The implications of speckle statistics on laser eye-safety considerations are evaluated. The concept of speckled speckle is introduced, and its statistics are shown to correspond to the <i>K</i><sub>0</sub> function. Speckled speckle is defined in terms of the retinal power density when the eye is viewing an optically rough surface that is illuminated by a laser beam diffused through a ground-glass screen—a situation corresponding to subjective speckle modulated by objective speckle. Extensive numerical results are developed relating the ratio of the average power density on the retina over the eye-damage level to the acceptable probability that speckle statistics will cause the damage level to be exceeded. For ordinary speckle and for speckled speckle, for a probability of 10<sup>−6</sup> (10<sup>−9</sup>) of exceeding the damage level, the average power densities must be 0.072 (0.048) and 0.017 (0.0079) of the damage level, respectively.
© 1981 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article