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Facilitating the Transition from Bright to Dim Environments

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Technical Report

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U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory Fort Rucker United States

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High on the list of desired capabilities for Warfighters, enumerated by MG Walter Wojdakowski at the 2008 Fort Benning Lab Day, was the development of combat protective eyewear with lenses that would instantly change the amount of light transmitted based on incident lighting conditions. This study compared five different eyewear conditions 1 no eyewear, 2 Approved Protective Eyewear List APEL clear eyewear, 3 APEL sun eyewear, 4 step-filter eyewear, and 5 electro-optical eyewear. Dark adaptation responsiveness and target recognition were most effective with the step-filter eyewear compared to the control, clear, and sunglass conditions. The step-filter and electro-optical eyewear were both subjectively preferred over all other approaches. Operational performance results while wearing either of these two optical devices were equally effective and consequently the ultimate fielding decision could be based on acquisition-related differences cost andor time.

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