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.
Galileo Avionica, the Italian division of Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems, is showcasing a new family of airborne sensors named “Gabbiano” (Italian for seagull). The modular airborne surveillance radars tap the combined expertise of the Finmeccanica group’s newly combined Italian and UK sensor businesses, which in the past have developed light maritime radars such as the RDR 1500 and the APS-717.
Wire strikes–long the bane of low-altitude rotorcraft and agplane operations–could be reduced if a system now undergoing testing on both sides of the Atlantic is able to supplement or even replace marker balls and continuously flashing strobes. It could also aid other low-flying aircraft in avoiding any obstacles in the flight path.
Aviation and the environment often appear to be in conflict, sometimes in unpredictable ways. One such has led BAE Systems into a collaboration with the UK government and the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) on a research project that aims to eliminate the interference that the rotating blades on wind turbine installations can cause to air traffic control radars.
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.
Brisbane, Australia-based Virgin Blue placed a firm order last month for three Embraer E170s and 11 E190s, along with options on another six airplanes, giving the Brazilian airframe maker its largest-ever sale on the continent.
Boeing subsidiary Alteon Training and Australian flag-carrier Qantas plan to offer third-party training services under a letter of intent signed here yesterday. The training will be offered at the two companies’ training centers in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Qantas expects the arrangement will permit it to make better use of its facilities and simulators in the latter two cities.
U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation has created a co-branded affinity card for Van Nuys, Calif.-based The Air Group, designed to strengthen the charter operator’s brand identity and help identify its customers as members of its fuel program. Under the partnership, the Air Group can use Multi Service Aviation’s closed network of more than 7,000 merchants in 190 countries.
A Defense Department study published recently said that under the right circumstances windmill farms used to generate electricity have the potential to degrade the tracking capabilities of ATC radar. The study doesn’t cite any examples of this happening outside of flight tests done in the UK but recommends that more studies be conducted.