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Proceedings Paper

Effects of laser glare on visual search performance
Author(s): John A. D'Andrea; James C. Knepton; Michael D. Reddix
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Paper Abstract

In the future, aviation aircrews will likely operate in an environment that is saturated with electromagnetic energy emitted from a variety of sources. Lasers serving many applications, such as rangefinding and guidance, will be included in this environment. Eye damage from laser sources is possible, but laser irradiation below levels necessary to produce eye damage may still degrade visually guided human performance. It is important to understand how, and to what extent, visually mediated human performance is affected by low-level laser glare. To this end, we have conducted some initial laboratory studies in which we have systematically varied level of glare and cockpit windscreen characteristics while subjects, who were seated in a cockpit familiarization trainer, performed a visual search task. The search task required subjects to scan a complex visual scene projected on a screen and report the location of one small target disk randomly placed among larger background disks. In a series of studies, we have shown that windscreen characteristics and ambient illumination can interact with laser- induced glare to disrupt visual search performance. We have also shown that lens opacity, an opaqueness of the lens that increases with age, may interact with laser glare and degrade visual search performance more in older individuals. Laser light intensities well below the eye injury threshold may effectively disrupt visually guided performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1694, Sensors and Sensor Systems for Guidance and Navigation II, (1 July 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138133
Show Author Affiliations
John A. D'Andrea, Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab. (United States)
James C. Knepton, Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab. (United States)
Michael D. Reddix, Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1694:
Sensors and Sensor Systems for Guidance and Navigation II
Sharon S. Welch, Editor(s)

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