Navigation light

From Academic Kids

A Navigation Light is a colored source of specular illumination (a point source) on an aircraft, water-borne vessel, or land vehicle. Commonly, their placement is mandated by international conventions or civil authorities. They are used to signal a craft's position in low visibility, and to communicate basic information about the craft, primarily its position, heading, and status.

Some common navigation lighting systems include:

  • Right-of-Way lights - On ships, aircraft and manned spacecraft, a red light will be mounted on the left or port side of the craft and a green on the right or starboard side. These help two craft on a collision course determine who has right-of-way: if a pilot sees a craft on a path crossing his own, he will see either its red running light or green running light. If he sees green, he is to the impinging craft's starboard and has the right of way. If the pilot sees the red light, he knows that the approaching craft has the right-of-way, and he is required to deviate from his course to avoid the collision.
  • Strobe lights - On aircraft primarily, strobe lights flash a high-intensity burst of white light, to help other pilots recognize the aircraft's position in low-visibility conditions.

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