An Air Force copilot exposed to what the Pentagon says it believes was a Soviet laser last week did not suffer permanent eye damage, a Defense Department spokesman said.

The Air Force, which has not made the name of the female crew member public, said she was flying in a WC135 weather and surveillance plane over the Pacific Ocean last week when the Soviets conducted two flight tests of a new ballistic missile.

The United States protested those tests because the Soviets used a target area that extended within 500 miles of Hawaii.

Col. David J. Shea, a Pentagon spokesman, said the woman underwent new medical tests earlier this week and doctors found "no evidence of damage."

"The pilot is not experiencing any after-effects," he added. "But we'll continue to monitor her condition periodically."

According to the Defense Department, two American aircraft -- the WC135 and a Navy P3 surveillance plane -- were illuminated by an "intense light" from a Soviet intelligence ship in the target zone.

The light "disturbed the copilot's vision for 10 minutes," the Pentagon said. "Based on the information available, and the fact that the Soviets have in the past used laser devices to irradiate western patrol aircraft, we believe these emissions were from a laser."