Optical Safety Assessment of a Near-Infrared Brain-Computer Interface
Soraghan , Christopher J and Ward, Tomas and Matthews, Fiachra and Markham, Charles (2008) Optical Safety Assessment of a Near-Infrared Brain-Computer Interface. In: 16th IET Irish Signals and Systems Conference 2008, 18th - 19th June 2008, Department of Electronic Engineering, NUI, Galway.
This paper describes a safety assessment study of near-infrared sources used in an optical brain-computer interface (BCI). The measurement elements of an optical BCI consist of sets of optical sources and detectors. Our current system utilises sources which comprise of dual wavelength light emitting diodes (LED) at 760nm and 880nm. An optical analysis demonstrated that NIR radiation is a negligible source of heating in this case. LED heat conduction however is a major source of heating, and LEDs, though much safer than laser diodes, have been known to cause burns if improperly used. We describe a procedure by which we measure the heat conduction effect of LEDs. We show that the LED systems used in our current generation BCI produce safe levels of thermal energy and are within published safety levels.
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