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Boeing patents a laser detection system to protect aircraft and pilots from hand held lasers

Boeing patents a laser detection system to protect aircraft and pilots from hand held lasers
PatentYogi_Boeing patents Laser Detection System_US 9134174

PatentYogi_Boeing patents Laser Detection System_US 9134174

 

 

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Over the last decade there have been numerous incidents of hand-held lasers being directed at aircraft. This has become a common and dangerous occurrence for commercial pilots and news and weather helicopter pilots. While exposure to hand-held laser light under such circumstances may seem trivial due to the brevity of exposure and large distances involved, exposure to hand-held laser light under such circumstances may create dangerous conditions such as flash blindness of the pilot. If this occurs during a critical moment in aircraft operation, the aircraft may be endangered. For example, temporary blindness during a landing or certain navigation tasks may have disastrous results. Furthermore, laser light can cause temporary or permanent damage to the eye. Reliable detection and identification of the type and direction of laser radiation may be critical to pilot safety and accurate information related to the location of a source of the laser may provide for appropriate protective measures or law enforcement responses.

Additionally, military pilots are not only at risk of temporary blindness due to hand-held lasers, but are also subject to being “designated” by laser targeting. Generally in connection with military aircraft, laser detection devices register laser radiation from laser rangefinders or laser designators and by a warning signal to make clear to the designated aircraft, i.e., pilot, that laser illumination has occurred or is continuing. Reliable detection and identification of laser radiation may be critical to mission success and accurate information related to the type of laser may provide for appropriate countermeasures.

The present invention is a laser detection and warning system may include a detector configured to be mounted to an aircraft, the detector including an optical subsystem, a detector subsystem, and a processor subsystem to determine characteristics of incoming laser radiation and transmit a laser warning output signal, wherein the laser warning output signal includes wavelength characteristics of the laser radiation and corresponding protective eyewear type.

Patent Information:
Patent Number: US 9,134,174
Patent Title: Laser detection and warning system

Inventors: Jungwirth; Douglas R. (Porter Ranch, CA)
Assignee: The Boeing Company (Chicago, IL)
Family ID: 1000001340567
Appl. No.: 13/735,889
Filed: January 7, 2013

Abstract: A laser detection and warning system and associated methods of warning a pilot of an aircraft of incoming laser radiation and determining a location of a source of laser radiation including a detector configured to be mounted to an aircraft, the detector having an optical subsystem, a detector subsystem, and a processor subsystem to determine characteristics of incoming laser radiation and transmit a laser warning output signal, wherein the laser warning output signal may include wavelength characteristics of the laser radiation, corresponding protective eyewear type, and location of the source of the laser radiation.

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