Intellectual property patent status

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Effective laser filters that provide safety to both people and equipment are absolutely essential. Until now, previous options on the market have had significant limitations in usability and practicality – leaving EO (electro-optical) turrets, visible band cameras, and the naked eye of dismounted soldiers vulnerable to harm and damage.

High intensity laser protection


Lasers are capable of causing lasting damage at both long and short range. Exposure causes harm through direct burning, boiling of fluids within the eye, as well as protein degradation, resulting in damage to the lens. High-intensity exposure can also damage camera sensors resulting in loss of image, with obvious consequences for visual surveillance, reconnaissance (the exploration of an area by the military), and similar operations.

Today, filters on the market offering protection against eye and sensor laser damage require the user to know the wavelength of the anticipated threat in advance, which significantly reduces the filters’ usability in practice. Additionally, these filters are unable to transmit high levels of light, leaving the user with a darkened image lacking in clarity, which is particularly problematic in low-light conditions.

The solution

Researchers at the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have developed two new optical filters, capable of limiting the output of a laser over a broad range of wavelengths, thereby eliminating the need for prior knowledge of the laser’s emission spectrum. This makes the filters a suitable compliment to existing laser protection systems, as well as providing protection against emissions from unknown threats.

These novel and unique technologies provide protection against high-intensity pulse lasers, whilst maintaining high brightness and reducing image distortion compared with other filters on the market.

The result is a significant improvement in user-safety, with reduced damage to equipment for a high clarity image and sustained situational awareness when it’s needed most. This is essential to both protect the health of soldiers, and to prevent operations being forced to end due to damaged equipment.

Key benefits

  • Owing to its unique design, this technology can be tuned, has a ‘self-healing’ property for longevity, durability, and reliability, and it is non-toxic, making it easy to manage and use.
  • These intensity-limiting laser filters are extremely versatile and protect against a wide range of laser wavelengths, without the need for prior intel/knowledge.
  • It enables a reduced reliance on threat intelligence and situational awareness, with an increased likelihood of operational success.
  • Brighter image through high linear transmission of light, and reduced image distortion, meaning clear, good quality images are produced and maintained, even in the event of laser attack/contact.
  • No loss of product performance over time.
  • These filters significantly reduce the chance of harm and sight loss in users to protect the health of soldiers.
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Potential applications

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Laser protection for dismounted soldiers

These filter technologies can provide critical protection to the eyes of soldiers when faced with the danger of a high intensity laser – preventing blindness and disability through sight loss or damage. The filters can be applied to sights and scopes (of a rifle, for example), limiting any laser that is targeted at the soldier and preventing damage to their eye.

Laser protection for EO (electro-optical) turrets

These camera systems typically are fitted to the front or bottom of an air platform, such as an UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), and enable the user to see the aircraft’s surroundings and where it’s going, detect objects or activities of interest, and carry out visual or surveillance missions. The camera sensors are also used for communication purposes.

Without effective protection, the EO turrets would be severely damaged when fired at by a high intensity laser – causing a complete ‘black out’ (all imagery would be lost, and it would be the end of the mission).

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Laser protection for visible band cameras

These filters can benefit visible band cameras in a similar way to EO turrets, protecting the technology from drastic damage when high intensity pulse laser light is projected at it, and preventing a ‘black out’ from happening, sustaining capability for the user.

The same is true for any other camera systems operating in the visible waveband (the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye – also known as ‘visible light’, or simply ‘light’) for any application or purpose that may become subject to laser threat.

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