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The Visual Protection and Performance Division (VPPD) develops visual system testing, ocular injury criteria and ophthalmic standards to improve visual health and the effectiveness of eye protection and wear compliance. We conduct applied medical research in the areas of (a) eye injury prevention; (b) development of objective sensory biomarkers (e.g., electrophysiological, behavioral, and clinical) for the evaluation of visual consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and fitness-for-duty criteria development; (c) development of realistic models for the assessment of protection technologies and sensing performance with these technologies; (d) development of unique visual standards for service occupations and performance standards for optical devices; and (e) establishment of a sensory performance research base to support the development and integration of Soldier technologies (e.g., night vision devices, advanced optical systems) into military systems. The research program is augmented by additional research in the area of eye injury prevention conducted by the Injury Biomechanics Division (IBD).

Research areas include:

  • Evaluating the medical effectiveness of eye protection designs
  • Evaluating potential latent mTBI using hypoxic stress
  • Developing methodologies for testing protective eyewear
  • Evaluating the effects of mTBI secondary to blast exposure on the visual system
  • Evaluating testing mechanisms that can be utilized as visual biomarkers in detecting acute mTBI/concussions
  • Evaluating physical, physiological, and functional vision associated with military occupational demands and assists Army program managers in the development of advanced systems to improve and preserve vision and visual efficiency, particularly as applied to night operations, degraded visual environment, and the modern Army aviation battlefield
  • Providing support to customers for the development and integration of safe and effective optical and electro-optical displays into military ground and aviation systems

Capabilities include:

  • Corneal topography
  • Optical distortion measurement
  • Visual field devices
  • Eye-tracking systems
  • Pupillometers
  • Corneal response analyzer
  • Visual display laboratory
  • Visual psychophysics
  • Optical fabrication
  • Mobile field laboratories
  • Reduced Oxygen Breathing Device
  • Olympic-quality, multi-lane, precision air rifle range is used for high resolution visual performance research

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