Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Photonics, Optics and Lasers

Science and technology dealing with the transmission and manipulation of light

Showing 66 results for Photonics RSS
The photon is a fundamental carrier of information, possessing numerous information carrying degrees of freedom including frequency, phase, arrival time, polarization, orbital angular momentum, linear momentum, entanglement, etc. Because optical photons are approximately a million times more costly (i.e., energetic) than their radio frequency counterparts, photons are a valuable resource for many military applications ranging from communications systems to visible and infrared sensing platforms.
The Military Imaging and Surveillance Technology (MIST) program seeks to develop a fundamentally new optical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability able to provide high-resolution 3-D images to locate and identify a target at much longer ranges than is possible with existing optical systems.
Free-space optics today requires a telescope, bulk lasers with mechanical beam-steering, detectors, and electronics. The Modular Optical Aperture Building Blocks (MOABB) program seeks to design all of these components into a single integrated device. In what would be deemed as the most complex electronic-photonic circuit ever fashioned, the program’s performers will work to create a wafer-scale system that is 100x smaller and lighter than conventional systems and can steer the optical beam 1,000x faster than mechanical components.
Recent advances in our understanding of light-matter interactions, often with patterned and resonant structures, reveal nascent concepts for new interactions that may impact many applications. Examples of these novel phenomena include interactions involving active media, symmetry, non-reciprocity, and linear/nonlinear resonant coupling effects.
Micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) are employed in many Department of Defense (DoD) systems. These devices find use in compact accelerometers and gyroscopes for stability control and inertial navigation and in switches for optical communication and data routing. Incredibly, these devices still operate many of orders of magnitude away from their ultimate limits. Techniques to reduce or overcome thermal noise in MEMS/NEMS devices are critical for realizing their full potential.