eyeball.jpgI think we all winced when we read, back in September, about the Delta pilot who was hit in the eye by a laser while flying a 737. Or about the 20 year-old Los Alamos intern who was zapped during a July experiment.Air Force researchers must not have liked what they read, either. That's presumably why they're looking to develop a contact lens that can protect against laser blasts (scroll down to find it).Lasers are becoming more and more common on the battlefield. Range finders, smart bomb guidance packages, and airplane protection systems all use the rays. And while the Air Force has been working hard to put together eyewear that'll keep the lasers at bay, it's been hard to integrate the things with "protective equipment (helmets, goggles, and chem/bio gear), life support equipment (visors and oxygen masks), and avionics (head/helmet mounted displays and night vision goggles)." Corrective glasses only make the problem worse.Anti-laser contact lenses might solve many of the problems, though. And they'd cover the eye better than glasses or goggles.

The contact lens sits on the eye, the entire cornea and pupil are covered, so there is no chance of a reflection, or high angle incident beam, sneaking behind the LEP [Laser Eye Protection]. Therefore, coupled with the appropriate laser protection technology, contact lenses provide a perfectly sized defense against eye injury, eliminating direct and off-axis retinal hazards from todays most dangerous military lasers that operate in the far red and near infrared spectrum (670 nm 1200 nm).
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