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 What is up with the lasers
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  10:25:40  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
What is up with the lasers being pointed at pilots. They have said it has happened eight times in the past few weeks. One pilot got retina damage.
What I thought was pretty damm hilarious in an eerie sort of way was how the man being interviewed, the
quote:

expert
quote:

told the whole fuckin world how it could possibly be doneIn fact he told the world exactly what weapons to use? HuH? Then he proceeded to tell the reporter how to detect a possible suspected terrorist phone call at the airport?Huh? Now I am watching the u-haul truck in miami possible attack at the courhouse. robot casing u-haul truck. Terrorist? From afar? From right here in U.S.? Fucked up people in this world... Twisted forms of love and compassion...
Any comment....

Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  10:58:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Not very good with navigating the grammar on this site am I
Anyway the expert that came on said the laser incidents are uninformed people using higly dangerous weaponsHuh? Maybe children or teenagers?
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  11:45:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I didn't understand you at all, Storm.

Are you talking about laser pointers? And people were just pointing them at pilots who are on the ground? How many times has this happened? Is it a significant number when compared to everyone else who has had eye damage due to laser pointers?

I have pointed one at my own eye, only for a brief time, but experienced no damage.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  11:49:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Sorry Ricky maybe I did not make myself clear
Lasers have been pointed at pilots. One recently in ohio now Nevada. Discussing the possibilities. Off from work today have to catch up on Mom duties, News and of course SFN!!!!!!!!
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  12:01:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message
To make things a little more clear I think she is talking about this:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/03/laser.aircraft.ap/index.html

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  12:12:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

I have pointed one at my own eye, only for a brief time, but experienced no damage.


Just for the records, laser only damages the retina (or any tissue) if focused for a certain amount of time. I can't inform you how long, but this is valid for any laser. That's why they use lasers for surgery, generally burning tissue that would otherwise be removed by cutting.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  12:12:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
I see way too many problems with this. Going off the CNN article:

First of all, the laser would have to be extremely powerful. It has to travel a long distance before it reaches the plane. Furthermore, when it does reach the plane, it has to be strong enough to temporarily blind them, long enough to make a plane crash.

Now how exactly does the laser hit the pilots eye? Assuming the plane is flying belly down (which I must say is a very reasonable assumption), can the laser even reach the pilots head? How can a laser track and pinpoint a pilots eye? Take a laser pointer, and stand 20 feet from a wall. Try to keep the red dot in the same spot. I would make a bet you probably can't keep it in the size of a quarter for more than a few seconds (the size of an eye). Now imagine if that quarter was moving at over 100 miles an hour and hundreds of feet away from you.

Unless they are not using the typical laser (which the CNN article seems to indicate)?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  12:27:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message
After another search I found this:

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/041230/ap/d879nei00.html

The artical mentions that it was a green light. This tells me that it was a specalty laser since most civilan lasers are red.

Personally, I think this is some idiots just playing with lasers and not some terrorists attack.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  12:28:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
I think it's highly unprobable, as well, for Ricky's reasons as well as:

Why would a plane crash simply because the pilot's eyes went kaput? There's a co-pilot, and planes these days pretty much pilot themselves on computer alone...

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  13:34:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
The Drudge report has been all atwitter over this for the last, couple of days.

I'm really not sure if this is serious or just more hysteria. But then, what I know about lasers is only slightly more than nothing.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  13:58:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
There are green lasers that can be mounted on telescopes for easy tracking of stellar objects.

There are even tracking-systems for the Mead LX-series telescope (using CCD-camera), that is used to track stars for long periods of time, for the purpose of stellar photography. Since faint objects require longer exposure times than a few seconds a photographer needs to track the object precisly for it not to get blurry because of earth's rotation.

If you mount a green laser on such a telescope, finds a plane in the field of view you can possibly get the star tracker to make the telescope follow the plane, pointing the laser at it.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  14:10:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Even so, how to track exactly the pilot's eyes?

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  14:52:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
I thought it was just a case of those rent-a-lazer's that car dealerships and what not use for promotions or grand openings accidentally catching a plane in its beam. It's probably bright enough to illuminate the cockpit and make visibility go down to near nothing, like approaching a car with its highbeams on. I'm sure it passes fairly quickly.

The fear that a lazer could be trained into a cockpit for any length of time, long enough to entirely disable its crew, is the fear some have raised. How feasible that actually is I have no idea.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 01/03/2005 14:53:18
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  14:56:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
In fact H. they talked about those very things. Could one possibily shoot a laser long enough to possibly blind a pilot then crash or are they practising to shoot missle, bullets. or is just uneducated people playing with high tech lazers.
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ktesibios
SFN Regular

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  15:53:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ktesibios a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Paulos23

After another search I found this:

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/041230/ap/d879nei00.html

The artical mentions that it was a green light. This tells me that it was a specalty laser since most civilan lasers are red.

Personally, I think this is some idiots just playing with lasers and not some terrorists attack.



Lasers of various colors (the green-blue range seems to be especially popular) have been a part of concert light shows for many years now; that's about as civilian an application as you can think of.

The beams can have an effect at surprising distances. I was at an outdoor Pink Floyd show in Philly in the late '80s where the lasers which were part of the light show could be clearly seen illuminating the clouds overhead.

I kind of doubt that a telescope clock drive could be used to track a plane, at least without a lot of modification. The apparent motion of the stars due to the Earth's rotation is only 1/4 degree per minute while an airplane at a low enough altitude to make a laser a threat would be moving a lot faster than that.


"The Republican agenda is to turn the United States into a third-world shithole." -P.Z.Myers
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2005 :  16:08:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
But aren't lasers invisible, unless they're in a foggy background? Or are we speaking about different things? Or am I just mis/uninformed? [confused]

Either case, I don't doubt they can cause potential damage in long ranges... what I doubt it's that someone could actually pinpoint a person's eye inside a plane's cockpit, and even so, that it would crash a commercial plane. I understand what HH means, but my mind's not connecting it with lasers, only a very strong light [blink]

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
Edited by - Siberia on 01/03/2005 16:09:44
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