Laser Safety Glasses and The Importance to Military and Police
The use of Laser Safety Glasses has been on the rise in recent years with a project annual growth of 4.9% per annum until 2025. Much of this projected growth is in the US market where the US Government has been driving production with $233.56 million dollars in Laser Safety Glasses.
This dramatic increase in the market is due to the increase in use of laser safety eyewear in the military and police. In this article we will look at how police departments and the military use laser safety glasses.
Military Uses of Laser Safety Glasses
There are a variety of laser uses within the military which might require the use of laser safety glasses. These applications include:
- Guidance systems for missiles
- Medical uses
- Firearms Sights
- Direct energy weapons
- Holographic weapons
- Research and Development Applications
The military also use laser safety glasses for defensive requirements against enemy laser attacks.
As we have previously reported, laser strikes against pilots, including civilian ones, are on the increase every year. This may be due to the advances in technology, lowered costs and increased accessibility to lasers by civilians and countries around the world.
One such instance of this has been written about by Steven Dufresne in 2018, entitled “Chinese Laser AK-47: Myth or Reality?” The article highlights the increase in applications for lasers and the dangers that they pose to humans.
” Chinese company ZKZM Laser has produced the ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle which people are calling AK-47 because of its similar size, weighing in at three kilos (6.6 lbs).
…powered by a rechargeable lithium battery…
…a range of 800 meters (0.5 miles)…
…a beam that is invisible to the eye…
…able to burn human flesh if held in place long enough…”
Whilst this weapon is not as advanced as many military laser weapons, the startling ability of lasers is clearly expressed and its power is not to be taken lightly. This type of weapons could cause irreparable damage to the eye and shows the need for the military to protect themselves with laser safety glasses.
The increased use of lasers within the military has led to a marked rise in the military issuing contracts for laser protection eyewear as evidenced by the 2016 article by Kevin McCaney which states:
“The Air Force has awarded a $30 million contract to Teledyne Scientific & Imaging for the company’s Aircrew Laser Eye Protection (ALEP) spectacles, essentially glasses that protect against hazards and the potential threats from laser devices, whether in combat or in training. The Army, meanwhile, has issued a presolicitation for goggles that can protect against traditional threats such as ballistic fragments while adding protection against laser eye protection in a variety of light conditions.”
The range of applications for laser use, whether it be for a pilot against laser strike attacks or a military dentist patient is on the increase and laser safety glasses are a vital piece of protection equipment for the military. As well as protecting eyes from light emitted by lasers, they also help protect against environmental threats whilst providing prescription protection as well.
How Do the Police Use Laser Safety Glasses?
As explained above, with lasers becoming more common, governments are more frequently turning to laser safety glasses to protect their police recruits. Many of us may be familiar with the radar / laser gun that is used to catch speeding motorists. Laser guns or Lidar devices are more accurate than the radar versions as they have a narrower beam and can be used to identify vehicles and detect their speeds.
Lasers are also used for
· Sights of weapons
· Crowd Control
· Drug Detection
Lasers are becoming more frequently used in the detection of drugs as an article on Drugfree.org states:
“The device can be used to scan small bags of drugs, and gives police almost instant identification…
…Police traditionally have needed to use chemical test kits to identify drugs.
…The officer holds the sample bag against the device and presses a scan button. The device does a quick analysis and provides a result.”
A separate article on The Blaze called “‘Laser Dazzler’ Unveiled for Use by Law Enforcement – So How Does It Work?”, by Liz Klimas describes how police use lasers:
“Last month, a non-lethal weapon – once reserved only for the military – was unveiled as a new tool for local law enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard.
…Laser dazzlers work by temporarily blinding a subject using a green laser with no risk of killing the person, unlike the risk associated with tasers and guns outfitted with rubber bullets.
…At 40 meters, the laser can cause permanent damage.”
This article illustrates the non lethal use of lasers for crowd control circumstances which may be beneficial when dealing with large crowds where tasers would be ineffective. Although we have described here how police use lasers, safety officers also have to account for how the public uses lasers on police. An article on USA Today written in 2014, described how a man received 14 years for pointing a laser at a police helicopter.
“Sergio Rodriguez, 26, of Clovis, was sentenced Monday for pointing a laser at a Fresno police helicopter…
…Laser strikes are a concern for airliners because they can temporarily blind a pilot while landing or taking off. The number of laser strikes against aircraft has climbed sharply in the last decade, reaching 3,960 last year.”
The police and military operatives engage with laser technology in a variety of ways with the need for laser safety glasses being vital for both defensive and offensive reasons. Due to the circumstances that the laser glasses are used, they are required to be multi functional, comfortable, fit for purpose and durable for both combat and field use.
The use of laser technology will only grow from here as we continue to develop new innovations and applications for its use, so providing high quality laser safety glasses is paramount to protecting our armed forces. We have developed a range of glasses that can be used by both police and military to provide protection against lasers. Please contact us today to find out more.