Protecting Pilots Against Laser Attacks
November 20, 2014
When a beam is shone at a cockpit, pilots can become distracted or suffer serious eye damage, making it difficult to navigate the aircraft. In 2013, Transport Canada reported 461 ‘lasing’ incidents, a 24 per cent increase over 2012. In the U.S. and U.K, attacks number in the thousands, annually.
Lamda Guard, a division of Metamaterials Technologies Inc., partnered successfully with researchers at the University of Moncton to develop nano-composite filters for windshields that prevent laser beams from infiltrating cockpits. This thin-film selectively blocks light from specific colors, or wavelengths, without interfering with visibility.
|George Palikaras||We are the world’s first company in optical metamaterials. We have a division called Lamda Guard developing some technology, some interesting technology for companies like Airbus to protect against laser attacks.|
|Ashrit Pandurang||Where there is a light going through a glass plate, you can choose which are the parts you want to eliminate and which is the light that you want to go through.|
|George Palikaras||I became aware of the great research that Professor Ashrit does in Moncton, so I arranged a meeting.|
|Ashrit Pandurang||They came and talked to us and then we looked at what are the possibilities that we have, you know, in order to get the initial support, you know, to start the project. And this is where we came to know. And we looked at all the programs of NSERC and of course the regional office here helped us a lot.|
|George Palikaras||NSERC has done an amazing job putting the right programs to help industry become more innovative. It’s the only way that Canadian companies can compete in international markets.|
|Ashrit Pandurang||We initially tried, you know, whether we can do it, you know, sort of a feasibility study, and it gave good results. We actually produced those filters, you know, in our laboratory.|
|George Palikaras||That kick-started a whole different level of collaboration and moved forward with a bigger project, which is called the CRD, a Collaborative Research and Development project by NSERC, which was – which is still ongoing and it’s worth $650,000. We currently work with the University of Moncton In New Brunswick, University of New Brunswick, UNB.|
|Ashrit Pandurang||And each of the universities has a unique expertise. Bigger industries are going to get involved and so we are seeing a very, very bright future.|
|George Palikaras||We owe it all to NSERC who were the first partner in bridging the gap between us and the academic institutes with research dollars that we put into good use.|