The growing threat posed to airline and general aviation pilots by laser pointing devices has accelerated efforts to address the problem through regulation and criminal prosecution.
The FAA launched a new website today where pilots and others can report incidents of lasers being shined at aircraft. It includes links for reporting laser incidents, laser statistics and FAA research on the dangers lasers can pose to pilots.
To prevent damage to aircraft as they are moved in hangars, charter and aircraft management provider Talon Air, based at Republic Airport on New York’s Long Island, has installed in two of its hangars a new Optex Redscan laser-scan perimeter-detection system that will warn pilots and hangar personnel when part of an aircraft comes within eight feet of the walls.
The U.S. Army is expected to award technology development contracts next month for a modular, lightweight infrared countermeasures system to defeat shoulder-fired missiles. BAE Systems, ITT Exelis, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are the announced competitors for the Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) requirement.
Northrop Grumman, named to supply its large-aircraft, infrared-countermeasures (LAIRCM) system on the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker, recently demonstrated a podded version of the infrared-countermeasures system on the aircraft the tanker will replace, the KC-135.
As the culmination of a jointly funded cooperation program between Italian electronics house Elettronica and the Elop business of Elbit Systems, the Israeli company yesterday announced a $15 million contract to supply directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems for installation on Italian aerial platforms, including the Lockheed Martin C-130J and Alenia C-27J transports, and AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters.
NVision, manufacturer of a non-contact measurement and scanning systems, touts its products as valuable in identifying parts variances and settling legal disputes.
Night Flight Concepts (Booth No. 3428) has announced an online course to educate flight crews about the growing threat from laser strikes. According to the FAA, the number of laser strikes directed at aircraft cockpits continues to increase, causing loss of situational awareness, flash blindness and retinal damage.
A Lakeland, Fla. man faces 20 years in prison after aiming his laser pointer at a Polk County sheriffπs helicopter conducting a search-and-rescue mission. The laser caused the flight crew to become disoriented and abort the mission.
Since almost one third of helicopter accidents with fatal casualties are caused by impact with obstacles and cables, developing and improving anti-collision systems against low-visibility obstacles is clearly a key objective for avionics specialists. Finmeccanica’s Selex Communications has had success with various military users of its laser obstacle avoidance and monitoring (LOAM) system since introducing it in 2000.