LONDON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- New eye protection for pilots against laser weapons and pens-like devices is being tested by Britain's Ministry of Defense.
The eyewear, from Scotland's Thin Film Solutions, can filter out a range of different laser wavelengths.
"There are an increasing number of incidents of inexpensive lasers being used to distract pilots, so we have been researching advanced technologies to mitigate this hazardous and potentially lethal distraction," said Dr. Craig Williamson, principal scientist at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.
The new protection utilizes a composite structure of a polycarbonate layer. It is made with an absorbing optical dye, bonded to a thin glass lens with a special coating to reflect certain wavelengths.
The testing -- including optical performance and environmental testing by DSTL, and laser dazzle and performance testing at QinetiQ -- will be conducted later this year. The U.S. Air Force last May had tested the eyewear.
"The bilateral work at the United States Air Force Tri-Service Research Laboratory in San Antonio proved to be invaluable," said Pete Douglass of the Ministry of Defense's Defence Equipment and Support organization. "The results from this human performance testing on spatial detection and color perception have set the benchmark for future work, and we're hoping that further bilateral funding will be available to research the next generation of eye protection in the coming years."
DSTL and the U.S. Air Force have a technology teaming arrangement.
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