Defence and security applications of quantum cascade lasers open site

Date: Sep 26, 2016

Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) have seen tremendous recent application in the realm of Defence and Security. And, in many instances replacing traditional solid state lasers as the source of choice for Countermeasures, Remote Sensing, In-situ Sensing, Through-Barrier Sensing, and many others. Following their development and demonstration in the early 1990's, QCL’s reached some maturity and specific defence and security application prior to 2005; with much initial development fostered by DARPA initiatives in the US, dstl, MoD, and EOARD funding initiatives in the UK, and University level R&D such as those by Prof Manijeh Razeghi at Northwestern University [1], and Prof Ted Masselink at Humboldt University [2]. As QCL’s provide direct mid-IR laser output for electrical input, they demonstrate high quantum efficiency compared with diode pumped solid state lasers with optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) to generate mid-Infrared output. One particular advantage of QCL's is their very broad operational bandwidth, extending from the terahertz to the near-infrared spectral regions. Defence and Security areas benefiting from QCL's include: Countermeasures, Remote Sensing, Through-the-Wall Sensing, and Explosive Detection.
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