Visual Search in the Detection of Retinal Injury: A Feasibility Study
Interim rept. 11 Sep 2011-12 Sep 2012
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB FORT SAM HOUSTON TX HUMAN PERFORMANCE WING (711TH) HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIR/ DIRECTED ENERGY BIOEFFECTS DIVISION
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The use of lasers on the battlefield continues to grow as increasingly sophisticated systems are fielded and new purposes for their use are discovered. For many years, lasers have been widely used for range finding, target designation, and illumination to guide munitions to targets. More recently, lasers operating in the visible range have been used to dazzle adversaries with bright light or to signal warning. Powerful lasers are also being developed to jam sensors in ground vehicles and aircraft or to disable and destroy them.1-2 The majority of lasers in use operate at visible and near-infrared NIR wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. The retina is very susceptible to injury at these wavelengths because the optics of the eye focuses these wavelengths upon it. Since many military laser systems are quite powerful, injury due to exposure can occur with even very brief exposures. The outcome of an exposure can range from temporary visual effects such as glare and flashblindness to retinal damage and permanent visual impairment.
- Anatomy and Physiology