posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:59 AM
Apparently, the cost of removing innocent infringers on restricted airspace has taken a more technological turn. The District of Columbia now has a
laser warning system to warn-off pilots that accidentally stray into the area. According to Norad, it costs $30k-$50k to warn off such intruders, so
the system will pay for itself by minimizing a few friendly incursions...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- From 1,500 feet above southeast Washington on a hazy Tuesday, you didn't have to look hard to notice a bright red-and-green
flashing light among the clutter of treetops, rooftops, the Washington Monument and the Capitol.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Although Norad insists the $500k system is safe, going as far as to characterize these as "good" lasers, others are not so sure.
The researchers who developed the technology says the laser beam is narrowly targeted so that other aircraft will not be able to see it, i.e. if you
see it, it's aimed at you. Curtis Davis, a researcher at MIT's Lincolm Lab, said the beam is stronger than a laser pointer, but more diffuse.
"We've taken the size of the beam and made it 15,000 times bigger," Davis said. "It's a foot in diameter." Given that MIT's Lincoln Lab is
primarily focused on laser optic systems, it's not inconceivable that there may be additional focusing means incorporated into the laser system that
would narrow the beam. Since all of the laser energy would be retained in the narrower beam, it's unclear that this system couldn't be used as a
weapon or at least pose a danger if focusing/diffusional errors occur.
Related News Links:
[edit on 18-5-2005 by Centrist]