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Thread: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    Apparently this is for real and being tested by Dutch Railways. This raises all sorts of safety questions, not the least of which is highly reflective rails. And how do you prevent it from creating wildfires?
    Last edited by PhotonWrangler; 12-05-2014 at 02:39 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    Apparently this is for real and being tested by Dutch Railways. This raises all sorts of safety questions, not the least of which is highly reflective rails. And how do you prevent it from creating wildfires?
    I'm going to speculate that they have accounted for this via their "25,000 times per second" statement with some sort of high-speed camera system that ensures the laser only strikes leaves. Perhaps their choice of wavelength also ensures that the leaf is incinerated without combustion, along with the fact that the train wheels will roll over the leaves scant milliseconds after the laser strike.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    It sort of reminds me of the laser mosquito zapper. I'm wondering if simple air jets would suffice though.

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    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    It sort of reminds me of the laser mosquito zapper. I'm wondering if simple air jets would suffice though.
    Not when the leaves are wet, next time when the leaves fall on the driveway sprinkle a little water on them before trying your 2-cycle blower on them, you'll find the task of leaf clearing pretty difficult to do. Even if they are just a little wet, crazy how effective water is.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    Yes, and I suspect that wet leaves would not be cleared by the train's laser leaf zapper.

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    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    It's an interesting concept, but I can't see it working in the real world.
    They can justify the use of lasers any way they want but when it comes down to it, we all know the real reason is that lasers are cool and a bunch of middle aged men want to fulfill their childhood star wars fantasies.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Train carries laser to burn leaves off of tracks

    Trains already set enough fires. In Portland Oregon Union Pacific set the Baxter McConnick superfund site on fire 3 years in a row. Fireman were handing homeowners hoses and moving down to the next block. I traced down the cause of this. Train brake pads wear off and send down showers of sparks. The pad residue builds up into a bivariate normal distribution mass which falls off when it get heavy enough around 10 pounds. I took one of those to the local newspaper but they were not interested.

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