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Proceedings Paper

High-energy laser systems: analytical risk assessment and probablility density functions
Author(s): Peter Alan Smith; David A. Van Veldhuizen; Garrett D Polhamus
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Paper Abstract

A deterministic approach to laser hazard assessment is used in most laser safety standards. Personnel are protected from hazardous laser radiation is by defining a space withm which the direct, reflected, or scattered radiation during laser operation exceeds the safe Maximum Permissible Exposure level. Controlling access to this space insures safety. Although this approach has satisfied the commercial and industrial laser communities for many years, it may not be applicable to the highpower (up to megawatt) laser systems currently being developed by the US military. These systems will have extremely long laser hazard distances, and controlling access to this space will be unrealistic, especially when the likelihood of hazardous human exposure is low. For these situations, an alternative analytical approach that estimates both the level of risk and the degree of risk reduction achievable by controlling key contributors can be applied. Analytic risk assessment tools are finding increasing application in a wide variety of hazard assessments, m both industrial and commercial situations. These tools use scientific data, assumptions, and mathematical models to estimate the likelihood, frequency, and severity of harm to people exposed to the hazard. This paper will discusses application of such tools to laser safety and considers the uncertainties associated with probability density functions applied to key factors such as atmospheric scmtillation, reflected radiation, population distribution and ocular injury.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4246, Laser and Noncoherent Light Ocular Effects: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment, (17 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.426717
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Alan Smith, TASC, Inc. (United States)
David A. Van Veldhuizen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Garrett D Polhamus, TASC, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4246:
Laser and Noncoherent Light Ocular Effects: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment
Bruce E. Stuck; Michael Belkin M.D., Editor(s)

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