the grass they’re about to fly into. And they may not have the right glasses on.

If you want to hear from the world’s pilots about this and anything commercial pilot related, go to the PPRUNE forum website. What you learn there may end your days as a passenger on the airlines so beware. It’s a looooong way from what it once was and what you think it is now. The last few minutes of a flight are so busy that there’s not even time to fart and anything which disrupts that is very likely to bring confusion and danger leading to unpleasant results. The pilots have so little experience actually flying the plane that many of them barely can in good conditions even after having flown for years. God help them if something serious goes wrong because lots of them couldn’t get the plane down safely otherwise. And it’s not the pilots fault that it is this way- they don’t like it either and they are doing the best they can.

Phil

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