7 - 8 March 2018 // Nuremberg, Germany

Enforce Tac Newsroom

Enforce Tac 2018: Blinded by the Light

© Augenklinik, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen – Dr. B. Hohberger

Each year, hundreds of pilots, drivers and members of the emergency services are targeted with laser pointers in Germany alone. In the first six months of 2017, the German air traffic control company Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) received more than 160 reports of such incidents, and the number of unreported cases must be much higher still. The programme of the seventh international trade fair for command, control and operational equipment used by security agencies (Enforce Tac), to be held at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg on 7-8 March 2018, will include a new and highly interesting event as a result: the first Laser Safety Conference of the Bavarian Laser Centre (blz), on Thursday 8 March, will provide information about laser pointer attacks in public places and the backgrounds and risks associated with dazzle attacks of this nature.

The number of laser pointer attacks on individuals in public places is increasing along with the spread of hand-held laser systems. The need to investigate, punish and prevent such attacks has become much more important in recent years. This is the context in which blz and NürnbergMesse have organised the first laser safety conference on this subject for 2018. The event is designed for any individual or entity likely to be faced with laser pointer attacks and their consequences.

Erlangen-based blz has extensive skills in the area of laser protection. As a testing laboratory, it tests laser protection products, provides customer-specific consultancy services on laser protection, and participates in standards committees on matters of laser safety. The experts from blz can also provide training as laser protection officers. A range of professional development services and seminars will share the multi-disciplinary expertise in laser technology that blz has acquired in its many years of research. The laser protection professionals from blz have put together an extensive programme for the laser safety conference.

Theoretical principles and medical consequences

Taking a laser pointer as an example, the participants in the conference will first be given an introduction into how laser devices work, and the properties of laser beams. They will also learn what makes these beams so dangerous to the human eye. The different classes of laser will also be discussed, together with their potential to cause damage. Cases from the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital Erlangen will illustrate the subject of eye injuries caused by laser pointers. In addition to lasting eye damage, temporary impairment to visual function caused by dazzling is a particularly significant source of risk for drivers and pilots in particular, and this topic will be discussed in detail.

Handling and protection

Looking at the phenomenon of “laser vs. aircraft”, which has been a problem for many years, specific examples will then be placed in a realistic context for investigation procedures, and both the criminal and legal handling of such attacks will be considered. A professional pilot will provide a first-hand report of his experiences with the sometimes drastic visual impairment that laser attacks can cause, and the substantial risk they can represent for rescue helicopters. The event will close with a look at opportunities for effective protection for drivers and emergency services against laser attacks of this nature.

Further information on this subject can be obtained from the conference programme at www.enforcetac.com, and from the organiser:

Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH (blz)

Dr Hans-Joachim Krauss

Konrad-Zuse-Strasse 2-6

91052 Erlangen

Germany

T +49 91 31 97790-23

j.krauss@blz.org

Website: www.blz.org

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