Abstract

A series of experiments has been conducted to quantify the effects of laser wavelength and ambient luminance on the severity of laser eye dazzle experienced by human subjects. Eight laser wavelengths in the visible spectrum were used (458–647 nm) across a wide range of ambient luminance conditions (0.110,000  cd·m2). Subjects were exposed to laser irradiance levels up to 600  μW·cm2 and were asked to recognize the orientation of optotypes at varying eccentricities up to 31.6 deg of visual angle from the laser axis. More than 40,000 data points were collected from 14 subjects (ages 23–64), and these were consolidated into a series of obscuration angles for comparison to a theoretical model of laser eye dazzle. Scaling functions were derived to allow the model to predict the effects of laser dazzle on vision more accurately by including the effects of ambient luminance and laser wavelength. The updated model provides an improved match to observed laser eye dazzle effects across the full range of conditions assessed. The resulting model will find use in a variety of laser safety applications, including the estimation of maximum dazzle exposure and nominal ocular dazzle distance values.

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