Photonics

Taming the Thermal Behavior of Solid-State Military Lasers

Laser diodes and laser diode arrays (LDAs) are widely used throughout military systems, for sighting and range finding, but also at high power levels as offensive and defensive weapons. In companion with much higher-power chemical lasers, these high-power optical sources can generate kilowatts of optical power (as arrays) for use in neutralizing incoming missiles, rockets, and armaments and for long-distance offensive strikes. But laser diodes are also still inefficient, and a great deal of the energy supplied to a laser diode or an LDA is converted into heat, which must be safely dissipated to ensure a long operating lifetime for the solid-state devices.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Thermal Management, Ceramics, Materials, Metals, Packaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs
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Fiber Optic Rotary Joints Add a Spin to Sensing, Mobile, and Robotic Fiber Systems

To the passing optical signals, fiberoptic rotary joints (FORJs) are nothing more than fiber connectors, which provide connection between one or multiple fibers. Their unrestricted ability to rotate, however, gives them a critical role in many sensing, mobile, and robotic fiber systems such as ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), aerostat radars, submarines, satellite antennae, OCT (optical coherence tomography), mining vehicles, cranes, wind turbines, robotic vehicles, broadcasting (mobile cameras), etc. This article discusses some of the applications where optical rotary joints are indispensable.

www.princetel.com

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Photonics
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Autonomous Helicopters

Northrop Grumman Corporation
Falls Church, VA
+1 703-280-2900
www.northropgrumman.com/firescout

Fire Scout is a combat proven, autonomous helicopter system that provides real-time Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Target-acquisition (ISR&T), laser designation, and battle management to tactical users without relying on manned aircraft or space-based assets. Fire Scout has the ability to operate from any air-capable ship or land base in support of persistent ISR&T requirements.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Data Acquisition, Detectors
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Robotic Paint Removal System

Air Force Research Laboratory
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
+1 937-255-0017
www.wpafb.af.mil

AFRL Materials Integrity engineers recently played a key role in enabling the safer and more efficient removal of paint from F-16 aircraft through the newly-adopted Robotic Laser Coating Removal System.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aeronautics, Aviation, Defense, Thermal Management, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Lasers & Laser Systems, Robotics
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Laser Detecting Systems

Whether engaged in an asymmetric fight with an insurgent or a conventional battle with a “near-peer” adversary, today's battlefield presents combatants with significant challenges. Rapidly advancing technology and increased lethality of weapon systems have forced the military to develop and deliver more effective technologies to protect our air and vehicle crews. One such critical technology – laser detecting systems – is designed to detect and alert crews to laser-aided threats.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Sensors
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Rocket Launchers

Arnold Defense
Arnold, MO
(636) 296-5417
www.arnolddefense.com

Arnold Defense, an international manufacturer and supplier of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, has been generating considerable interest in its new, ultra-light LWL-XII and M260 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon Systems.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Propulsion
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Communications in Space: A Deep Subject

Transmitting and receiving radio signals between spacecraft in deep space is a snap compared with getting those signals back to Earth, especially when the spacecraft is 120 billion miles away.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Air Force Research Lab and Industry Advance Multi-Junction Solar Cells

Experts at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) continue to expand the scope of their technological expertise, rising above the Earth’s surface to meet the power needs of next-generation military spacecraft. A collaborative effort between the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing and Space Vehicles directorates, the Space Industrial Base Working Group, and SolAero Technologies has resulted in state-of-the art, multi-junction solar cells destined to reduce costs and increase power efficiency for military space applications.

Posted in: News, Defense, Solar Power, Materials, Photonics
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Army Developing Lasers That Pierce Fog, Dust to Destroy Targets

A lot of people think that high-energy lasers, or HELs, can't penetrate fog, rain and dust, said Thomas Webber, director of the Directed Energy Division's Technical Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. That's just plain wrong.

Posted in: News, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics
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Identifying and Isolating Signals Using Radio Frequency Photonics

A single antenna can be used for both transmission and reception. To accomplish this, the transmission must be isolated from the reception. In Figure 1, a radio frequency (RF) circulator is connected right after the antenna. The three-port device separates the transmit path from the receive path. After the circulator, a system can be used to identify the frequency of different signals. Once the frequency has been found, a filter with the right pass-band frequency can be used to isolate signals from each other.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Communications, Wireless, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Antennas, Radio equipment
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