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Proceedings Paper

Optical countermeasures against CLOS weapon systems
Author(s): Alexander Toet; Koen W. Benoist; Joost N. J. van Lingen; H. Ric M. A. Schleijpen
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Paper Abstract

There are many weapon systems in which a human operator acquires a target, tracks it and designates it. Optical countermeasures against this type of systems deny the operator the possibility to fulfill this visual task. We describe the different effects that result from stimulation of the human visual system with high intensity (visible) light, and the associated potential operational impact. Of practical use are flash blindness, where an intense flash of light produces a temporary “blind-spot” in (part of) the visual field, flicker distraction, where strong intensity and/or color changes at a discomfortable frequency are produced, and disability glare where a source of light leads to contrast reduction. Hence there are three possibilities to disrupt the visual task of an operator with optical countermeasures such as flares or lasers or a combination of these; namely, by an intense flash of light, by an annoying light flicker or by a glare source. A variety of flares for this purpose is now available or under development: high intensity flash flares, continuous burning flares or strobe flares which have an oscillating intensity. The use of flare arrays seems particularly promising as an optical countermeasure. Lasers are particularly suited to interfere with human vision, because they can easily be varied in intensity, color and size, but they have to be directed at the (human) target, and issues like pointing and eye-safety have to be taken into account. Here we discuss the design issues and the operational impact of optical countermeasures against human operators.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2013
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8898, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures X; and High-Power Lasers 2013: Technology and Systems, 88980L (15 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2028342
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander Toet, TNO (Netherlands)
Koen W. Benoist, TNO (Netherlands)
Joost N. J. van Lingen, TNO (Netherlands)
H. Ric M. A. Schleijpen, TNO (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8898:
Technologies for Optical Countermeasures X; and High-Power Lasers 2013: Technology and Systems
David H. Titterton; Harro Ackermann; Willy L. Bohn; Mark A. Richardson; Robert J. Grasso, Editor(s)

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