Exposure to Backscattered Laser Radiation
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BROOKS AFB TX HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIR/OPTICAL RADIATION BRANCH
Pagination or Media Count:
A laser beam propagating in the atmosphere undergoes scattering and absorption by atmospheric molecules and suspended particles. A portion of the scattered radiation is backscattered and propagates toward the location of the laser source. There is concern that the backscattered radiation produced by a high-energy laser may pose ocular or skin hazards to personnel in the vicinity of the laser source. To assess these hazards, equations are derived for the backscattered irradiance from both Continuous-Wave CW and pulsed lasers. The derivations are based on the definition of the atmospheric backscatter coefficient and the principles of beam propagation theory. The expression for the backscatter irradiance of a pulsed laser is shown to reduce to the LIDAR LIght Detection And Ranging equation under conditions that characterize typical remote sensing scenarios. The application of the derived equations to backscatter hazard assessments using the applicable ANSI standards for safe use of lasers is discussed.
- Lasers and Masers
- Optical Detection and Detectors