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Navy, Air Force Develop Laser Threat Protection Tech for Pilots

The U.S. Navy and Air Force have jointly developed and assessed an eye protection prototype for aviation operations in an effort to help reduce visible-laser cockpit illumination incidents.

The Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton Vision Science Laboratory and the photonics materials branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate designed an LEP model for the U.S. Coast Guard‘s fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft platforms, according to an article published July 31 on DVIDS.

Researchers tested the prototype’s features and compatibility with night-vision devices and head-up displays.

The LEP spectacle is scheduled to undergo a flight acceptance evaluation through September.

NAMRU-Dayton Vision Science Lab and AFRL/RXAP also developed the sample protective gear for aviation-related commercial, general, medical and law enforcement operations.

The project comes after the Coast Guard’s Office of Aviation Forces expressed concern over the harmful effects of high-powered handheld lasers in flight safety and search and rescue missions.

The solar radiant energy from handheld lasers could visually harm pilots and hinder responses to tasks during flight operations, the report noted.

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