Lamda Guard, a subsidiary of Metamaterial Technologies Inc, in the U.K., has developed metaAIR, which uses an array of nano-particles of specific periodic geometry (called metamaterials) to protect flight crews from laser strikes.
metaAir's optically transparent thin film filter, which is more than 100 times thinner than a human hair, selectively blocks narrow-band, specific light frequencies by reflection rather than absorption. The technology consists of metamaterials and can be adhesively applied on existing surfaces, such as cockpit windows or windshields.
Current solutions that block laser light are usually standalone products or instruments such as laser safety eyewear, which can hamper cockpit instrumentation and pilot performance. Such solutions require extra investments in night-vision equipment, such as night vision goggles or head-up displays (HUDs). The metaAIR, on the other hand, is quick-to-install, long-lasting, and more cost effective.
“metaAir can be integrated during either aircraft forward-fit or retrofit operations," mentions Frost & Sullivan Consultant Thomas Saquer. "It requires minimal integration costs; it eliminates complex cockpit conversion, training, and additional certification."
metaAir improves fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft flight safety without heavily impacting fleet availability; it does not need lengthy grounding time for integrating the solution. Also, end users do not have to wait for the next generation of safety solutions on future aircraft, metaAir can be immediately deployed on existing aircraft, officials say.
"As a unique participant with an unrivalled solution to improve safety, metaAIR could become a standard in the industry and perhaps, even become mandatory with the passing of stricter safety regulations," adds Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Alix Leboulanger.