WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Profound Technologies plans to introduce the first mobile device to record aircraft laser strikes, as well as provide early warning to approaching aircraft.
In 2015, there were 7,703 laser illumination incidents reported by pilots to the FAA. This is a significant increase over the past four years, which had hovered around 3,500 to 4,000 incidents per year. It is estimated that in 2016 there will be more than 8,500 reported illuminations.
Profound Technologies, a new technology firm, has acquired a license to develop and market the technology, which is a Laser Event Recorder App (LERApp) from the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), a division of the UK Minister of Defense.
Scientists at Dstl have developed an app that analyzes laser dazzle events, making it quicker and easier for the police to arrest and prosecute offenders, deter the targeting of aircraft, and allow pilots to take steps to prevent themselves from being dazzled.
Laser Event Recorder app (LERapp) has been developed using an iPhone. It utilizes the inbuilt camera, GPS and connectivity to record, analyze and communicate details of the incident. The app can be modified for use on Android phones and other platforms, company officials said.
Future development will include adding an early warning feature that will alert other aircraft approaching (in real time) an area recently struck by a laser to avoid the area and/or take necessary precautions (like putting on protective eyewear). The second phase will include the ability to identify the location of the perpetrator and report to law enforcement, according to company officials.