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Description of various test scenarios for temporary blinding of pilots by means of bright optical radiation during darkness
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Paper Abstract

Up to now the knowledge is limited as far as adverse effects are concerned which are the result of temporary blinding from high brightness optical products, like laser pointers, but it is mandatory to be aware of the degree and influence on various visual functions of persons performing challenging activities, especially under mesopic or even scotopic conditions. Therefore various test scenarios have been designed in the laboratory and bright optical radiation from highbrightness LEDs and laser products applied as light sources in order to simulate the temporary blinding of pilots during a night-flight, especially during landing. As an important realistic test object the primary flight display (PFD) of a commercial aircraft has been integrated in the respective test set-up and various alignments on the PFD could be adjusted in order to measure the time duration which is needed to regain the ability to read the respective data on the PFD after an exposure. The pilot's flight deck lighting situation from a full flight simulator A 320 has been incorporated in the test scenarios. The level of exposure of the subjects has been limited well below the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) and the exposure duration was chosen up to a maximum of 10 s. A total of 28 subjects have been included in various tests. As a critical value especially the visual search time (VST) was determined. A significant increase of VST between 2.5 s and 8 s after foveal irradiation has been determined in a specially designed test with a primary flight display (PFD) whereas an increase of 9.1 s for peripheral and 9.9 s for frontal irradiation resulted in an exercise (flight maneuver) with a Microsoft flight-simulator. Various pupil diameters and aversion responses of the subjects during the irradiation might be responsible for the relatively large spread of data, but on the other hand a simple mean value would not comply with the spectrum of functional relationships and possible individual inherent physiological and voluntary active reactions of the irradiated persons, respectively.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8054, Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications VII, 80540T (4 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883016
Show Author Affiliations
Hans-Dieter Reidenbach, Cologne Univ. of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8054:
Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications VII
Michael J. Hayduk; Peter J. Delfyett, Editor(s)

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