EFFECTS ON EYES FROM EXPOSURE TO VERY-HIGH-ALTITUDE BURSTS
Technical summary rept.
SCHOOL OF AVIATION MEDICINE RANDOLPH AFB TX
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The primary objective was to determine the extent of chorioretinal damage caused by exposure to very-high-altitude, high-yield nuclear detonations at distances of 50 to 350 nautical miles from burst point and to relate experimental data to theoretical calculations. A correlated objective was to estimate, from the data derived from these experiments, distance limits beyond which retinal burns were not expected to occur from nuclear detonations at these altitudes. Pigmented rabbits were exposed at varying distances from surface zero, on the surface and at altitude, to the radiant thermal energy from two very-high-altitude bursts. Burns were produced in all animals at all stations where line-of-sight vision prevailed. During Shot Teak, chorioretinal burns averaging 0.5 mm in diameter were produced in rabbits exposed behind plexiglass in an aircraft at an altitude of 15,000 feet and a slant range of 307 nautical miles from the burst point.