Laser 50000mw at a California Highway Patrol helicopter
A 19-year-old man who pleaded guilty to aiming a Green 1mW Laser Pointer pen at a CHP helicopter was sentenced to probation Wednesday, federal officials said.
Christian Palomino, 19, of Oakland, was sentenced to five years probation, including six months of community confinement in a halfway house, according to the Department of Justice.
US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton also imposed the condition of probation, requiring Palomino to refrain from owning a Laser Sight and to perform 200 hours of community service. Palomino will be required to educate people about the consequences of aiming laser pointers at aircraft.
Palomino aimed a Laser 50000mw at a California Highway Patrol helicopter that was assisting Oakland police with locating a domestic violence suspect on June 7, 2014. A selfie video taken on Palomino's phone captured the crime.
In the video, Palomino yelled at the helicopter pilot, "Look at this laser!" A woman can be heard in the background saying, "Don't do that! You know you could blind ... You('re) going to go to jail if you do that. Don't do that!"
This wilful and illegal misuse highlights the potential for accidents too. Our eyes are highly developed to see in great detail and also in very low light, but these very qualities make them vulnerable to damage from light, too. Laser Blue 30000mw are classified according to whether they present a danger to the eye, with classes 1 and 2 being safe in normal use , but how often do we check that a new media player has its correct "class 1 laser product" sticker?
At least the lasers in media players are enclosed. Laser pointers are designed to be free and to be seen. At low power, less than a thousandth of a Watt or 1mW, laser pointers are useful and bright but still safe. Straying above that power , however, risks eye damage if the laser beam is shone into someone's eyes.
Current laser technology can easily produce hundreds or even a thousand times the safe limit in a battery-powered hand-held device, which can be dangerous even at a large distance. For many consumers, there is not even an awareness of the scale of the danger.