Photonics

Photon-Counting Chirped Amplitude Modulation Ladar

This work is a follow-on to an effort to develop a method using Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GM-APD) photon-counting detectors in the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s chirped amplitude modulation (AM) ladar receiver to yield sensitivities approaching the shot noise limit. Such sensitivities represent about four orders of magnitude improvement over the sensitivities of the currently used unity-gain, optoelectronic mixing (OEM) metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) detectors. A variant of the chirped AM ladar has been experimentally assembled and tested, and new single photon-counting detector products were evaluated in terms of their benefits to the chirped AM ladar.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Measurements, Radar, Semiconductor devices, Product development, Military vehicles and equipment
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Evaluation of Performance of WL Fe-Based Spin-LEDs

A study was performed to evaluate the performance of a recently developed type of Fe-based spin-light-emitting diodes (spin-LEDs) that incorporate wetting layers (WLs). [The term "wetting layer" has two slightly different meanings as explained below.] Light beams emitted by the WL Febased spin-LEDs were found to exhibit the same high degree of circular polarization as do those of previously developed Fe-based spin-LEDs, but differ in one very important aspect: they are an order of magnitude brighter than those emitted by their previously developed counterparts. As a consequence, the WL Fe-based spin-LEDs function reliably at room temperature, whereas their previously developed counterparts do not.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Advances Toward Affordable High-Energy Laser Modules

A multidisciplinary research project entitled “Affordable High-Energy Lasers” has made numerous contributions to the development of several types of advanced laser modules, including not only lasers but also coupling optics and integral laser/ coupling-optic combinations. There are numerous potential applications for such modules, including weaponry, lidar, high-data-rate optical communications, interferometry, spectroscopy, remote sensing, and processing of materials. The devices developed in this project include novel fiber lasers, novel vertical-external-cavity surface emitting lasers (VECSELs), and a radially emitting photonic-bandgap (PBG) polymer fiber laser. Somewhat more specifically, the contributions are summarized as follows:

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Design processes, Lasers, Product development, Research and development
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Lasing Consequences of Silicon Nanostructures

While silicon electronics has been a success in modem technologies, silicon photonics is still in development and in need of a laser source. Many approaches have been explored, from anodized silicon luminescence, to generating direct emissions by quantum-confinement, and to indirect down-conversion of a shorter wavelength laser light via silicon's nonlinear dielectric responses. One approach that was developed has led to the demonstration of laser emission in silicon-on-insulator at cryogenic temperatures (<85K).

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Reduced Power Laser Designation Systems

This work contributes to the Micropulse Laser Designation (MPLD) project to develop a six-pound eye-safe micro-pulse laser system to locate, identify, range, mark, and designate stationary and moving targets. MPLD uses laser pulses of much lower energy and higher repetition rates than in existing laser designation systems. Because of this, MPLD presents a range of new circuit design and signal processing problems.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Continuous-Wave Laser Diodes Based on a Novel InGaAsNSb Material System

Laser sources operating in the spectral region from 2 to 3.5 μm are in demand for ultra-sensitive laser spectroscopy, medical diagnostics, home security, industrial process monitoring, infrared countermeasures, and optical wireless communications. Currently, solid-state lasers and optical parametric oscillators and amplifiers are used as coherent light sources in this spectral region.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Photon Counting Chirped Amplitude Modulation Ladar

This work is a follow-up to prior efforts to develop a method using Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GM-APD) photon counting detectors in chirped amplitude modulation (AM) ladar receivers to yield sensitivities approaching the shot noise limit. Such sensitivities represent about four orders of magnitude improvement over the sensitivities of the currently used unity-gain, opto- electronic mixing (OEM) metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) detectors. These sensitivity improvements may enable compact, low-power, eye-safe, and/or long-range ladar with low-cost, low-bandwidth readout integrated circuits for foliage and camouflage penetration, target ID, manned and unmanned ground and air vehicle navigation, 3D face recognition, battle damage assessment, and change detection.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Hybrid Micro-Electro-Mechanically Tunable Optical Filter

A prototype hybrid micro-electro- mechanically tunable optical filter (MEM-TF) based partly on an electrostatic-actuation principle has been built and tested as an essential component needed for the further development of a prototype micro-electro- mechanically tunable vertical- cavity surface emitting laser (MT-VCSEL). In turn, MT-VCSELs are needed as essential controllable-wavelength sources in diverse advanced optoelectronic devices and systems including, for example, wavelength-division multiplexers in fiber-optic communication systems; lightweight, compact, portable spectroscopic instruments for detecting chemical and biological warfare agents; holographic memory devices; fiber-optic sensors; optoelectronic signal-processing systems; and remote-sensing systems. The development of the prototype MEM-TF also has additional significance in that it demonstrates the merit of the hybrid approach (in comparison with the monolithic-integration approach) to design and fabrication of some advanced optoelectronic devices.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Near-Field Light Lenses for Nano-Focusing of Beams of Atoms

Near-field light lenses for focusing beams of light and beams of atoms to spots having a width of no more than several nanometers are undergoing development. There are numerous potential applications for such lenses:

•A capability to focus beams of light to nanometer-sized spots is essential for development of proposed nanoscale optical devices (e.g., optical switches and logic gates) based on near-field optical interactions.

•A capability to focus beams of atoms to nanometer-sized spots could contribute to the development of nanophotonic devices, including quantum dots, which must be sized and positioned with precision.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Glass, Nanotechnology, Refractory materials
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Developments in Adaptive Filtering and System Identification

Progress has been made on several fronts in a continuing program of research oriented toward the development of real-time algorithms, and computer and control systems that utilize the algorithms, for adaptive filtering, prediction, and system identification with improved efficiency and numerical stability in applications that involve large numbers of channels and high filter orders. Potential applications include adaptive optics, optical communications, target tracking, image processing, blind identification and deconvolution in wireless communications, and active control of noise and vibration.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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