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LZH develops LIBS system for exploring submerged cultural artefacts...

25 Apr 2024

...and QCi wins Johns Hopkins order for ‘revolutionary’ underwater lidar prototype.

Laser Center Hannover (LZH) is working with several partners on the EU project NERITES to develop a system to non-destructively examine cultural monuments and artifacts submerged in the sea. LZH is developing a compact laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system to operate independently in water depths of 100 meters.

In the project, European companies and research institutions from five countries are now working to find a new way to better record the condition of underwater cultural heritage in the sea. The partners aim to develop a system for the remote measurement of chemical, ecological and geophysical indicators. This should work autonomously under water and thus save the high costs for divers.

Compact LIBS system

LIBS is a non-contact and virtually non-destructive method for analyzing chemical elements. A laser-induced plasma is generated, which can be used to analyze solids, liquids and gases. LZH can draw on the experience gained from the EU project ROBUST, in which a LIBS system to examine samples in the deep sea up to 6000 m was developed and successfully tested.

The LIBS system for the NERITES project should be able to measure whether and in what concentration metals such as iron, aluminum or zinc are present. The measurement will take place at a water depth of up to 100 m and from a distance of 200 mm. The scientists will use a green 532 nm double-pulse laser and a line scanner for this purpose.

The partners are supplementing the system with other measurement technologies: a quantum cascade laser sensor will map hydrocarbons and carbonates, while image measurement systems will provide information on textures or colors. Together, they should provide a comprehensive overview of the condition of the underwater artefacts. One aim is to integrate the measuring systems onto a transportable platform. This is supplied with power from an energy and data docking station and can therefore work and communicate autonomously.

The LZH will be presenting exhibits on lasers underwater at the Hannover Messe 2024 at the joint stand of the State of Lower Saxony, Hall 2 Stand A10.

QCi wins order for “revolutionary” underwater lidar

Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI), based in Hoboken, NJ, a developer of quantum optics and nanophononics technology, has won an order for its quantum lidar prototype from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Valued at $200,000, the prototype represents a significant advance in underwater lidar, according to QCI, and will be utilized for testing and evaluation within Johns Hopkins’ research and development program.

QCi says its quantum lidar “boasts unparalleled precision, with a remarkable resolution of 3mm and the capability to operate at depths of up to 30 meters.”

The statement adds, “the system’s ability to tune and time-gate single photons in the lidar return signals, and its capacity to adjust detection in both frequency and phase space, enables quantum measurements that elevate information gathering to new heights.”

Jeevanandha Ramanathan, Research Scientist and leader of Quantum Remote Sensing platform at QCi, commented, “Our underwater scanning lidar is engineered with cutting-edge single-photon detection technology, coupled with a green laser at a wavelength of 532nm.

“The selection of green light is strategic for its superior ability to penetrate water, ensuring our system captures the most detailed and accurate underwater images possible. The integration of single-photon detection enhances sensitivity to an exceptional degree, enabling us to discern and measure faint signals bounced back by single photons,” he said.

Dr. William McGann, CEO of QCi, said, “This collaboration will play a pivotal role in enhancing our understanding of phytoplankton movement, nutrient distribution, and the physical behavior of water bodies under varying conditions. Together, these advanced capabilities will equip researchers and policymakers with the detailed data needed for comprehensive environmental management and protection strategies, aligning with QCi’s mission of delivering practical and affordable quantum technologies for the world.”

LASEROPTIK GmbHHyperion OpticsABTechLaCroix Precision OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHCeNing Optics Co LtdIridian Spectral Technologies
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