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Research Lasers and Air Traffic Safety: Issues, Concerns and Responsibilities of the Research CommunityThe subject of outdoor use of lasers relative to air traffic has become a diverse and dynamic topic. During the past several decades, the use of lasers in outdoor research activities have increased significantly. Increases in the outdoor use of lasers and increases in air traffic densities have changed the levels of risk involved. To date there have been no documented incidents of air traffic interference from research lasers; however, incidents involving display lasers have shown a marked increase. As a result of the national response to these incidents, new concerns over lasers have arisen. Through the efforts of the SAE G-10T Laser Safety Hazards Subcommittee and the ANSI Z136.6 development committee, potential detrimental effects to air traffic beyond the traditional eye damage concerns have been identified. An increased emphasis from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Center for Devices and Radiological Hazards (CDRH), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) along with increased concern by the public have resulted in focused scrutiny of potential hazards presented by lasers. The research community needs to rethink the traditional methods of risk evaluation and application of protective measures. The best current approach to assure adequate protection of air traffic is the application of viable hazard and risk analysis and the use of validated protective measures. Standards making efforts and regulatory development must be supported by the research community to assure that reasonable measures are developed. Without input, standards and regulations can be developed that are not compatible with the needs of the research community. Finally, support is needed for the continued development and validation of protective measures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Nessler, Phillip J., Jr.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 18, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Nineteenth International Laser Radar Conference
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Aircraft Communications And Navigation
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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