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15 March 2017 at 9:23 pm #578025
I assume they are worried that a visual observer who happened to be looking down the barrel of a space based LIDAR laser beam might suffer eye damage if looking directly at it through a large telescope using the naked eye. CCDers would not be under threat.
Afterall, even if you were using a laser of a wavelength generally deemed “eye safe” then the light grasp of a 12″ could massively increase the number of photons reaching your eye.
EDIT: Should have read the very end of the survey. They are indeed trying to model the risk to ground observers.