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Patrick Murphy Executive Director, International Laser Display Association SAE G-10T Committee Member.

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Presentation on theme: "Patrick Murphy Executive Director, International Laser Display Association SAE G-10T Committee Member."— Presentation transcript:

1 Patrick Murphy Executive Director, International Laser Display Association SAE G-10T Committee Member

2 International Laser Display Association Laser pointer threat Laser uses in airspace Laser hazards in airspace o Hazard factors o Hazard reduction Regulation and control

3 International Laser Display Association Steady rise in incidents Due to: o Lower cost o Higher powers (100-300 mW) o Green (more visible) o Internet (easy to obtain)

4 International Laser Display Association January 1 – February 23, 2009: 148 laser illuminations of aircraft in the U.S. alone o 2.7 per day February 22: 12 illuminations of aircraft landing at Sea-Tac

5 International Laser Display Association 140 incidents Jan. - April 2008 March 2008 “coordinated attacks” in Sydney Led to NSW ban on laser pointer import, sales and possession

6 Why not ban laser beams from airspace?

7 International Laser Display Association “Guide star” lasers used in astronomy Satellite communications and ranging Atmospheric remote sensing

8 International Laser Display Association Aircraft warning o Visual Warning System used in Washington Metropolitan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) o 7 locations o Green and red lasers, 1.5 watts o Visible up to 20 nautical miles away

9 International Laser Display Association

10 Entertainment o Nightly show at a fixed site (theme parks) o Infrequent shows at various sites (special events) o Usually only 30-60 minutes long Entertainment o Nightly show at a fixed site (theme parks) o Infrequent shows at various sites (special events) o Usually only 30-60 minutes long Laser use in airspace

11 International Laser Display Association Unduly restricts legitimate users Does not prevent accidental illumination incidents Does not stop deliberate targeting of aircraft o Ignorance – does not know effects o Malice – trying to cause harm

12 How are laser beams hazardous to aviation?

13 International Laser Display Association From visible laser beams: o Visual interference during critical phases of flight Distraction, glare and flashblindness o Potential eye damage during any phase of flight From non-visible (infrared, ultraviolet) beams: o Potential eye damage during any phase of flight

14 International Laser Display Association Distraction o Distracting, but can see past the light o 0.05 μW/cm 2 o 5 mW laser pointer at 3,700 feet (1130m)

15 International Laser Display Association Glare o Interferes with vision o 5.0 μW/cm 2 o 5 mW laser pointer at 1,200 feet (365m)

16 International Laser Display Association Temporary flashblindness o Blocks vision during and after exposure o 100 μW/cm 2 o 5 mW laser pointer at 350 feet (107m)

17 International Laser Display Association 2004 FAA simulator study o Pilots flew a challenging “short-final” approach o Glare and flashblindness significant Adverse effects for more than 50% of the approaches 20-25% rate of aborted landings

18 International Laser Display Association Laser exposure in police helicopters

19 International Laser Display Association Can be caused by visible or non-visible laser beams, at power above the MPE Unlikely, though possible Few confirmed reports “Damage” could be pre- or post-exposure o Previous eye injuries or abormalities o Rubbing the eye after exposure

20 International Laser Display Association High-intensity searchlights o Carbon arc light, HID arc light, HMI “Dominator”, 4K xenon Skytracker 3.5 mW laser from RadioShack Aimed at helicopter in San Antonio tests

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22 International Laser Display Association At 200-500 meters, no adverse effects from searchlights Laser pointer “impossible to perceive details outside … impact was unacceptable”. Glare, flashblindness and afterimages from laser; not from searchlights Laser beam appeared suddenly, “thus causing additional startle"

23 International Laser Display Association

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31 Eye hazard to 1600 feet (488m) Flashblindness to 8200 feet (1.5 mi/2.5 km) Glare to 36,800 feet (7 mi/11.2 km) Distraction to 368,000 feet (70 mi/112 km)

32 What are the factors affecting the hazard level?

33 International Laser Display Association Laser factors o Power, divergence, visible/non-visible, wavelength, pulsed vs. CW Operational factors o Area covered in sky (stationary vs. moving) o Location relative to airports o Terminated vs. non-terminated beams o Use of airspace observers (spotters) o Use of automated detection (radar, cameras)

34 International Laser Display Association Situational factors o Day vs. night o Aircraft speed and distance (helicopters at risk) Laser pointer user factors o Deliberate (longer and more exposures) vs. accidental (short, single event)

35 International Laser Display Association Pilot factors o Read NOTAMs o Flight phase (takeoff, landing, emergency) o Pilot experience and training Recognizing a laser event Properly responding, to successfully avoid problems

36 International Laser Display Association Legal and regulatory o Follow aviation authority procedures FAA, CDRH in US o Laws against interference o Restrict the sale or use of laser devices May not be practical May give false sense of security Does not guard against deliberate intent

37 Single most effective way to reduce the hazard?

38 International Laser Display Association Laser illuminations can be managed with training Effective against both accidental and deliberate exposures Not a substitute for regulations and restrictions on law-abiding laser users

39 Other important ways to reduce the hazard

40 International Laser Display Association Educate heavy laser pointer users o www.LaserPointerSafety.com o Self-regulation/education by laser pointer sellers Package inserts Permanent labels on laser pointers Laser pointer seller participation in regulatory efforts Laser pointer seller trade association

41 International Laser Display Association Facts, news and links on laser pointer safety Help reduce annoying and dangerous incidents o “Bad for safety” – pilots, drivers o “Bad for yourself” – possible arrest, fines, jail o “Bad for pointers” – misuse will lead to bans

42 International Laser Display Association Require an “Aviation Safety Label” on appropriate lasers o Low cost and easy to implement Labels are already required on lasers o Addresses a hazard not on previous labels o Provides legal notice to users Helps establish willful intent

43 International Laser Display Association WARNING: DO NOT SHINE YOUR LASER AT AN AIRCRAFT Shooting a laser at an aircraft is considered a felony in the U.S.

