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Proceedings Paper

Transient disruption of human pursuit-tracking performance for laser exposures below permissible exposure limits
Author(s): David A. Stamper; David J. Lund; Jerome W. Molchany; Bruce E. Stuck
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Paper Abstract

The proliferation of lasers for medical care, laser displays, industrial applications and audio- visual presentations has increased the potential for accidental intrabeam exposure to visible laser radiation. The output of these laser devices may be limited to below permissible exposure limits, but they are perceived as bright and can affect performance. The disruption experienced while viewing a laser is related to factors that include the retinal irradiance level, wavelength, ambient light level and mode (continuous wave (CW) and repetitively pulsed (RP)). This report describes studies where these factors were varied to assess the effects of laser light on tracking performance in a laboratory simulator and in a field study. Disruption was determined by measuring maximum error and total time off target. Performance disruption increased as irradiance levels increased and ambient light levels decreased.Under dawn/dusk conditions, relatively low-level laser energy produced performance disruption. Green laser light at the peak of the photopic sensitivity curve was more disruptive than red laser light. Increased error scores during CW and RP trials were attributed to average rather than peak power effects. More than 1500 laser exposures at levels up to MPE/2 have been given to volunteers. Despite transient performance disruption comparison of the pre- and post- laser visual performance tests and fundus evaluations wee unremarkable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2974, Laser and Noncoherent Ocular Effects: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment, (2 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.275233
Show Author Affiliations
David A. Stamper, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
David J. Lund, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
Jerome W. Molchany, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
Bruce E. Stuck, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2974:
Laser and Noncoherent Ocular Effects: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment
Bruce E. Stuck; Michael Belkin M.D., Editor(s)

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