Protection For Helicoper and Fixed-Wing Pilots Against Laser Induced Glare and Flash Blindness
CE-certified - Flight Tested
Style #56 -- GlareShields™ are available in all NoIR frame styles. Lens color as pictured is not representive.
High-powered hand-held laser pointers have become a significant hazard to law-enforcement officers and pilots, as they can induce
a temporary and dazzling flash/glare blindness. The sudden loss of vision from even a low-power laser pointer illumination can be
disorienting and debilitating, yet standard sunglasses and typical safety goggles provide virtually no protection from these hazards.
NoIR GlareShields™ laser pointer filters provide sufficient protection from the disabling effects of intentional or incidental laser pointer hits without compromising the wearer’s ability to perform on the job. All NoIR GlareShields™ provide full daylight UV and glare
protection along with laser safety. But since the flash-blindness effect of a laser pointer illumination is much more pronounced at night,
NoIR offers two GlareShields™ designed for use in low light conditions. GlareShields™ optimize protection from the beam with
Optical Densities (ODs) between 1-2.5 (absorbing 90-99.5% of the beam energy), while still allowing visibility of the beam spot
(for point source location), all without compromising visual acuity or display panel color recognition.
FAA Report: Increased Threat Posed by Hand-held Lasers
Inappropriate use of lasers has become more prevalent and dangerous as handheld lasers have become less expensive, more powerful and increasingly available to the general public, according to a report issued in December 2010 by the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s no coincidence, then, that the number of laser events involving aircraft is also rising. The FAA reports that overall, the number of incidents nationally in which people pointed lasers at planes and helicopters nearly doubled last year, from 1,527 incidents in 2009 to 2,836 incidents in 2010.
While no accidents have been attributed to laser illuminations, there is the potential for an accident. "Sudden exposure to laser radiation during a critical phase of flight, such as on approach to landing or departure, can distract or disorient a pilot and cause temporary visual impairment," the report stated. Helicopters, especially those used by law enforcement, are at a greater risk, since they often hover at low altitudes and can be more easily targeted.
The hazard is significant: A 5-milliwatt green laser -- the maximum output for any device labeled and sold as an office laser pointer -- is a distraction to pilots over a mile away, while a 125-milliwatt laser can cause a cockpit distraction at a distance of greater than 5 miles. The danger posed by a bright laser illumination is increased at night, as the target’s eyes are low-light adapted and the effect is more pronounced. Standard sunglasses typically afford no protection from high-intensity green, blue and red laser pointers; in fact, normal sunglasses can have the undesired effect of increasing the time it takes to adapt to the bright glare of a laser illumination.
Ground based law enforcement officers are also at risk of laser illuminations, and GlareShields™ are designed to reduce the hazard of a laser pointer illumination to these personnel, ensuring the wearer is protected and still at peak performance.
LaserShield® and GlareShields™ are trademarks of NoIR Laser Co., LLC.