Lamda Guard, a company based in Atlantic Canada, has signed an agreement with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus to test a breakthrough innovation designed to deflect unwanted bright light or laser sources from impacting jetliner flight paths, and causing pilot disorientation or injury.
Lamda Guard's innovative thin films utilize metamaterial technology on cockpit windscreens to selectively block and control light coming from any angle even at the highest power levels. "Today marks a milestone in optical applications of nano-composites," said George Palikaras, President and CEO of Lamda Guard. "Through our collaboration with Airbus we are working to introduce our metamaterial technology, for the first time, as a solution to laser interference in the aviation industry."
The announcement today comes within weeks of the release of an FBI report citing 3,960 aircraft laser strikes in the US in 2013 according to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
Senior Vice President of Innovation Yann Barbaux stated: "At Airbus, we are always on the lookout for new ideas coming from innovative SMEs, such as Lamda Guard. We are very pleased to explore together the potential application of this solution to our aircraft, for the benefit of our customers."
Over the past year Lamda Guard has been working with the research community at the University of Moncton and the University of New Brunswick, as well as stakeholders, investors and funders to highlight the benefits of nano-composites. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in particular has played an important role in Lamda Guard's research and development efforts. In 2012, ACOA assisted Lamda Guard with technology commercialization and recently upgraded its contribution to $500,000 to further assist the company in developing and manufacturing its products for the aviation industry.
"We would like to congratulate Lamda Guard on the partnership they are forging with Airbus," said the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (ACOA). "Our Government believes in investing in innovation and developing business and trade relationships beyond our borders, as demonstrated by the recently announced Canada-EU and Canada-Korea Trade Agreements."
The Lamda Guard Airbus partnership marks the first time an optical metamaterial nano-composite has been applied on a large-scale surface.