Laser strikes on commercial aircraft have risen over the years and laser pointers are increasing in power and decreasing in price. Lasers can distract and even harm pilots during critical phases of flight and can cause temporary visual impairment. Over 2000 laser incidents were recorded in the USA in the first four months of 2017 alone, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In 2015 there were over 10,000 laser incidents reported to the FAA, the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Transport Canada.
metaAIR is nanofabricated as a flexible metamaterial optical filter which can be applied to any transparent surface – such as the inner surface of an aircraft’s cockpit windscreen – to control unwanted light sources while not interfering with visibility. The filter deflects harmful laser beams aimed at aircraft windscreens even at high power levels and from wide angles preventing the beam from reaching the inside of the aircraft cockpit.
Last month, Satair Group and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will lead to an exclusive distribution deal to bring MTI’s laser protection product metaAIR to the civil aviation market in 2018.
“metaAIR has been three years in development but in aerospace that’s a pretty quick turnaround.”By George Palikaras, MTI Founder and CEO
We also recently featured another technology tackling the growing issue of laser strikes – ST Laserstrike's Aviator sunglasses which can cut out harmful red, blue and green beams while still enabling the pilot to see instrument lights with those colours. Watch the video here.