Home Forums Pilot Alerts & TFRs NOTAM Wrightwood Laser Research Activity


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    NASA is conducting laser communications research from the Table Mountain Facility; please refer to NOTAM # 2/4076 (KZLA-A0316/22).  This is a permanent NOTAM flyers in the Baldy/Mt San Antonio area should be aware of.  Laser is non-visible.  Hazard Zone is 5 NM centered on Table Mountain, based on 18,000 ft MSL ceiling. Min elevation angle of beam is 20 degrees, laser NOHD is >50km.

    Contact: Marcum Martz, Laser Safety Officer, 6263756556, marcum.martz@jpl.nasa.gov for more information.


    here is a screen grab of the notam:

    Screen Shot 2022-03-23 at 10.31.08 AM


    50+ km NOHD (Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance): Definition.

    To visualize the area, I plotted a 5 NM radius around the NASA JPL Table Mountain Facility2022_03_23_NOTAM_NASA_JPL_TableMtn

    David Webb
    General Member



    i just got word from marcum that the laser will be active “no sooner than the 28th”.

    it’s looking like a great day to get up and go.  be safe out there kids.


    Updated: the FAA has moved the notice into the SW US Chart Supplement:

    Screenshot 2022-03-25 104103

    Interesting, I was not aware of the Mt. Wilson notice.


    A couple more notes:

    If it looks like weather conditions are good for flights that may take you over Wrightwood, you can always check with me (6263756556) on the day of to see if we’re operating. An alternate phone # is 6267201988 (Daniel) in case I’m out of town.

    While laser protective eyewear is really only designed as a backup protective measure, and although it’s designed to take a direct hit, there’s always the chance of a stray reflection coming in the side. But if you’re interested, the correct specification would be Optical Density (OD) of 6+ for 1064 nm. Here’s a link to a supplier (not an endorsement): https://www.kenteklaserstore.com/products/eyewear/laser-safety-eyewear?wavelengths=6-1064.

    Screenshot eywear


    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    Been there many times. Found a couple tracks. Also built a beefy rebar cage for a telescope base.P1020833Hopefully, we can call and see if the airspace is hot or not.Table

    David Webb
    General Member


    Another pilot saw this and posted to the SD group. Looks like the NOTAM was cancelled? I have not yet confirmed.


    Marcum mentioned in a posting above… “the FAA has moved the notice into the SW US Chart Supplement”.

    Which can explain the cancellation of the NOTAM, but the concern remains.

    David Webb
    General Member

    Ah – I missed that detail. That makes sense.


    As Dan DeWeese mentions, the best thing to do is call (see phone numbers in this thread).  The precise schedule (including azimuth and elevation angle) will be known 24 hours in advance.

    The mission test phase starts the week of 3/28/22 and runs for one year after launch (August or September, 2022), unless it gets extended (which often happens).  Read about the mission here: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/scan/opticalcommunications/psyche-dsoc/.

    From a long-term perspective, this facility (https://scienceandtechnology.jpl.nasa.gov/optical-communications-laboratory) will be continuing to operate for the foreseeable future.  However, except for DSOC projects, the lasers are lower power, and do not pose an eye injury hazard.


    FYI – the Psyche Mission launches October 5, so expect a fair amount of laser activity in the days and weeks following.

    Flyers are urged to avoid the 5 NM area to the south of Table Mountain.  Check with me for schedule (6263756556) or Daniel (6267201988) if your flight plan takes you in this area.

    Marcum Martz
    Jet Propulsion Lab
    Laser Safety Officer

    David Webb
    General Member

    Thank you, Marcum, for posting updates. They are very much appreciated.

    Ken Howells
    General Member

    Congratulations to the team at Table Mountain for their part in the Psyche mission’s successful test of laser communication over a distance of 10,000,000 miles!

    10 Million Miles Away: NASA Achieves Historic Data Exchange With Deep Space Optical Communications Experiment

    With an uplink from Table Mountain to Psyche and a downlink to the Hale telescope at Mt. Palomar that’s a heckuva triangle flight! Or is it technically an out-and-return?

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