Rogue Wave Alarm   (+4, -2)  [vote for, against]

Simply a put, a few lasers shining out onto the horizon, which let off an alarm whenever they hit something. Sort of like the laser alarms in a banks vault. They should not hit anything, as they will be shining well above the water line. This will be located on a tower, with a leveling system to prevent the ships rocking from forcing the lasers to contact the waterline. The lasers will always be level with the earth.

Possible problem: birds flying in front of the laser.

I just watched a show on the History channel about Rogue waves, and they seem very real considering all the sources and incidents.
-- EvilPickels, Jan 14 2010

They're real enough. The problem you will have is that your system will only detect such waves as they cross the true horizon - depending on how tall your vessel is, that will vary a lot. And then you have to confirm if it's a real alarm, and then maneuver out of the way - no easy task for a big vessel, and if you react to every alert as real you would potentially waste a lot of time and fuel.

Satellite imaging or expendable buoy networks might be better.
-- 8th of 7, Jan 14 2010

With suitable modulation of the beam, and a sensor to detect the reflected light, you might be able to measure the distance to the rogue wave too.
-- Wrongfellow, Jan 14 2010

Wave radar; or just Wadar
-- DenholmRicshaw, Jan 14 2010

//Wadar// havoc for anyone who can't pwonounce their "r"s.
-- DrWorm, Jan 14 2010

These lasers would be mounted on land, not boats. A laser beam can't set off an alarm unless there's a sensor at the far end. Birds though could be ignored because interuption would be momentary vs. Sustained. I bun ya.
-- Mustardface, Jan 15 2010

I'm with [8th of 7], I'm not convinced these happen often enough to be worth the expense, one of his systems seems more reasonable.
-- Germanicus, Jan 15 2010

"Watch out; that rogue is waving at us again!"
-- pertinax, Jan 16 2010

I googled wave but am still none the wiser.
Incidentally, I thought that people were installing early warning sensors on the sea bed in strategic locations for just this sort of thing.
-- gnomethang, Jan 17 2010

How about a Rouge Wave Alarm for detecting over- friendly Communists?
-- Aristotle, Jan 17 2010

As long as Sarah Palin isn't attached to it, I'd buy it ;-)
-- blissmiss, Jan 17 2010

I suppose the laser tracker could detect the relative positions of hand, elbow and smile. Trigonometric algorithms compute a score based on velocity and seperation, with HM the Q as a fixed reference. If the score deviates more than a set amount, a klaxon sounds.
-- pocmloc, Jan 17 2010

random, halfbakery