Annex A. Science And Technology Objectives (STOs)
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

IV.Q.15 Laser Bioeffects and Treatment. No single factor is more certain to compromise soldier effectiveness than the knowledge of battlefield threats against which there are no proven medical countermeasures. No organ is more vulnerable to the directed energy of laser than the unprotected eye, and blindness, temporary or permanent, can occur in an instant and without warning. Medical research has demonstrated that not all forms of laser energy are equally harmful to the eye; thus, system developers can be guided away from harmful frequency/power mixes by medical exposure standards based on new research, which do not needlessly deny developers options to raise power levels or exploit frequencies which pose less threat. Understanding of the bioeffects must be translated into effective field treatment interventions.

By FY97, demonstrate efficacy of early phase anti-inflammatory therapy in nonhuman primate model for treatment of laser retinal trauma and identify other early phase treatment candidates. By FY97, determine hazards of fast optical switch for tank sights and establish analytical methods for prediction of the degree of ocular protection. By FY97, refine eye tracker model to simulate laser injury and correlate performance with human laser accident case results. By FY98, resolve discrepancies in bioeffects database for subnanosecond exposures and update hazards assessment and exposure limits based on operational performance criteria. By FY98, determine bioeffects of broadband diodes used in advanced military display systems. By FY98, develop high resolution ophthalmoscopic imaging technology for use in telemedical assessment of laser eye injuries, and provide laser injury database for inclusion in smart far-forward medical information systems. By FY98, establish performance-based models characterizing levels of visual impairment pertinent to battlefield laser injury. By FY99, develop and test field therapy kits for laser retinal injury. By FY99, develop in vivo photoreceptor imaging in primate models to enhance assessment of laser retinal injury and repair mechanisms. By FY00, refine operational exposure limits. By FY02, refine methodologies to assess and treat laser retinal injuries. By FY02, convolve high resolution retinal imaging technology with photoreceptor transplant technology to evaluate autologous photoreceptor transplant methodology. By FY02, begin evaluation of electronic retinal implants for treatment of laser scotoma.

Dr. Fred Hegge MAJ Mark Seymour LTC Dunham
301-619-7301 703-695-5615 405-442-5647