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Effects of laser illumination on operational and visual performance of pilots conducting terminal operations

Author: Van B Nakagawara; United States. Office of Aerospace Medicine.; Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.
Publisher: Washington, DC : U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Aerospace Medicine, [2003]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Several hundred incidents involving the illumination of aircrew members by laser light have been reported in recent years. Consequently, FAA Order 7400.2 was revised to establish new guidelines for Flight Safe Exposure Limits (FSEL) in specific zones of navigable airspace. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of test subjects exposed to laser radiation while performing approach and departure  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Paper version:
Effects of laser illumination on operational and visual performance of pilots conducting terminal operations.
10 p.
(OCoLC)53825679
Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Van B Nakagawara; United States. Office of Aerospace Medicine.; Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.
OCLC Number: 74268208
Notes: Title from title screen (viewed Oct. 19, 2010).
"August 2003."
Performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute under Task no. AM-B-03-PRS-94.
Description: 1 online resource (10 pages) : digital, PDF file
Responsibility: Van B. Nakagawra [and others].

Abstract:

Several hundred incidents involving the illumination of aircrew members by laser light have been reported in recent years. Consequently, FAA Order 7400.2 was revised to establish new guidelines for Flight Safe Exposure Limits (FSEL) in specific zones of navigable airspace. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of test subjects exposed to laser radiation while performing approach and departure maneuvers in the Critical Flight Zone (CFZ). Pilot performance was assessed in a Boeing 727-200, Level C, flight simulator using four levels of laser illumination (0, 0.5, 5, and 50 muW/cm2) and three operational maneuvers (takeoff and departure, visual approach, and instrument landing system ILS approach). Subjective responses were solicited after each trial and during an exit interview. The pilots were asked to rate on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 = none, 2 = slight, 3 = moderate, 4 = great, and 5 = very great) the affect each laser exposure had on their ability to operate the aircraft and on their visual performance. Average subjective ratings were calculated for each exposure level and flight maneuver, and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed. Thirty-four pilots served as test subjects for this study. Average subjective ratings for operational and visual performance were 1.57 and 1.74, 1.89 and 2.15, 2.43 and 2.76, for the 0.5, 5 (i.e., CFZ), and 50 muW/cm2 laser exposure levels, respectively. ANOVA found a significant difference (p <0.05) between the subjective ratings for each exposure level. No significant differences were found between the types of flight maneuvers or between the ratings for operational and visual performance themselves for a given maneuver or exposure level. The FSEL of 5 muW/cm2 was validated for pilots illuminated by laser light while conducting terminal operations in the CFZ.

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