Laser beams directed into the sky from astronomical observatories to generate guide beacons for adaptive optics image-sharpening systems are a potential hazard to aircraft. Detection systems are needed to sense aircraft and interrupt the laser beam to prevent accidental illumination. We describe here a system designed for this task. A computer examines CCD images of the sky over a wide field of view and uses a motion detection algorithm to find tracks made by aircraft lights. The results of tests, conducted with simultaneous radar coverage from Tucson International Airport, are reported. A test with an actual laser beacon at the Multiple Mirror Telescope in which Mars was used as a simulated aircraft is also described.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific|
|State||Published - Dec 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science