44 International Laser Display Association Label required on o Lasers with visible beams o Class 3 and Class 4 o Longest dimension is 15 inches or less: “handheld”

45 International Laser Display Association Required text varies, depending on space available for label

46 International Laser Display Association Details required in User Manual Label text can vary for special lasers o Laser Rescue Flare “DO NOT aim at or near aircraft, except to make your position known in an emergency situation or when a cooperating aircraft is looking for your signal. It is otherwise illegal to aim at aircraft and distract pilots.” o Lasers used by government to notify or aid pilots

47 International Laser Display Association Exemptions: o Lasers larger than “handheld” o High-divergence or diffuse beam <5 µW/cm² at all distances beyond 500 feet o Visual equivalence formula Takes wavelength into account Equivalent of <5 µW/cm² at 500 feet at 555 nm o Diffracted lasers (“star” projectors)

48 International Laser Display Association How to require? o Easiest for CDRH to suggest voluntary “guidance” o ILDA prefers mandated regulation

49 What regulations must be followed in the U.S.?

50 International Laser Display Association Federal Aviation Administration o Has no direct authority over laser uses o Requests that laser uses be reviewed in advance by aerospace specialists o Issues a “Letter of Non-Objection” if OK; a “Letter of Objection” if not OK

51 International Laser Display Association FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health o Regulates laser devices (equipment) o Only regulates three uses Medical Surveying Demonstration  Includes laser pointers and light shows  Demonstration users MUST file with FAA and MUST get a “Letter of Non-Objection”. Only laser users legally required to get permission.

52 International Laser Display Association Four zones around airports and sensitive airspace, for visual interference o “Laser-Free” Zone, < 0.05 μ/cm 2 (50 nanowatts/cm 2 ) o Critical Flight Zone, < 5.0 μ/cm 2 o (optional) Sensitive Flight Zone, < 100 μ/cm 2 o Normal Zone, { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "http://images.slideplayer.com/13/4058908/slides/slide_52.jpg", "name": "International Laser Display Association Four zones around airports and sensitive airspace, for visual interference o Laser-Free Zone, < 0.05 μ/cm 2 (50 nanowatts/cm 2 ) o Critical Flight Zone, < 5.0 μ/cm 2 o (optional) Sensitive Flight Zone, < 100 μ/cm 2 o Normal Zone,

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55 International Laser Display Association Almost all lasers outdoors in the U.S. Even if between two buildings on a city street o Helicopters may need to fly between the buildings Even if terminated from ground to surfaces o Termination may fail FAA control stops at about 60,000 feet Some lasers are hazards above 60,000 feet o Must be reported to Air Force Space Command No current requirement to detect hard-to-spot aircraft o Stealth, unmanned aerial vehicles, supersonic

56 International Laser Display Association FAA Form 7140-1 (part of Advisory Circular 70-1)

57 Current status

58 International Laser Display Association SAE G-10T Laser Safety Hazards Subcommittee ANSI Z136.6 Standard for Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors Upcoming ILDA proposal for an Aviation Safety Label

59 International Laser Display Association SAE G-10T working on guidelines for automated detection and avoidance systems Prominent laser users (e.g., observatories) and laser shows follow FAA guidelines Laser pointers now are the area of primary concern Some concern over deliberate targeting to cause harm o Difficult to do, not very effective

60 International Laser Display Association This paper and its references www.LaserPointerSafety.com o Links page

61 Questions

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63 (Note: Slides after this point are “leftovers” which did not fit into the main presentation, or which had material included in other slides. They are left for future versions which may find the leftover slides useful.)

64 International Laser Display Association Laser power Beam divergence Visible vs. non-visible (infrared and ultraviolet) Color o Green can be 2-10 times more visible than equal power red or blue lasers Pulsed vs. continuous

65 International Laser Display Association Beam movement o Stationary: Smaller chance of flying through beam; easier to protect via spotters or automated methods o Moving (laser show): Greater chance of exposure Location relative to airports and airlanes Projector and laser stability

66 International Laser Display Association Day vs. night o Only dusk/night/dawn a problem for visible lasers o More visible lasers operate at night Motion and speed of the aircraft o Helicopters are at greatest risk due to hovering Distance to the aircraft o Low-flying planes and helicopters at greatest risk

67 International Laser Display Association Flight phase o Takeoff, approach, landing, emergency maneuvers Pilot awareness o Prior exposure to laser illumination concepts Pilot response o Overreaction vs. “fly the plane”

68 International Laser Display Association Intent o Deliberate targeting Longer exposure May be coordinated with others (Sydney, 2008) Easier to catch (though still not easy) May recur, hit multiple planes and/or multiple nights o Accidental targeting One-time-only accident


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