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LGS Innovations completes lidar development with DARPA

02 Mar 2016

Breakthrough will improve DoD LIDAR systems’ ability to detect and identifyobjects of interest.

US technology R&D company LGS Innovations has announced the successful completion of a two-year Laser Radar Technology project in partnership with the Strategic Technology Office within the US military research agency DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). LGSI works in many photonics-related sectors such as wireless communications, RF spectrum analysis, cybersecurity, optical communications, and mobile broadband.

The LRT program supports the development of detector arrays and laser transmitter technologies that could improve the ability for a LIDAR system to switch between settings geared to detect objects of interest and settings geared to hone in and provide additional insight on the selected object.

LIDAR-based technologies have been used in military operations such as those in Afghanistan due to their ability to provide 3-D imagery from aerial platforms that is quicker to produce, more accurate, at higher resolution, and able to cover wider areas of terrain than other sensing and mapping tools.

“This breakthrough required developing a laser with the ability to produce a wide range of optical waveforms, and the ability to change waveforms in real-time while operating at full power,” said Stephan Wielandy, Chief Scientist for Photonics Applications for LGS Innovations’ Advanced Research and Technology division. “To our knowledge, no laser with the ability to meet all of these waveform agility requirements has ever been made before.”

Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive Officer at LGS Innovations, added, “We are on bleeding edge of photonics research, which has a wide range of mission critical applications from LIDAR imaging and missile defense to free-space optical communication and more.”

Further infrared R&D project

LGS Innovations has also announced (March 1) that it has won a four-year, $11.2 million contract to develop and construct infrared-based technology for the U.S. Air Force to detect trace chemicals from diverse surfaces.

The US Defense Department announced Tuesday that LGS aims to help the Air Force develop a standoff sensor equipped with an active IR spectroscopy technology for the detection and identification of chemical residues at a range of up to 30 meters.

The contract stated: “LGS Innovations has been awarded an $11.2 million contract to develop a portable system for real-time standoff detection and identification of trace chemical residues on surfaces using active infrared spectroscopy at a 30 meter range. Work is expected to be complete by October, 2020.”

Following the competitive tender win, LGSI’s applied research and technology division will perform the contract work in its Florham Park, NJ, headquarters.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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