25 October 2013 Research on laser protection: an overview of 20 years of activities at Fraunhofer IOSB
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Since the advent of the laser in 1960, the protection of human eyes and sensors against intended or unintended damage by laser radiation is a hot research topic. As long as the parameters of a laser source such as the wavelength and the output power are known, adequate laser safety can be ensured simply by utilizing conventional laser protection filters which are based on absorption or interference effects. This is typically the case in cooperative environments like a laboratory or industrial facilities. A very different situation prevails in military defense or civil security. There, the parameters of encountering laser threats are usually unknown. Protection measures, helping against all types of laser threats, are the long desired objective of countless research activities. The biggest challenge in finding an effective measure arises from single laser pulses of unknown wavelength. The problem demands for a passive protection concept and may be based for example on intensity dependent effects. Moreover, the requested solutions shall comprise add-on possibilities like thin films to be put on existing optics, windshields or glasses. Unfortunately, such an all-embracing solution is still far out of reach.

The Fraunhofer IOSB has been working on the evaluation and development of non-conventional laser protection methods for more than 20 years. An overview of the past and present research activities shall be presented, comprising protection measures against laser damaging and laser dazzling.
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G. Ritt, G. Ritt, D. Walter, D. Walter, B. Eberle, B. Eberle, "Research on laser protection: an overview of 20 years of activities at Fraunhofer IOSB", Proc. SPIE 8896, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications X, 88960G (25 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2029083; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2029083

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