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19 May 2005 Laser countermeasures for commercial airlines
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Since the attempted shoot down of an Israeli airliner departing from Mombasa, Kenya in November of 2002, there has been heightened concern that Al Qaeda, or other terrorist factions, will use shoulder-fired heat seeking missiles as part of their tactics. These weapons, known more formally as man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, have been widely proliferated, are easy to conceal and deploy, and can be purchased on the black market for as little as $10,000. Recognizing that MANPADS pose a potential threat to commercial airplanes throughout the world, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is executing a system design and development (SDD) program to evaluate the viability of missile countermeasures that would be installed on commercial airplanes. This paper provides an overview of the MANPADS threat, a discussion of associated countermeasure requirements for systems installed on commercial airplanes, and a description of a laser countermeasure system that is being prototyped and demonstrated as part of the DHS Counter-MANPADS program.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Burt Keirstead "Laser countermeasures for commercial airlines", Proc. SPIE 5781, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security, (19 May 2005);


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