Measuring laser shows accurately
In order to prevent eye damage at laser shows, adherence to threshold values is essential. Until now, measurements have been costly and only carried out in individual cases, as a result of which the threshold values are generally exceeded. The Laser Show Risk Analyzer (LASRA) provides organisers and authorities with an important tool with which to assess laser shows and compliance with the Ordinance to the Federal Act on Protection against the Risks associated with Non-Ionising Radiation and with Sound (O-NIRSA).
Although fascinating, laser shows are not always harmless. In order to avoid serious eye damage, threshold values have been stipulated by law and are required to be adhered to by laser show operators. Laser show measurements have demonstrated that the threshold values are often exceeded many times over. Moreover, the number of laser shows has significantly increased in recent years on account of the declining prices for suitable systems.
It is very difficult to assess the risk potential of a complete laser show because the maximum exposure is very limited in time and location. For this reason, the Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) has developed an assessment system in collaboration with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH): the Laser Show Risk Analyzer (LASRA). LASRA measures the planned laser show in real time at the venue. Should the show exceed the threshold value, solutions can be sought in conjunction with the organisers. Minor technical adjustments are often sufficient to minimise the risk and adhere to the O-NIRSA threshold values. In this way, safe laser shows can be achieved and bans avoided.
The LASRA hardware consists essentially of a photo sensor which initially measures the intensity of the lasers used. The LASRA software then directly analyses the program used to control the laser show. From this, LASRA determines whether the threshold values are being adhered to. A measurement of a laser show makes sense before a planned event, so that the hazards are recognized early and the show can be adjusted if necessary.
Last modification 06.07.2021