Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force Materiel Command to conduct research into the physiological effects that occur when personnel are exposed to laser radiation and how these effects impact visual performance.
These research areas, including laser safety, vision science, laser eye protection and personnel susceptibility, are significant to the safe testing and use of major laser weapon systems.
The contract is worth up to $45 million over five years to Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology (IT) sector. Work on this program will be performed at Northrop Grumman IT in San Antonio.
Under the terms of the Optical Radiation Research and Field Services contract, Northrop Grumman IT will investigate the phenomena associated with the interaction of laser beams with biological systems.
The company will establish safe limits for laser exposure, and develop and test laser eye protection media. Additionally, Northrop Grumman IT will create models of visual performance in the presence of laser illumination, and will develop software tools that will enable safe testing of very high energy laser weapon systems.
‘Northrop Grumman IT is committed to supporting the Air Force Research Laboratory with this important optical radiation and laser safety research,’ said Kent Schneider, president, Defense Enterprise Solutions, Northrop Grumman IT. ‘We have conducted this type of research for more than 10 years and this contract win allows the company to continue its predominant technical excellence in laser eye protection and safety, vision science and directed energy bioeffects.’