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Probabilistic Risk Assessment Process for High-Power Laser Operations in Outdoor Environments
Risk assessment for exposure to the output from a high-power laser system involves consideration of the range of directions over which laser energy can be emitted, and the damage that the incident laser energy could cause to an unprotected observer or sensor. A deterministic laser hazard zone (LHZ) based on nominal hazard distances derived from applicable maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits, and incorporating all possible directions in which laser energy could be fired, can be severely restrictive for testing and training operation purposes with high-power laser systems on outdoor ranges. An alternative approach based on the use of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) techniques can result in more practical, less onerous, clearance restrictions due to quantification of the extant risk and introduction of the acceptable risk level concept. The probabilistic laser hazard evaluation technique is based on an application of the formal risk assessment process developed since the early 1980s, and which is also shown to underpin the deterministic hazard assessment technique. This discussion is an extended version of a paper presented at the 2015 International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC 2015).
Paper for Specialistic Magazine
Directed Energy Professional Society - Journal of Directed Energy
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