Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Photonics, Optics and Lasers

Science and technology dealing with the transmission and manipulation of light

Showing 9 results for Photonics + Microchips RSS
11/26/2013
Long coils of optical waveguides—any structure that can guide light, like conventional optical fiber—can be used to create a time delay in the transmission of light. Such photonic delays are useful in military application ranging from small navigation sensors to wideband phased array radar and communication antennas. Although optical fiber has extremely low signal loss, an advantage that enables the backbone of the global Internet, it is limited in certain photonic delay applications. Connecting fiber optics with microchip-scale photonic systems requires sensitive, labor-intensive assembly and a system with a large number of connections suffers from signal loss.
05/21/2015
Many essential military capabilities—including autonomous navigation, chemical-biological sensing, precision targeting and communications—increasingly rely upon laser-scanning technologies such as LIDAR (think radar that uses light instead of radio waves). These technologies provide amazing high-resolution information at long ranges but have a common Achilles heel: They require mechanical assemblies to sweep the laser back and forth. These large, slow opto-mechanical systems are both temperature- and impact-sensitive and often cost tens of thousands of dollars each—all factors that limit widespread adoption of current technologies for military and commercial use.
09/07/2017
DARPA published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) 2018 Research Announcement today, seeking proposals in 26 different topic areas—the largest number of YFA research areas ever solicited.
04/25/2018
Only a few decades ago, finding a particular channel on the radio or television meant dialing a knob by hand, making small tweaks and adjustments to hone in on the right signal. Of course, we now take such fine tuning for granted, simply pressing a button to achieve the same effect. This convenience is enabled by radio frequency synthesis, the generation of accurate signal frequencies from a single reference oscillator.
11/21/2019
Lasers are essential to many fields – ranging from optical communications and remote sensing, to manufacturing and medicine. While the semiconductor laser was first demonstrated nearly 60 years ago, advances in diode lasers and access to semiconductor fabrication techniques have enabled continued innovation and miniaturization of the technology. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs), which combine many photonic elements onto a single chip, have also transformed the way lasers and other optical systems are engineered, creating improvements in size, weight, and power (SWaP), system performance, and enabling new functionality. Despite these advances, a number of obstacles still hamper the proliferation of optical systems for defense and commercial applications.